Google Plus Codes: Providing Addresses Across Africa

Google has today announced completion of assigning Plus Codes (digital physical addresses) to businesses and social amenities across Kisumu City, Mbale, Maseno, Majengo and Chavakali. The Plus Code addresses are now usable on Google Maps, both online and offline enabling provision of digital and non-digital services to traditionally underserved communities that lack proper locational addresses.

The announcement follows the signing of a collaboration agreement between Google Plus Codes  with Kisumu and Vihiga county governments to carry out pilots of 20,000 addresses per county to showcase Plus Codes live to the delegations set to attend the 9th Africities edition taking place in Kisumu between  17th to 21st May 2022. 

H.E Prof Anyang Nyong’o, Governor of Kisumu County said “The smart city of the future must incorporate technology in all aspects of life. That is why we need Plus Codes in a city like Kisumu. The trail of history has shown that technology has been the biggest prime mover of changes in the world as we go. And making problems solvable in a much faster and easier time than before. 

Africities is the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa’s flagship event that strengthens the role of local and regional governments in the development of the continent, and helps build the integration and unity of Africa from its territories. The previous 8th Africities edition, held in Marrakesh from 20 to 24 November 2018 in Morocco, registered attendance topped a record of 8,300 participants.

The implementation exercise, conducted by the Google Plus Code team, includes oversight leads from Kisumu and Vihiga county governments tasked with facilitating the exercise that will culminate in the enactment of necessary legislation changes needed to activate address use.

Communications & Public Affairs Manager, Kenya Sharon Machira said; “Working with local authorities in Kenya is one of our  go-to market approaches for Plus Codes in Sub Saharan Africa. The partnership with several governments and non-governmental organisations is aimed at deepening adoption of Plus Codes as addresses in various cities in Kenya and across Africa.”

Google Plus Codes team has also confirmed participation at the summit and has extended their collaboration with Kisumu County to expand the addressing exercise to cover 60,000 more properties.