NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 9 – The government is set to launch the National Address System project, which is expected to boost e-commerce significantly.
ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru says the project will involve naming and numbering of streets and properties and coding to facilitate easy identification and location of such places on the ground.
“The project also involves the development of digitised maps for use in the management of settlements and urban communities. This journey began a while back and this time around we are committed to delivering it,” said Mucheru while speaking during the 143rd World Post Day celebrations in Nairobi.
Mucheru added that the NAS system will eliminate addressing confusion and create and maintain a standard addressing system in Kenya. It will also spur economic growth, particularly in regards to e-commerce and small and medium enterprises.
As at March 2017, the value of mobile commerce stood at 290.5 million transactions valued at Sh627.4 billion, according to statistics from the Communication Authority of Kenya.
Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics also shows that the e-commerce market in Kenya was worth around Sh1.8 trillion in December 2016 with internet penetration of 87.9 per cent and 39.6 million users; making Kenya one of the African countries poised for e-commerce.
For the system to work, county governments will be charged with, among other things, ensuring that deployment of the county addressing system is consistent with the national addressing standards.
Roads and highway authorities will also ensure that road naming and display of addresses, as may be appropriate, conforms to the certified national addressing standards and systems.
“The absence of an efficient numbering system has presented numerous challenges especially in the delivery of goods and services in Kenya. A precise and continuously updated national addressing system would ease the delivery of goods and services, to include mail and packages, and yield substantial cost reductions across the board – from businesses to government to civil society – through improved efficiency on account of reliability,” he added.
– A decline in sending letters –
Meanwhile, a total of 8.2 million letters were sent during the first quarter of 2017, marking a 48.3 percent decline from 15.8 million letters sent during the previous quarter.
Mucheru attributed the decline to the new technologies that have dominated the digital space.
International incoming letters were also on a decline, dropping to 964,013 from 2.2 million letters the previous year while total courier items sent locally declined to stand at 1.63 million.