Fred Sajiwa - Malawi
African Drone and Data Academy Students
Fred Sajiwa was born in rural Lilongwe where from young age his life was marred by family problems and poverty. Growing up under the care of his older brother, he had no one to encourage him to work hard in school. Despite this he still made it to Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in natural resources management.
After graduation he worked as a volunteer and later as a consultant at UNICEF. He worked as a data incubator, geospatial data officer and as a data collector. He also worked on the USAID/Chemonics unmanned Arial Vehicle project in Nkhatabay district where he was using drones to transport medical equipment from Nkhatabay district hospital to six remote health centers. Through this work, he learnt the importance of using Geographic Information System (GIS) and remote sensing in data collection.
“The work experience that I accumulated over the past year has grew my interest in the use of innovation and technology like GIS and Remote sensing technology to solve multidisciplinary problems that our country, Malawi is currently facing. This is why I applied to join ADDA to expand my knowledge and experience in this area,” says Fred.
From the three weeks spent at ADDA, Fred now knows how to assemble drones and designing hybrid, multirotor and fixed wing drones. He has mastered the operations process used in drones for surveillance, collection and delivery of medical products from one point to another.
Once Fred leaves ADDA, he plans to open a GIS and Remote sensing firm. He wants the firm to focus on social entrepreneurship including training interested youths from vulnerable communities in mapping and GIS and remote sensing. “In a country where there are only five qualified pilots the combination of skills gained here will make me stand out,” concludes Fred.