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The news wasn’t big enough to excite international media, but it was an exciting development this year in Cameroon when Will&Brothers, a local engineering and consulting company, unveiled the first-ever drone made in Cameroon. “It’s the pride of the country,” exclaimed Ms Minette Libom Li Likeng, the country’s minister of telecommunications and postal services, who attended the unveiling. Last year, Forbes magazine named Will&Brothers founder William Elong, 25, one of the most promising Africans under 30.

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Elong, who describes himself as a “big dreamer and overachiever”, at 20 years was the youngest-ever graduate of the Economic Warfare School in Paris. He is better known in his country for his Drone Africa venture, a commercial imagery service used by the tourism and agricultural industries in Cameroon. “Our countries spend huge sums of money on contracting satellite imagery companies to address their geographical mapping needs,” Elong told Africa Renewal in a phone conversation from Douala, Cameroon’s economic capital. “Using drones is much cheaper, cost effective and more practical,” he added.

The company provides services to the local tourism industry, allowing it to access a “different vision of the same reality” aerial images of points of interest. The company also offers mapping services to farmers and others, making it easier for them to pinpoint the exact dimensions of their arable lands. “In Cameroon, people have lands but often don’t know the borders of their fields. Our service helps determine that,” he says. In addition, farmers can use their services in field surveys and targeted in-field crop management.

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