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UNDERSTANDING GHANA’S DIGITAL ADDRESSING SYSTEM

Ghana’s digital addressing system has been launched with lots of Ghanaians looking forward it in anticipation of an easier means of acquiring data and getting access to various locations. This is unlike the current system where people use landmarks ranging from trotro stations, trees, bars, markets and kiosks to share information on where people and property can be located. The new system is expected to provide an advanced and accurate means of acquiring data and finding locations for many purposes.

Launched by President Akufo-Addo in Accra, the National Digital Address System, called ‘ghanapostGPS’ is managed by the Ministry of Communication and Ghana Post and. According to the government, every property in Ghana can be accounted for, and small businesses will be able to meet the  basic requirements of accessing certain services such as getting access to a loan from the bank.

Despite the positives and how some Ghanaians look forward to the new system in earnest, others are concerned about who is implementing the system. The system was designed by Ghanaian information technology firm, Vokacom, but the developer community and some tech start-ups in the country are disappointed about the inability of tech start-up SnooCode to be considered for the implementation of the system since SnooCode has been operating a similar system for some years now.

This said, it is important to understand how the new system works.

GhanapostGPS; How it works

  • Users must install the app on Google play store on their android device
  • Search for Ghana Post
  • Download and Install the App
  • Open the App
  • Provide personal details including name and phone number in the App as required
  • Enter their name of a location and get the corresponding address to that location. A location which has not been entered into the system already can be entered by clicking on the ‘save location’ button.
  • Click the share button if you want to share your location with your contacts or friends 
  • It provides direction from your location to your destination and allows you to choose which app to use to complete the process
  • Select the map to see a map for your location 

What is SnooCode and how similar/different is it compared to the new ghanapostGPS?

SnooCode basically runs on similar principles of making digital addressing accessible to users. When users install the app on their phone, they are able to generate a 6 number code, called a SnooCode. This SnooCode is basically the individual’s digital address. With this code, users can share their digital address with others to help them locate a place. However, unlike the ghanapostGPS, SnooCode currently does not run solely on internet connectivity, which makes it convenient for people who are offline and live in rural areas or perhaps out of data to access the app and its features. SnooCode also runs on both Android and iOS.

There are concerns as to why government did not use the existing system which SnooCode has developed since they provide the same services. This is a reigning debate which some tech start-ups, app developers and even a cross section of the Ghanaian population have brought up. Either way, we hope the current digital addressing system is efficient and easy to use.

In case you haven’t started the experience, you can visit the Google Play Store on your android device to download the ghanapostGPS. The app is yet to be integrated into the App store for iOS users. You could also check out SnooCode on both Google Play Store and the App Store on your iOS device. Ghanaians are encouraged to download and install the app to help construct an address database for efficiency in institutions and systems. Various sectors including business are also encouraged to leverage on this new technology to improve their operations.

 

 

October 20, 2017

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