Digital address system will check corruption — Vokacom

BY: Doreen Andoh
 Nana Osei Afrifa (left), Chief Executive Officer of Vokacom, being interviewed by Mrs Doreen Andoh, a journalist of the Daily Graphic, in Accra. Picture: EDNA ADU-SERWAA
Nana Osei Afrifa (left), Chief Executive Officer of Vokacom, being interviewed by Mrs Doreen Andoh, a journalist of the Daily Graphic, in Accra. Picture: EDNA ADU-SERWAA

The Ghanaian information technology (IT) company Vokacom, which designed the National Digital Property Address System, otherwise known as GHPostGPS, is optimistic that the successful integration of the system into the operations of all state agencies will significantly help reduce corruption.

Vokacom believes that using the system to facilitate the delivery of passports, driving licences and other public documents and services will help reduce human contacts which usually are conduits for the perpetration of corruption.

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Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vokacom, Nana Osei Afrifa, said the GHPostGPS, when combined with other technological initiatives, would help reduce corruption and promote a better management of the economy.

“In the advanced jurisdictions where similar systems are used, people apply for services and bid for contracts online and the products or documents are delivered to the provided digital addresses and so there are few human contacts to demand financial favours before services are delivered or after,” he said.

GHPostGPS


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The National Digital Property Address System, otherwise known as GHPostGPS, is a global addressing system which divides Ghana into grids of 5mx5m squares and assigns each one a unique address known as a digital address. With this system, land and other properties will get permanent digital addresses which come with a lot of benefits.

Vokacom is partnering the Ghana Post Company Limited to roll it out, with the National Information Technology Agency (NITA) hosting the data.

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Nana Afrifa said the process to successfully integrate the system was ongoing and called on stakeholders to support it.

He asked those who were yet to generate their digital addresses to do so as soon as possible to increase their visibility and enhance their operations, among other benefits.

He said the initiative formed part of the government’s agenda of promoting effective governance and formalisation of the economy.

“Its enormous benefits will begin to play out loud when the system is fully integrated with the work of essential services, including crime fighting, banking, firefighting, ambulance services, land registration and courier services,” he said.

On how far Vokacom had been able to deliver the contract it was executing, Nana Afrifa said 3,700 out of the 4,000 public buildings and popular buildings nationwide under the contract had been embossed with their digital addresses.

“So far, implementation has gone remarkably well; we have recorded over 500,000 downloads and over seven million usages responding to varying needs,” he said.

Nana Afrifa said Phase Two of the project, which involved the tagging of all other properties nationwide, was being undertaken by Ghana Post on request for a fee.

Fine-tuning

Nana Afrifa said currently his outfit was monitoring the usage of the application, basically to collect feedback that would enable it to fine-tune the system to make it better to respond to national needs.

“We track how many times people are using it and for what needs they were using it, as well as customer complaints and needs, and we continue to fine-tune the system,” he said.

He said although high downloads were being recorded, what was of priority to the company was the frequency of the usage and the feedback.

Nana Afrifa said although people were obsessed with the application, the generation of the addresses was what mattered.

“So my job is done if all structures and spaces in the country have digital addresses. The app is just the easiest conduit to interface with the system and know your address without consulting managers of the app,” he added.

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