Digital address system: Ghana to pay Google $400,000 yearly

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, Ghana Post GPS.

This was revealed by the Managing Director of Ghana Post, James Kwofie on Friday, at a press conference organized by the Ministry of Communications following criticisms of the digital address system.

Mr. Kwofie made the revelation when he was giving the breakdown of the amount spent on the system which was earlier announced to be $2.5 million.

“In terms of the cost, what is being paid for is the back-end solution, data analytics, hardware i.e. the firewalls and servers, Google license, marketing and publicity as well as technical support, and GHc1.7 million VAT which goes back to the government. Contrary to popular belief, Google charges when you use their systems for look-up purposes or commercial activities. The Google license fee at the moment is $400,000 per year – that is the enterprise package,” he added.

GHc3.5 million blown on publicity

He added that, an amount of GHc3.5 million was also spent on publicizing the system.

“Publicity like I said, is GHc3.5 million, and there are very expensive firewalls, we can’t say how many, but that also cost a lot of money,” he added


President Akufo-Addo about two weeks ago launched the National Digital Property Addressing System, also known as the Ghana Post GPS in Accra, aimed at providing an effective means of addressing every location and place in the country, using an information technology application.

The app, which government said cost the country $2.5 million has been criticized by some experts in the technology space as well as some civil society organizations.

 Managing Director of Ghana Post, James Kwofie.

Managing Director of Ghana Post, James Kwofie.

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

He also questioned the security implications of 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.

No data breach

But speaking at the press conference, Nana Osei Afrifa, Chief Executive Officer for Vokakom, the company that designed the app, assured that the data accepted by the system is safe.

He added that, ample measures have also been put in place to forestall any data breach.

By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/


  1. This whole Government app thing is a senseless initiative. It will not serve the interest of Ghanaians. Why cant Government simply name and number streets first? Politicians dont want to do the simple things that will benefit the
    people but they always want to fool the masses.

    1. How many people in Ghana own android phones?

    2. How many people can afford airtime/internet bundles to find streets?

    3. How many Ghanaians can read and write?

    4. So if you are looking for a street and your internet is off, you go lost?

    5. If Google earth, google maps and other map apps are available for free,
    why is our Government paying millions of $$ for it and trying to fool

    Government should apologize to the people for the gross negligence and clueless incompetence. This is not worth it. Please simply work on inner city roads, name and number streets logically. There are so many free GPS systems available and people will find their own way around. Its such a shame.

    • This is an assessing system, not a navigation system. It’s only using data provided by google. This app is meant to give properties added was tags to enable Ghana Post deliver mails and information to the rightful owners. If you think you’ve got a better solution, at least understand the problem. Peace!!!

    • WOW, I can’t believe that some people in this 21st century will kick against digital technology. Always shouting what about people in the village. Wake up bro and be constructive.

      • Ikenna, actually, you got it wrong. The entire Ghana is still a village and we need to that fits the village. Technology should be appropriate and should meet the needs and capacities of the people. Otherwise, its useless. We lack the fundamentals of development and you want to go to the moon. What I am seeing is like trying to fit a fast Mercedes engine into a tractor and expecting same results. Look at our roads; even in the middle of Accra. Its all a window dressing. If you go to some parts of Spintex, you will wonder if this is Ghana. Go in the air look down. Its all red soil. Government should fix the inner city roads, name and number the streets, then a digital address system begin to make sense. But even that, for the reasons I listed above, that whole thing will benefit a few if at all. I will leave the discussion on the security risks, veracity of the addresses, data protection etc to another session.

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