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Agency to spend Sh2.8b on system to name roads and label buildings

BUSINESS
By Macharia Kamau | October 25th 2016
By Macharia Kamau | October 25th 2016
BUSINESS
The National Addressing System (NAS), which is being developed by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), will enable authorities to pinpoint where every Kenyan lives and works.PHOTO: COURTESY

The Government will spend an estimated Sh2.8 billion on a system that will give names to all roads, and assign numbers to all buildings and parcels of land.

The National Addressing System (NAS), which is being developed by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), will enable authorities to pinpoint where every Kenyan lives and works.

It is also expected to enable the Government to offer essential services to all Kenyans, including those in informal settlements and rural areas, with ease.

Among the State agencies expected to significantly benefit from such a system are the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

“KRA will increase its tax base because the system will make it easy for them to easily identify businesses and their precise locations,” Broadcast Principal Secretary Sammy Itemere said.

He made the comments yesterday when he inaugurated a steering committee that will oversee the development the system. Mr Itemere added that the system would play an important role in transforming the country into an e-Commerce hub.

ONLINE RETAILERS

“Online retailers will now be able to offer door-to-door deliveries, cab hailing services will be able to locate their passengers with more precision, while food deliveries and supermarket grocery shopping will be made a lot easier,” he said.

This is the second time CA is attempting to develop such a system, after a failed attempt between 2008 and 2010 when it only managed to pilot the system in Nairobi. Currently, only parts of the city have been covered by the system, but needs to be regularised to be in line with the Constitution.

“An effective National Addressing System is the bedrock of e-Commerce. Good addressing and high quality address data constitute an important part of a nation’s infrastructure,” said CA Director General Francis Wangusi.

The Universal Postal Union (UPU) has been offering the communications authority technical assistance on modalities of developing the system. In a preliminary report presented to stakeholders yesterday, UPU said CA would need $28 million (Sh2.8 billion) to have a fully functional system.

It recommends that CA set aside some of the money it is allocated by the Treasury, as well as mobilise funds from county governments. Other sources of funding include income generated by selling value-added NAS services.

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