Kasangu — Malawi and Unicef launched an air corridor on Thursday to test the effectiveness of drones in humanitarian emergencies and other development uses, the first project of its kind in Africa. Land-locked Malawi, which suffers periodic crop failures and is prone to floods, is frequently in need of food and other aid, and limited road access in many of its rural areas makes it difficult to get help to needy communities. "Drone technology has many potential applications ... One that we have already tested in Malawi is to transport infant blood samples to laboratories for HIV testing," Unicef Malawi resident representative Johannes Wedenig said at the launch in Kasungu, 100km from the capital, Lilongwe. The test corridor is centred at the Kasungu Aerodrome, with a 40km radius, and focuses on three areas of operation: generating aerial images of crisis situations; using drones to extend Wi-Fi or cellphone signals across difficult terrain in emergencies; and delivering low-weight em...

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