From left to right: Aerobotics COO Tim Willis and Head of Global Communications Zach Giglio. Photo: Supplied

DURBAN – Agriculture company Aerobotics on Tuesday was named Best Technology Company of the Year 2019 at the first annual Africa Tech Week. 

Africa Tech Week was held over the course of two days and featured technology thought leaders and innovators from around the African continent. The Best Technology Company of the Year award was the headline award of the ceremony.

The award recognises technological achievements with a sound strategy in place to ensure successful delivery of its commercial advantages and build shareholder value. Criteria for the award included demonstrating an outstanding and innovative product or service and relevant achievements the company has received over the years in the tech industry. Aerobotics Chief Operating Officer Tim Willis received the award on behalf of Aerobotics.

"We are honoured and excited that Aerobotics was recognised by such an esteemed panel of judges as the best technology company of the year. This is not only proof that the hard work we are putting into helping farmers and the agriculture industry is paying off, but also that some of the best technology in Africa and the world is coming out of Cape Town," said Willis.

The Best Technology Company of the Year award featured a list of impressive finalists that have made a significant impact in their respective industries through technology. Judges for this award included Chief Executives, CIOs, heads of innovation and other technology leaders from around Africa.

Earlier in the day, Aerobotics CTO Benji Meltzer gave a presentation to the conference on developing drone technology to acquire better data for analysis by artificial intelligence algorithms for business success.

"There is a lot of impressive, impactful technology coming out of Africa. To be named the ‘Best Technology Company of the Year’ at Africa Tech Week with an impressive list of finalists means a lot to everyone at Aerobotics," said Meltzer. 

Aerobotics processes data from drone and satellite imagery through its proprietary artificial intelligence software to discover and analyse problems, pests and diseases affecting individual trees or vines on a farm. In addition to health, the software also measures size, height and canopy volume. This type of highly accurate data empowers farmers to make better decisions in the field, so they can increase their yield and produce a more balanced crop.

The Africa Tech Week is a conference, exhibition and awards for African tech professionals. Africa Tech Week promotes digital transformation by connecting government, corporates and fresh talent in the tech industry. The event provides opportunities to interact with the business leaders shaping the way to the future.

“The main focus of Africa Tech Week is educating businesspeople, entrepreneurs and governments operating in Africa to ensure we can overcome the unique challenges faced on the continent,” said Ralf Fletcher, Chief Executive of Africa Tech Week. Using technology to take advantage of the opportunities available in the modern world, we can ensure we survive and thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

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