Zipline, Government of Rwanda Announce Partnership to Serve Entire Country

A Zipline vehicle flies in Ghana. Credit: Zipline/John Paul Van Wert

KIGALI, RWANDA—Zipline today announced a new partnership with the government of Rwanda that aims to complete nearly 2 million instant deliveries and fly more than 200 million autonomous kilometers in the country by 2029. 

Under the new partnership, Rwanda will triple its delivery volume by adding new delivery sites in rural and urban locations throughout the country, and opening up Zipline’s service to other government entities. In doing so, Rwanda is bringing innovative and environmentally friendly logistics and delivery to the country, and it will be the first country in the world with the ability to make autonomous instant deliveries to its entire population. 

What started with blood deliveries six years ago now includes medicine, medical supplies, nutrition and animal health products. This new partnership expands that foundation to support the country’s financial, e-commerce and tourism industries. In fact, any agency within the government, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, the Rwanda Development Board, the Rwanda Medical Supply, and the National Child Development Agency, can use Zipline’s instant logistics and delivery system.

“With this new agreement, we will be incorporating Zipline into many aspects of our national operations from providing a reliable healthcare supply chain, to addressing malnutrition, to creating an unforgettable eco-tourism experience. Rwanda is an innovation hub and we’re thrilled to be the first country in the world to launch a national drone delivery service,” said Clare Akamanzi, CEO of the Rwanda Development Board.

From its distribution centers in Muhanga and Kayonza, Zipline delivers 75% of the country’s blood supply outside of Kigali. Because of Zipline’s instant delivery network, more than 400 hospitals and clinics get blood, medication and the supplies they need within minutes of ordering, giving them the ability to treat both everyday medical conditions and emergencies. In fact, using data from Rwandan public hospitals, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found an 88% reduction of in-hospital maternal deaths due to postpartum hemorrhage as a result of Zipline’s logistics and delivery system. Simply put: more mothers are alive because they were at a medical facility that relies on Zipline’s instant delivery network. 

“Instant logistics has saved thousands of lives and is solving some of the world’s most important problems—hunger and malnutrition, road congestion and environmental pollution, and lack of access to healthcare,” said Daniel Marfo, Senior Vice President and Head of Zipline’s Africa business and operations. “We are honored to expand our relationship with our first customer to support additional sectors of government and create more impact together.” 

This year alone, the Ministry of Agriculture delivered more than 500,000 doses of animal health vaccines and more than 8,000 units of swine semen to vets and farmers, using Zipline. Access to animal husbandry products has increased the fertility rate among farmers using Zipline deliveries by 10% compared to the national average. Farmers can raise more pigs with a healthier genetic profile, grow their businesses, and ultimately provide better access to protein for communities and improve population health. 

Zipline currently operates on three continents and completes an instant delivery on behalf of businesses and governments every two minutes. To date, Zipline has delivered more than 450,000 packages, more than 4.5 million products, and flown more than 30 million autonomous miles. Each flight produces about 30 times less CO2 emissions per mile than an average electric vehicle and up to 98% less CO2 emissions than a combustion engine vehicle, according to company estimates. The company’s instant logistics system is used globally to support the medical, health and retail sectors, delivering blood, vaccines, COVID supplies, prescriptions, e-commerce and retail items, food and products that support human and animal health.