Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A continental digital address platform has been unveiled to purposely ease the location problems associated with the least developed countries.
Known as the Africa Digital Address System, ADAS, the platform developed by a Ugandan based tech startup seeks to combat the challenges of providing services to people without proper formal addresses, according to the developers. With it, anyone can create, personalize and possess simple and unique addresses.
Yusuf Kayiwa, the lead developer of the app says African communities have similarities in the way their settlements are structured and face the same issues related to traceability or finding locations.
“Urban and peri-urban settlements in Uganda, Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria and many other African countries share the same characteristics. There is a challenge when identifying someone’s location,” says Kayiwa. This, according to him, is mainly in the peri-urban and rural settings, where most of the people live on unnamed streets, which hinders service delivery, or makes it slow and even expensive.
The challenge becomes greater with the growing reliance on the digital space in multiple sectors like commerce, health, and travel, among others. Kayiwa says even online service companies like sales platforms that sprouted during the lockdown were greatly affected by poor or non-dependable address system.
The thought of giving an address to someone whom you may not know or trust may cause discomfort to would-be users in terms of security. But Kayiwa says there is a way around this, where one can create a temporary address or even decide to direct the other party to a place convenient for the user.
“One can create an address that’s unique to where they are standing at a particular moment, or even for a room in a large mall. ADAS provides permanent digital addresses for people’s homes, offices or businesses premises as well as temporary addresses you can use on the go or during an emergency situation.”
He adds that with ADAS, anyone can create a digital address for exactly where they are, even along the way if they get an emergency. The service provider will then be able to locate them using GPS and reduce chances of getting lost and wasting time’’ The app also does not need one to have a phone permanently in order to use it.
The digital address created at the beginning will no longer require the use of a phone to be accessible, provided the other party has a phone.
“This also means that the ADAS app is a multipurpose platform that can be used to hail a ride, call a mechanic when a car breaks down, direct a food delivery service provider, call a medical worker for drug replenishment like ARVs or any other services and so much more.
“This service is so easy to use. The address is created in less than a minute and has the benefit of pinpoint accuracy. We have seen complaints of users being misled by other location apps but with ADAS, we are sure to guide your way” Kayiwa explains.
The safety of the user’s biodata, Yusuf says they had it in mind, that privacy is important. He says that ADAS addresses are created with a random numeric code. Therefore, whereas one’s code could be UG-273-205, the next-door neighbour’s code could be something like UG-408-012.
This then would make it difficult for anyone to know another’s address unless it has been shared. This address is as easy to remember as your phone number. On the marketability of the app, Kayiwa says since the app is continental, there are more than 350 million properties that are not mapped and these provide a vast market.
The ADAS APP is available on Playstore and App store via www.adas.app