If you were to visit my place in Ghana, I would use landmarks to instruct you; I live in Dome near Achimota mall, close to Heavy Do chop bar and the market. I would tell you of necessary lefts and rights. Perhaps I would warn you of an unfinished road or an exposed sewage drain. In some ways the most basic elements of urban development have eluded one of Africa’s most developed nations and stands as an example of poor organization, prioritization of corruption over progress and a populace that has become too comfortable with an all too slow pace toward progress.  Ghana has made great gains but if we are to be honest the bar of comparison is far lower than what Ghana can, and should achieve; and so she has become complacent and lazy. Radio personalities loudly and passionately discuss and lambast those they see as responsible but still a nation speaks instead of acting and a nation painfully underachieves.

There are benefits and drawbacks to everything, including having a shortage of the most basic systems and structures; in fact there is only one truly bonafide advantage I can think of. When you are not anchored to major and sprawling systems, you are free to access what is best and accept newer technologies to choose the best options available at the time. Ghana ridiculously has no fully integrated postal address system (to its shame). So when the opportunity to use new GPS based technology via an application that provides the end user with an easy way to receive a postal address arrives, you seize it.  The address number resembles what would appear on a license plate. You only have to stand outside your door and initiate a 10 second GPS search. Emergency services, postal services and basic social services can now be easily and effectively provided with a new level of accuracy that surpasses many more systems in more advanced (in terms of infrastructure) nations.

“Law enforcement agencies can easily assess addresses more effectively in order to deal with crime. Health, fire and ambulance services can effectively locate property locations in order to save lives at a faster rate,” President Akufo-Addo said.

Ghana is currently experiencing a renewed sense of pride and a cautious optimism due to a newly seated President who seems to have abruptly shunned corruption as his major call to office. President Nana Akufo-Addo seems intent on pushing Ghana forward out of the catacombs of complacency and neglect. The truth is that no one technology or product alone will ensure the progress or the ushering in of a nation to the highest of global and societal standards. This application is not a silver bullet but rather a step in the right direction. I opened a bank account in Ghana and when there I am living in a new area in Accra, the area has not been assigned a street name or number yet. When I had to fill in my address, I had to literally use landmarks and draw a map. Needless to say, this is unacceptable by today’s standards but is common place in Ghana. If the new digital GPS postal system can be used and referenced by commercial institutions as well as emergency services, Ghana may find itself with a much more advanced standard of living and at a higher standard of doing business. Most of all, this nation may find itself with a system that is more advanced than many others in rest of the world and more readily apt to embrace such technologies by having less old and cumbersome infrastructures to replace. Many developing nations should be taking note.

 

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