The Lake Victoria Challenge was the first event of its kind in Africa

The Lake Victoria Challenge (LVC) asked what could happen if Africa could unlock the lower skies as a resource for mobility. This unique event explored the emerging transportation technologies that can leapfrog Africa’s infrastructure deficit and address the continent’s infrastructure, public health and mobility challenges with a visionary, safe and scalable solution.

The inaugural Lake Victoria Challenge event took take place in the form of a symposium, expo, flying competition and a range of networking events. An international gathering of key government and regulatory stakeholders with global and local innovators, investors, businesses and media, the event aimed to propel the use of drones and other aerial technologies for positive economic and social impact. Demonstrating potential use cases for the region, this multi-year stakeholder engagement program asked: what will the future of mobility look like?

A laboratory for real-world testing

Mwanza’s drone corridor is nestled between military airspace and large, hard-to-reach communities, making the Lake Victoria Challenge ideal for the rehearsal of operations and risk assessment.

The Lake Victoria Challenge was the first program to integrate drones into the full ecology of the supply chain, and is connected to existing maintenance, operations, users, community and government.

Why Lake Victoria?

Mwanza Region is located in the extreme northern quarter of mainland Tanzania, bordering Lake Victoria, and includes more than 86 inhabited islands in Lake Victoria. The population of Mwanza is 2.7 million, which is second only to the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, making it one of the highest rural population densities in the world.

This means that there is a vast medical supply network that is ready for revitalization. Mwanza Region has 286 health facilities, and all public sector facilities receive supplies from the Medical Stores Department in Mwanza city. Bugando Medical Centre, also located in Mwanza city, is a referral, consultant and university teaching hospital for the Lake and Western zones and serves a catchment population of over 14 million people. Laboratory samples (including viral load samples and dried blood spots) that are collected by health facilities must be sent and tested at Bugando Medical Centre. The vision is to connect the facilities in Mwanza City with the hard-to-reach facilities in the region using drone cargo transports and droneport infrastructure.

Regional Commissioner’s Office, Mwanza

The Lake Victoria Challenge is made possible through the directive and generous support of the Regional Commissioner’s Office of Mwanza, Tanzania.


“The Lake Victoria Challenge is a catalyst for digital innovation in Mwanza and Tanzania that will lead to job creation for youth and impact industrialization while laying an enabling environment foundation for sustainable infrastructure.”

Hon. John Mongella, Regional Commissioner of Mwanza

“The Government of Tanzania, and especially my Ministry, supports this program and wishes it success.”

Hon. Ummy Ally Mwalimu, Minister of Health and Social Welfare

“There is a big advantage in using a technology like drones, it can be faster, cheaper and smarter.”

2018 Advisory Board

George Mulamula

Dr. George Mulamula is the CEO and founder of Technovate Advisory Services (TAS) dedicated to bringing about digital innovations and sustainable economic development with Regional and Local Government Authorities. He is also the Senior Government Advisor on ICT entrepreneurship and innovation for an enabling environment and eco-system.

Prior to that, he was the founder and CEO of the Dar Teknohama (ICT) Business Incubator (DTBi) for entrepreneurship & innovation at the Commission for Science & Technology, the only tech incubator in Tanzania. He was also the first Principal Deputy CEO of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Senior Advisor in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry in Rwanda, working on SME and Entrepreneurship Policy, and the Senior ICT Advisor in the Government of Rwanda and in that capacity, the Lead Policy Advisor on the Rwanda National Information Communication Infrastructure Policy Plan II and WSIS Document preparation. He has also been a guest lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University (Kigali Campus) and has taught at KIST in Kigali, Rwanda.

Solomzi Makohliso

Dr. Solomzi Makohliso is an international entrepreneur with biotechnology industry experience in the United States, Europe and South Africa. His areas of interest include sustainable innovation, entrepreneurship and impact investment, particularly in healthcare and green technologies in sub-Saharan Africa.

He is the deputy leader of the EssentialTech Program at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). He also serves on the Swiss National Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation in Science & Technology with Africa, as well as on the boards of various start-up companies in South Africa and Switzerland. Dr. Makohliso holds undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Physics from Rhodes University and Biomedical Engineering from Brown University, a master’s degree in Medical Science from Brown University and a PhD in Biomaterials from EPFL.