Give it to Silicon Valley – they always know how to find values in Africa. Zipline has a $12.5 million contract to help the government of Ghana to deliver drugs using drones. The company will cover 2,000 health facilities which currently serve 12 million Ghanaians. (Ghana has a population of about 29 million people.) The plan is 600 deliveries per day for four years. If you do the math, it comes down to $14 per delivery on average.
Zipline claims it would be able to cover 2,000 health facilities that serve 12 million Ghanaians (of a population of just under 30 million)—from small community clinics and vaccination centers to larger general hospitals like Tafo – when all its four local centers become operational.
The company has been contracted by the government of Ghana to make 600 deliveries a day (150 deliveries from each center) for four years and they will be paid per successful delivery. It would cost Ghana $12.5 million during the period.
Critics have argued the government should have rather spent the money on more important and simpler things the health sector really needs such as the critical shortage of hospital beds, gloves, consistent supply of water and the improvement of hospital buildings
It would have been good to know how much the government has invested in the Ghana’s postal service in the last few years. Possibly, its model would have been $1 per delivery and the very reason it might not have done the work effectively. There is never fund to make the postal service operate optimally.
This is serious: one American celebrity chef was complaining many years ago that U.S. kids were not getting good nutrition from their school lunches. He prepared mock lunches and was on CNN making all kinds of noise, throwing away food supplies that did not meet his level, as he visited schools. Then school districts invited him to their districts. They gave him a budget as they received from the city-leaders to make the same quality of meals he was showing on TV.
Jamie Oliver ran away! Simply, you can make a Buckingham palace –quality food on CNN but when you operate on the city-level budget, it will not happen. Largely, it is possible Ghana’s postal service may be delivering each below that $14, and would still be expected to achieve the same result. That would not happen!
More so, now that we have the numbers from Ghana, it would be good to know how much Lagos State is paying per delivery as Zipline is launching in the Centre of Excellence soon.
By default or via selfishness, we expect people close to us to work for us free or at infinitesimal amount, else we take the deal elsewhere and pay handsomely; even being thankful to the person/entity for accepting to do the job… Equal pay, equal demand for performance; else you do not have a case.
Maybe we do not like working with those around us, or we simply do not trust them. Whatever is the case, let there be value for money, before it becomes financial malfeasance.