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Zipline Rwanda CEO discusses what he attributes his company’s success to


Zipline is one of the companies in the world that has built a reputation for delivering blood, medication, and supplies to clinics within minutes of ordering, allowing clinics to treat both routine medical conditions and emergencies.

When Zipline began operations in Rwanda in 2016, it was the first African country to use drones to transport goods. Zipline currently operates two distribution centers: one in Muhanga, Shyogwe Sector, and another in Kayonza.

Zipline currently delivers medications to over 400 hospitals and clinics across the province. Zipline has transported over 467,000 deliveries worldwide, including over 167,000 deliveries in Rwanda alone.

Zipline recently renewed its contract with the Rwandan government for a seven-year extension in order to continue expanding its operations in Rwanda.

The company has agreed to expand its services to 11 million Rwandans and to fly 200 million autonomous kilometers by 2029 under this new agreement.

It intends to keep these commitments due to the efforts of its team, led by Shami Eden Benimana, who was appointed CEO of Zipline in Rwanda in November 2021.

In our conversation with the CEO, he stated that being passionate about what he does is what drives his success. He believes that hard work and passion should never be separated.

“For the past 12 years, working hard and being passionate has helped so much to this day,” he said.

Simply put, passion drives you, and hard work keeps you going.

He believes that this mindset is essential for success because passion always drives a person and hard work brings the consistency that is required.

“If you are not passionate about what you do, you will not devote as much time to it as you would if you are.”

That’s why, for him, the best day [at work] is when he meets with people who remind him of what he’s doing and why he’s doing it.

“Work is difficult everywhere, but remembering that you are assisting someone is a very good thing,” he explained.

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.

The finding from a research–Leapfrogging for Last-mile Delivery in Health Care–by the University of Pennsylvania, showed an 88% reduction of in-hospital maternal deaths due to postpartum hemorrhage as a result of Zipline’s logistics and delivery system.

In 2022, 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 percent, 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.

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