Driven by a passion to boost technology and advance innovation in his motherland, Eric Rutayisire Muziga founded CHARIS UAS, a drone company that offers state-of-the-art drone services and data analysis solutions in nine African countries, including Rwanda. 

In an interview with Rwanda’s Honorary Consul to Australia, Eric shares his journey establishing the first-ever licensed drone company in Rwanda whose mission is to make a positive impact on society while also making it easier to do business and operate in the Land of a Thousand Hills. 

Charis UAS offers state-of-the-art drone services and data analysis solutions in nine African countries, including Rwanda.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.

I started my career as a Software Engineer in Minneapolis at Baxter-Gambro. I am a holder of an undergraduate and master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. I have experience in research and development in technology, service, and business development. In 2014, I founded Charis UAS, the first drone company in Rwanda to provide aerial imagery for intelligent decision making in the agriculture, mining, infrastructure inspection, health, and construction industries. 

Could you tell us more about CHARIS UAS and its services in Rwanda?

Charis UAS uses drones to collect and process geospatial data to enable intelligent decision-making. Additionally, Charis Labs, the drone manufacturer, develops, manufactures, and assembles high-quality drones named “Inganji” that can be used for commercial purposes.

Site monitoring, videos, panoramas, and maps are some of the visualisation services we offer to the construction industry. We also provide agricultural services including drone farm surveying, crop variability detection, and drone crop spraying. 

Our asset inspection service is a faster, cheaper, and safer method for identifying problems with power lines and telecommunication towers in energy and telecommunication.

Charis UAS also supports Rwanda’s conservation efforts to maintain and expand protected areas while also boosting tourism. We provide 3D images and videos, 3D city modelling, and according to the demand with our lidar technology, we also provide digital Elevation Model (DEM) images. 

What has CHARIS UAS achieved since its establishment in Rwanda?

Charis UAS works with commercial and government institutions to optimise their operations and make a positive impact in the community. For instance, in the field of health, Charis UAS collaborated with the Government of Rwanda to deploy drones to lower malaria incidence in the community of Jabana Sector. The results were incredible and the number of malaria cases fell by more than 90% over the course of eight months.

Charis UAS’s drones have been used in the fight against Malaria by spraying larvicide in mosquito breeding sites.

What has been the impact of CHARIS UAS in the community?

Thanks to our drone-based services, we have seen increased farmer crop yield and income. Our work has enabled the energy sector to better address power outages issues and those in telecommunication to inspect their towers. Charis UAS has also improved the health of Rwandans in the fight against Malaria by spraying larvicide in mosquito breeding sites. 

When the Covid-19 pandemic reached Rwanda, Charis UAS collaborated with the Rwanda National Police to use drones to help slow the spread of the virus-covid 19 by utilising our drones with megaphones to encourage people to abide by the health regulations.

How is Rwanda’s fast-growing construction sector benefiting from drone technology?

Charis UAS is helping to make construction projects in Rwanda more efficient. For instance, we enable more accurate measuring of construction inputs, speed up the monitoring process by more easily tracking construction progress, and smooth communication on projects with international stakeholders through 3D videos and orthophotos that provide virtual site tours and remote site monitoring. 

Eric Rutayisire Muziga founded CHARIS UAS in 2014, the first-ever licensed drone company in Rwanda.

Would you recommend everyone to work or do business in Rwanda?

As an owner of a Rwandan company, I would encourage doing business in Rwanda. The country has a well-defined development plan and has swift development powered by innovation and the adoption of technology. Setting up a business in Rwanda is not complicated – you only need to register your business, which takes less than a day and can be done online. Rwanda also has a very inclusive culture and does not face problems with corruption or security. This lowers inequality and enhances economic growth.

What are your top tips for Australians visiting Rwanda?

For Australians visiting Rwanda, know that the country is safe. Rwanda is a wonderful and gorgeous tourist attraction whose fascinating culture and reliable people will make your experience remarkable. Take advantage of the opportunity to experience the local culture, explore many innovations across the country, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Learn more about Charis UAS services here.

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