3 Questions for... Tawanda Chihambakwe, Co-Author of 'Drone Professional 2'
February 18th, 2021
Following the highly successful Drone Professional 1, the 2nd edition in the Drone Professional Series, Drone Professional 2, was recently published and named a #1 Amazon Bestseller (USA and UK) and an indispensable resource for drone professionals.
Drone Professional 2 features 21 drone industry professionals from around the world, including a chapter written by Tawanda Chihambakwe, managing director of Zimbabwe Flying Labs, a licensed drone pilot, UAS (drone) consultant, YouTuber, Unusual Solutions Competition finalist, owner of a commercial drone service company, and founder of several local drone startup initiatives across Southern Africa. Drone Professional 2 is the 2nd bestseller co-authored by Tawanda Chihambakwe, who contributed to the previous edition, Drone Professional 1.
For the launch of the book, we interviewed Tawanda Chihambakwe to share his co-author insights with us.
Question: Tawanda, congratulations on the new book. Can you tell us a bit about what's inside?
Answer: The book is a collection of 21 professional drone experts who share their experience, insights, best practice guidance, and current best thinking on a broad range of unmanned aviation topics, including startup stories from surveying services to drone manufacturing; risk assessment; drone insurance; environmental planning; surveillance, and security; drones and satellites; land use planning; Unmanned Traffic Management; teamwork; artificial intelligence; safety in operations; best practice guidelines near wildlife; applications in the energy industries; regulations; the 'Power of Local'; crop spraying; marketing services; and diversity in the industry.
Q: Why did you contribute to Drone Professional 2? Who is the book for?
A: Drone Professional 2 is an invaluable resource and practical reference guide for those in the drone industry and those new to the drone industry. It is an impeccable resource because it combines both technical and personal anecdotal feedback from frontline experts. Each of the experts contributing to Drone Professional 2 are consummate professionals in the drone community. By reading Drone Professional 2, readers will gain new insights on the drone industry's value, the range of technologies and innovations that contribute to the industry. Readers will also appreciate the frameworks and standards within which professionals ply their trade and glimpse the potential the professional drone industry has still to offer in professionals' hands.
Q: Your chapter is titled "The Power of Local: How a Global Movement for Good Is Changing the Drone Industry." What are some of the themes and ideas that you discuss?
A: My chapter, "The Power of Local: How a Global Movement for Good Is Changing the Drone Industry," is an exploration of why shifting the mindset around technology advancement and expertise in the local context is critical. Take this excerpt as an example:
"It has become commonplace for locals in developing countries to be regarded as lacking the knowledge, ability, expertise, and capacity to innovate, deliver services, and lead technology development in a local context. This is no different in the rapidly-growing drone industry and is perpetuated in both the public and private sectors by government officials, the nonprofit sector, corporations, and investors. The adage in the developing world that "foreign is better" denies young startups and innovators in developing countries the chance to scale, access funding, and recognition as leaders in the industry.
With an emerging drone industry still in its infancy, the lack of investment funding and capacity building of local startups in developing countries only acts to widen an already wide gap between the developed and developing, regardless of the merit of the innovation. How do we close the gap and build local capacity and expertise? What would it look like if we invested in and developed The Power of Local?"