Kenya is working on a comprehensive national numbering and address system to improve accessibility and foster economic activities.
The Communications Authority (CA) is in the process of setting up a committee that will begin ground works in all 47 counties to ensure sensitisation on importance of uniform mapping.
The system whose timelines and cost will be projected as consultations progress, will incorporate; naming and numbering of streets, properties, buildings as well as parcels of land.
“People do not have confidence in delivery of goods remotely, the model will enhance confidence in the use of e-commerce,” said CA Director-General Francis Wangusi in a briefing to initiate the mapping process, “Different counties are naming their systems differently therefore there is no coordinated approach towards this.”
Statistics by the Courier Industry Association of Kenya (CIAK) show that lack of appropriate mapping in Kenya has slowed down the growth in e-commerce. In Kenya alone, miss-deliveries owing to lack of clear addresses amount to 17 per cent, delayed deliveries are at 58 per cent and non-deliveries are at 25 per cent.
“One would say that Google Maps already exits and will enhance deliveries, but it only works when there is a proper address system,” said Mr Geoffrey Mwove chairman of CIAK, “Kenyan citizens are among the invisible 4 billion people worldwide whose packages are lost daily because of unclear mapping systems.”
Machakos County had last year began a mapping process that would see its 300,000 households and streets named and mapped. The CA however said that all counties will have to adhere to the uniform plan which will be agreed upon by all counties and physical planners in the nationwide drive.
“We give frameworks on how counties should do naming, we will then approve a roadmap that will even be gazetted for six months,” said Mr Wangusi, “even the street names done in Nairobi will be reviewed and put in a format accepted nationally.”