Ghana won’t pay Google for address system after 2017 – Andah

Government does not intend to make any more license payments to Google, beyond 2017, for embedding the company’s online map into the country’s newly designed National Digital Property Addressing System, Ghana Post GPS.

The management of Ghana Post had announced that Ghana is to pay Google an amount of $400,000 as a licensing fee annually, for making use of the tech giant’s Google Maps platform.

But speaking on The Big Issue on Citi FM, the Deputy Communications Minister, George Andah, noted that “there are other solutions that are going to come down the line.”

He also intimated that, the fact that government is making the license payment for a single year was an indicator of the fact that an alternative was being worked on.

“If you are using Google Maps for 10 years, then you pay Google Maps a fee for 10 years… We intend that within the years, we would have to come out with the right solution that we want.”

In the government’s “current plan” this payment of $400,000 will be the “[first and last],” according to the Minister.

On the steps being put in place in this regard, Mr. Andah said, there was “an interministerial committee that is looking at harmonising the work that the Ministry of Local government and Rural Development has done as far as street naming is concerned.”

Google has not captured all the streets in Ghana, and Mr. Andah said “some upgrades needed to be done.”

The National Digital Property Addressing System, also known as the Ghana Post GPS, is 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 however been criticized by some experts in the technology space as well as some civil society organizations.

The $2.5 million covers the back-end solution, data analytics, firewalls, servers, the aforementioned Google license, marketing and publicity as well as technical support.

There is also GHc1.7 million VAT factored into the cost which goes back to the government.

By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana