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Opinions of Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Columnist: Asenso-Boakye, Francis

GhCode - Postal Code System For Ghana

GhCode: A POSTCODE SYSTEM TO REVOLUTIONALISE GHANA’S DEVELOPMENT

The birth of a postcode system in Ghana Urban GeoVizual Solutions (UGS), a new GIS and Urban Planning Consultancy based in Accra, is launching GhCode. GhCode is a postcode system, which has been developed to suit the uniqueness, form, dynamics and complexities of Ghana’s cities and towns. The inventor, Anthony Tuffour (CEO of UGS), is a GIS practitioner and Urban Planner with over 10 years experience.

The GhCode comprises of 6- 8 alphanumeric characters which enables accurate location of properties and places in Ghana, and has been successfully piloted in Accra.

Below is an example of GhCode which has been integrated with the address system in Ghana:

GhCode House Number Street Name Neighbourhood MMDA Region

A2CT 5CS 20 Josif Broz Tito Ave Cantonments AMA Greater Accra

A1AC 91MP 23 Independence Link Accra Central AMA Greater Accra

Benefits of GhCode include:

• Enabling emergency services (Fire Service, Ambulance Services and the Police Service) to easily locate places.

• Urban Planning and Development.

• Utilities Planning and Billing.

• The ability of the postal service of Ghana and other courier services to undertake door to door delivery of posts, whilst at the same time providing employment to solve some of the high rates of unemployment in Ghana. The GhCode has received positive reactions from some Ghanaians. According to Magnus Lincoln Quarshie (President elect of Ghana Institution of Engineers); “…this can create nearly 1500 to 2000 jobs in the postal service alone. Postmen on bikes, foot and motorbikes doing postal deliveries. Bank rates to go down drastically as it become easy to track people living in the city, improve taxi services.”

Dr. Ohene Sarfo (a Development Consultant) also said; "This GhCode system is being proposed at a very important time in the life of this country when we need to resolve once and for all the issue of household and property addressage. Anthony has shown that the Ghanaian professional is as capable as anyone else and given the opportunity will deliver. It is my hope that functionaries of the state will see merit in this address system that has been developed; to rope it in their considerations of planning, businesses, development and governance".

According to Francis Asenso-Boakye, a development policy analyst: the GhCode is a major breakthrough in addressing the problem of asymmetric information associated with informal economies and the credit market such as banks and micro finance institutions. It will also revolutionalise revenue collection in Ghana especially in the informal sector as every small business can be located in every corner of the country.

As a goodwill gesture and for the good of all, GhCode will be released to be used free of charge by the Ghana Fire service.

Further details can be found at a dedicated website focussed on the roll out of GhCode across the country: www.ghcode.net Anthony Tuffour is thrilled about this key contribution which is crucial to and will revolutionalise the socio economic development of the nation.

Note: Anthony Tuffour (Geographic Information Systems Technical Manager & Urban Planner) has an MSc in Geographic Information Science (GIS) and MSc in Spatial Planning from University College London (UCL). His interests lie in the interface between GIS and Urban Design, Urban Planning, and the Use of Open Source GIS technologies.

Tel: 00447958305342

Email: tuffoura@gmail.com & tuffoura@yahoo.co.uk