GNA – President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday took Ghana higher into the digital age, with the launch of an advanced National Digital Property Addressing System that would accelerate the development and formalisation of the country’s economy, at the Accra International Conference Centre.
The innovative system, dubbed “ghanapostGPS”, which is poles ahead of similar systems deployed in the sub-region, is a location based system that would provide the most effective means of identifying every property and location in Ghana, as well as boost emergency services delivery across the country.
At a short ceremony, President Akufo-Addo noted that the informal nature of Ghana’s economy had been a major constraint to her development, saying that, the employment of the ‘ghanapostGPS’ was a “move ever closer to realizing our vision of formalising the Ghanaian economy.”
He said the era where Ghanaians used landmarks as the means of giving directions of the location of a property was over, as the new system would revolutionalize the way things are done in the country.
“The ‘blue kiosk’, the ‘waakye’ seller, the ‘Kofi brokeman’ seller, and ‘that big tree at the junction’ have become reference points for giving out locations. Today marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. We are launching a solution to our location and addressing problems, and this will, ultimately, change the way we do things,” he said.
The President said the ‘ghanapostGPS’ would address the informal nature of the economy, and help broaden the tax base, deepen and widen financial inclusion and deliver services to those most in need.
He said his government has begun 3 initiatives – the launch of the “Ghana Card”, the country’s new National ID; the National Digital Property Addressing System; and next month, the launch of the Interoperable Electronic Platform for the payment of goods and services and electronic transfers across the country.
The project, which would also enable government to execute its policies and plans, as well as provide Ghana with a trustworthy database of addresses, is a partnership between the Ministry of Communications and Ghana Post Company Limited. Vokacom, a Ghanaian Information technology firm designed the system.
Health, Fire and Ambulance services can effectively identify property locations to save lives at a faster rate.
Noting that his government has stayed true to its promise of providing the country with an addressing system, President Akufo-Addo said “we have stayed true to this commitment, and reaffirmed it in this year’s Asempa Budget.
“From today, every land or property will be assigned a unique identifier. This will facilitate improved ownership data and unique identification of properties and persons. A proper addressing of properties will ensure efficient delivery of services for economic development.”
“With this new system, every property in Ghana will have an address and can be accounted for, including the location of the blue kiosk, the ‘waakye’ seller or the ‘koko’ seller.
“The Property Addressing System also means that the ‘koko’ seller can now open a bank account, as he or she will be able to meet the basic requirement to access loan facilities from a bank. The ‘koko’ seller, like many other small businesses, can also grow his or her business,” he said
President Akufo-Addo said the system would enable government to strengthen the health and safety of the public, and assist the law enforcement agencies to deal with crime effectively.
He said the registering of all properties in Ghana would lead to the lowering of the cost of doing business, because “once your address can be located, the risk premium charged by banks will be lower. Businesses can now produce at lower costs, and will have enough funds for reinvestments.”
“We should soon enjoy the advantages of having all security and emergency services responding to situations in efficient and timely manner, to provide critical security and first aid.”
The President pointed out that one cannot obtain the “Ghana Card” without an address, saying, “With the registration for the “Ghana Card” commencing in November, it is my expectation that all individuals and properties will be able to obtain their own unique addresses, as we strive to build a credible national address register.
“The national address database creates an avenue for new businesses and industry. I urge all stakeholders – Ministries, Security Agencies, Health Authorities, Education, Lands Commission, Financial Institutions, Private Sector Operators – to liaise with the Ministry of Communications and Ghana Post, who are the custodians and administrators of the system, to leverage on this technology to enhance their operations,” he added.
The Ghana Water Company Limited, the Electricity Company of Ghana and Local Governments can now plan and collect revenues in a more systematic manner, which makes their business models sustainable as each customer will now be traceable, the President said.