Ghana is one country where houses and other public properties do not have street signs. Even when they do, they are not clearly evident or visible, especially to those unused to the area, making navigating and finding your way around a challenge.
A new home-grown mobile app, SnooCode may however be set to solve the issue. It seeks to change the way people get around. Where before local landmarks like bars, banks or trees where the basic ways that people found their way around, causing confusion for everyone from ambulance drivers, to bus drivers, taxis and couriers, the SnooCode app generates a unique code for every property in Ghana, pinpointing each specific location with GPS technology.
Basically once you have your new address in form of the code the app uses, you enter it into the application’s mapping service which then finds the best route. Founder of the SnooCode application, Sesinam Dagadu who identifies that it is a radical shift from the way a Ghanaian currently navigates, had this to say;
“[When giving directions] People always say: ‘It’s by the chop bar’, ‘beside the mango tree’ or ‘after the blue kiosk’ and that isn’t the way it should be… I wanted to change that. Without a proper address system, things like ambulance services and food delivery services don’t work. Then there’s a whole class of jobs revolving around delivery industries which simply doesn’t exist,”
Mr. Sesinam Dagadu was raised in Ghana till he was 10, he studied engineering in a U.K university but returned home in between completing his undergraduate and master’s degrees. As to his inspiration for developing the SnooCode app, he relates his struggles while he was working for a bank in Accra and found it extremely difficult to navigate around the capital. Mr Dagadu set up SnooCode in 2011, returning to Ghana from the UK in 2013 to work on the app full-time.
The SnooCode app is not unlike postcodes used in the UK, but whereas that requires a postcode and house address, this just needs the code. The app is free, works without an internet connection and simply requires that everyone in a particular home keep hold of their unique code after its generated.
This SnooCode app has a lot of possibilities in Ghana and other places with the same problem, as its founder enthuses; “Everyone from the individual user who wants to mark the piece of land they have, to the municipal services who want to plot a more efficient way of refuse collection, to public health officials trying to work out the epicentre of an outbreak, it serves them all very seamlessly”.