Drones as weapons: Africa needs better data to anticipate risk

In October this year, Africa’s air force chiefs of staff and air force industry representatives gathered in Senegal. They agreed the continent urgently needed to develop sophisticated air defences in response to a growing threat – the proliferation of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones.

Drones offer huge potential for Africa in terms of economic development and human security, such as monitoring weather patterns off Mozambique’s coast or delivering medicines to remote areas of Malawi. But technology can also be weaponised by unconventional forces. It shifts the balance of power away from states with the largest armies and arsenals, to insurgent groups or terrorist organisations. Drones have also become a favoured tool of criminal networks and lone actors.

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Source: Institute for Security Studies