Positions in: Kenya, Nigeria, or South Africa.

Are you a drone pilot/technologist/GIS expert looking to make a difference in the fast-changing “drones for good” ecosystem in Africa?

Code for Africa (CfA) has an immediate vacancy for a full time role Drone Tech Lead anywhere in Africa to join its africanDRONE team.

The ideal candidates will have demonstrable experience in drone technology, piloting, and GIS. They must have the ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines simultaneously. They should enjoy fast-paced creative problem-solving in a multicultural, transnational environment, as well as have a proactive approach.

africanDRONE is part of CfA’s pan-African initiatives using drones for good. We are a network of like-minded drone pilots, technologists, civic activists and entrepreneurs who use technology to improve knowledge, access, and sustainability for an African drone ecosystem. 

The successful candidates will work as part of a multinational team building a network of like-minded drone pilots, technologists, civic activists and entrepreneurs looking to make a difference in the drones-for-good space in Africa.

Required: minimum requirements include:

  • A background in using drones commercially. 
  • A GIS/survey background or high degree of familiarity.
  • Proven experience in drone technology development, including the design, implementation, and deployment of drone systems.
  • The ability to research the latest industry trends and emerging technologies in drone technology, and provide recommendations for their integration into africanDRONE initiative.
  • The ability to communicate complex technical concepts to both technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Proven track record of successfully delivering drone technology projects on time and within budget.
  • The desire and ability to mentor young pilots, work within a team, and manage your own logistics for travel and work.
  • Digital-first workplace skill-sets, including proficiency in collaborative work solutions such as Google Drive (Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, etc) and Slack (or equivalents such as Teams), as well as project management tools like Trello (or equivalents). 
  • A willingness to travel to remote locations.
  • Aptitude for new tasks, experimentation, and collaboration.
  • Demonstrable ability to work independently, self-manage and prioritise.

Preferred: candidates who are able to demonstrate the following will have an advantage:

  • Proficiency in GIS software such as QGIS or other related softwares.
  • Familiarity with drone flight planning software such as Drone Deploy, Pix4D, etc.
  • Familiarity with drone data processing software such as DJI Terra.
  • Familiarity with latest trends in AI, drone data interpretation, 3D modelling, and photogrammetry.  
  • A background in journalism/education.

Language and Location Requirements:

  • Location: Nairobi, Kenya, Lagos/Abuja, Nigeria or Cape Town, South Africa. 
  • Languages: English and French
  • Preferred but not required: Arabic, Swahili, or other major African languages

About the Role:

The successful candidate will join africanDRONE’s team as part of CfA’s wider Knowledge team. The Knowledge initiative spearheads training management and partnerships, data analysis, digital journalism, and storytelling initiatives for partner newsrooms, universities, and local community events across Africa. The Knowledge team is also the custodian of other major CfA public infrastructure, including the largest open data portal on the continent, open.AFRICA, and Africa’s biggest census data portal, HURUMap.

You will work as part of a network with pilots in over 30 countries to build, grow and add expertise to our in-house repertoire of drone activities and knowledge. 

You will initially focus on providing technical support and expertise for producing core documents on drone activities, including standard operating procedures for drone activities within Africa. You will also take the lead in recommending, testing, and operating drones and survey-related equipment for our projects focused on drone mapping throughout Africa. 

You will be responsible for keeping up to date on the latest trends, research, and activities in the drone space. You will be expected to develop and undertake drone-based activities, participate in meetups and online spaces, and help create educational content around drones. You will be the active point person within the wider drone community in Africa representing africanDRONE. 

This role will involve managing, operating, and recommending hardware and software that relates to africanDRONE’s capabilities, including drone mapping planning and processing software. You will be expected to travel and undertake drone surveys throughout Africa, as well as lead and mentor a small team of local drone experts who will support you. 

Responsibilities: Your daily responsibilities will include:

  • Liaising with africanDRONE team and other CfA’s programmes team to give periodic updates or participate in staff meetings.
  • Activate and participate in drone communities activities including meetups, trainings events across Africa, promoting africanDRONE as a viable network.
  • Research and prepare one-pagers on drone trends, including surveys, AI, equipment, hardware, software, etc. 
  • Provide oversight and manage drone equipment. 
  • Prepare, process, organise drone survey data, including recommending and using various software such as Pix4D Matic, Drone Deploy, other technical software, and GIS applications 
  • Liaising with clients for technical requirements for processed drone data
  • Participate in client calls as the africanDRONE technical lead. 
  • Travel to perform on-site drone surveys and implement projects.
  • Develop educational content for Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) in relation to drone mapping, GIS, and data processing

What We Offer:

  • A competitive salary, subject to experience, with opportunities for performance-based growth, both in terms of career path and public stature.
  • Medical insurance cover, underwritten by a remote-first provider to ensure cover wherever you are
  • A dynamic workplace, with a transnational team, occasional international travel, and generous vacation benefits.
  • Ongoing opportunities to learn new cutting-edge skills and techniques/technologies to future-proof yourself in a rapidly evolving industry.
  • A chance to shine on a global stage, writing for international audiences and interacting with colleagues around the world.

How to apply:

Please fill in this form by 15 July 

About Us:

Code for Africa (CfA) is the continent’s largest network of indigenous African civic technology and investigative data journalism laboratories, with over 100 staff in 21 countries, who build digital democracy solutions that are intended to give citizens unfettered access to actionable information that empowers them to make informed decisions and that strengthen civic engagement for improved public governance and accountability.

This includes building infrastructure such as the continent’s largest open data portal, open.AFRICA, and largest open source civic software portal, commons.AFRICA, as well as the largest repository of investigative document-based evidence, source.AFRICA, as well as incubating initiatives as diverse as the africanDRONE network that gives citizens their own ‘eyes in the sky’, the PesaCheck fact-checking initiative in 12 African countries, and the sensors.AFRICA remote-sensing citizen science initiative to combat air/water pollution.

CfA also incubates the African Network of Centres for Investigative Reporting (ANCIR), as an association of the continent’s best investigative newsrooms, ranging from large traditional mainstream media to smaller specialist units. ANCIR member newsrooms investigate crooked politicians, organised crime and big business. The iLAB is ANCIR’s in-house digital forensic unit, with teams in east, south and west Africa. ANCIR uses its resources to strengthen newsrooms’ own internal capacity, by providing access to the world’s best whistleblower encryption and investigative semantic analysis technologies, as well as skills development, and seed grants for cross-border collaboration.

At CfA, we don’t just accept differences – we celebrate it, we support it, and we thrive on it for the benefit of our employees, our products and our community. CfA is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and is an affirmative action employer. If you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation, please let us know. 

To all recruitment agencies: CfA does not accept agency resumes. Please do not forward resumes to our employment application line, CfA employees or any other CfA contact. CfA is not responsible for any fees related to unsolicited resumes.