General News of Monday, 30 October 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

Integrate Ghana Post GPS with physical addresses – Franklin Cudjoe

Policy Think Tank, Imani Africa, has emphasized the need for what they term a backward integration into the country’s digital addressing system, Ghana Post GPS.

According to President of Imani Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, government’s quest to create a formal economy through the use of mechanisms such as the digital addressing system and the National Identification system, may be difficult, if there is no means of verifying digital addresses physically.

Franklin Cudjoe told Citi News that an integrated system with means of physical verification, should have been the basis for the digital addressing system.

“The conversion of such coordinates into unique codes as geographically defined for Ghana is in itself a unique thing, and I am saying that is what has been done. The backward integration, which will now mean that we would have to integrate physical addresses into the system, is something that ought to be done. I seriously believe that we should be working on those ones rather, especially when you want to now integrate it into national ID systems.”

His comments follow series of concerns raised about the functionality of Ghana Post GPS, as well as the annual license fees of four hundred thousand dollars, paid to global tech giant Google for navigational services for the addressing system.

Ghana Post GPS can withstand cyber attack -Ursula

Despite these concerns, the Minister for Communications, Ursula Owusu, has indicated that, the Ghana Post system is robust to withstand cyber attack. Speaking to claims by some tech analysts that the data of Ghanaians fed into the system could fall in the hands of hackers, Communications Minister; Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, said appropriate measures that come with the app make it almost impossible to hack.

“The proper firewalls and security features are being built into the system prior to it going live to protect against the very things that we all fear happening. I don’t know what someone else is doing to try to breach the defences that are currently being built – they say the criminals are always one step ahead of us – but the knowledge on cyber security defences currently available today, wherever it is in the world are what we are employing in the system we are deploying.”

Background The addressing system, which was launched by President Akufo Addo two weeks ago to provide an effective means of addressing every location and place in Ghana using an information technology application has been criticized by some experts in the technology space

For instance, President of policy think tank, IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe had described the system as amateurish and not new.

He also questioned the security risk to the data received by the system. “I’ve read quite a number of reviews by industry watchers, and some of the comments they’ve made are not necessarily helpful – to think that you could input just any data and generate an address in itself sounds amateurish. There are basic web portals where you input any kind of data it could reject it, especially when you are filling forms. And to hear that obviously, that it is something with this app is quite troubling,” Franklin Cudjoe added.

Ghana to pay Google $400,000 yearly

It has also emerged that Ghana is to pay tech giant, Google, an amount of $400,000 every year for embedding the company’s online map into the country’s newly designed National Digital Property Addressing System.

This was revealed by the Managing Director of Ghana Post, James Kwofie. Government has however indicated that it does not intend making any more license payment to Google beyond 2017.