Ghana is to pay tech giant, Google, an amount of $400,000 every year for embedding the company’s online map into the country’s newly designed National Digital Property Addressing System, Ghana Post GPS.
This was revealed by the Managing Director of Ghana Post, James Kwofie on Friday, at a press conference organized by the Ministry of Communications following criticisms of the digital address system.
Mr. Kwofie made the revelation when he was giving the breakdown of the amount spent on the system which was earlier announced to be $2.5 million.
“In terms of the cost, what is being paid for is the back-end solution, data analytics, hardware i.e. the firewalls and servers, Google license, marketing and publicity as well as technical support, and GHc1.7 million VAT which goes back to the government. Contrary to popular believe, Google charges when you use their systems for local purposes or commercial activities. The Google license fee at the moment is $400,000 per year – that is the enterprise package,” he added.
GHc3.5 million blown on publicity
He added that, an amount of GHc3.5 million was also spent on publicizing the system. “Publicity like I said, is GHc3.5 million, and there are very expensive firewalls, we can’t say how many, but that also cost a lot of money,” he added
President Akufo-Addo about two weeks ago launched the National Digital Property Addressing System, also known as the Ghana Post GPS in Accra, 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 been criticized by some experts in the technology space as well as some civil society organizations.
For instance, president of policy think tank, IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe, described the system as amateurish and not new.
He also questioned the security implications of the data received by the system.
“I’ve read quite a number of reviews by industry watchers, and some of the comments they’ve made are not necessarily helpful – to think that you could input just any data and generate an address in itself sounds amateurish. There are basic web portals where you input any kind of data it could reject it, especially when you are filling forms. And to hear that obviously, that it is something with this app is quite troubling,” Franklin Cudjoe added.
No data breach
But speaking at the press conference, Nana Osei Afrifa, Chief Executive Officer for Vokakom, the company that designed the app, assured that the data accepted by the system is safe.
He added that, ample measures have also been put in place to forestall any data breach.