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INCULCATING TECHNOLOGY IN STARTUPS & SME’S – DIGITAL ADDRESSING TECHNOLOGY

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Digital addressing technology is a system that helps to Convert GPS coordinates to a more simplified format. According to Wikipedia, Global Positioning System (GPS) is a global navigation satellite system that provides geolocation and time information to a GPS receiver anywhere on or near the earth where there is an obstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites.
In the recent past in Ghana, addressing was a big challenge due to the poor nature of planning in certain parts of rural and urban communities. Getting directions to a business location or a residence was quiet challenging. In 2013, the government began efforts to solve this problem by naming streets to help in that direction. This was also followed by the introduction of the digital addressing system by the current government on October 18, 2017, called the Ghana Post GPS.

Ghana’s SME Space
SME is also known as Small and Medium Scale Enterprises. SMEs have been the backbone of Ghana’s Economic and social development for the past decades. They are the major drivers of job creation, revenue generation and business development in the country. The Ghanaian SME sector can be categorized in these divisions namely; manufacturing, agribusiness, ecommerce, food and beverage, retail, financial services, handy businesses just to mention a few. According to the Registrar General department of Ghana 90% of registered business are SMEs. According to a research report by Ghana Web SMEs contribute an estimated 70% to Ghana’s GDP and also account to 85% of Employment in the Ghanaian manufacturing sector. It is therefore imperative that policies been formulated by government to enhance the growth of SMEs should take into consideration inculcating the use of digital addressing systems since SMEs are a major pillar to catapult the economic growth of Ghana.

Digital addressing Systems
Besides the Ghana Post GPS, there are other digital addressing systems available that are also very useful: Google Maps, What3words, Snoocode are among some of the numerous digital addressing systems that can be accessed on the web and downloaded from Google Play store or Apple App Store. What3words is a geocoding system for the communication of locations with a resolution of three metres, for example Pizarea.com office located in Madina will be called (slurred.circulate.address). Ghana Post GPS is the official digital property addressing system which covers every inch of the country and ensure that all locations in the country are addressed. This allows every location to have a unique code. A location can bear an address like GH-GM012-1048 with the Ghana Post GPS.
Social Media platforms such as Whatsapp and Telegram also allow people and businesses to share their locations by the use of Google Maps.

Benefits of Digital Addressing to SME’s
The benefits of digital addressing are numerous especially to SMEs and startups in Ghana. The kenkey seller, the tailor shop, the provision seller, the hairdresser can use the digital addressing system to generate their unique addresses so their customers can locate them easily. This reduces the hustle that comes with finding locations. Courier services can use digital address given to them by these service providers to pick wares for their clients. The mechanic can locate his client’s vehicles broken down on the road and service them easily. The handy man can visit clients who need services at home just by the use of digital addressing systems.
It also ensures effective time management on the side of business managers or sales personnel who need to close deals with new clients. They will be able to arrive at their meeting location on time.
Ecommerce businesses in Ghana can also integrate digital addressing systems on their platforms so that wares or products are delivered to their clients on time. According to a research by What3Words the last mile of a parcel’s journey reaches or exceeds about 50% cost of the total delivery cost. The longer it takes for the delivery to reach the customer, the more difficult it is to reach that target. In 2015/16 consumers experienced 4.8 million delivery problems, spending 11.8 million hours trying to sort them out. Embracing digital addressing systems by these firms will optimize their operations and improve customer satisfaction. In Ghana pizarea.com is currently using digital addressing systems to deliver meals to their clients. Hundreds of riders are currently been trained on the usage of digital addressing system. This has cut down the start-up’s operation cost significantly.
Global Trends in Digital Addressing usage
Digital addressing Systems have been adopted by countries including: Mongolia, Cote D’Ivoire, South Africa, and Brazil among others. This has helped to unlock the economic potential of these countries and also improve national infrastructure. According to what3words For example in Brazil – Rochina, the largest Favela is a maze of thousands of tiny roads and alleys. The local post company is using what3words to offer 3 word addresses to residents. Residents are able to get their mail and online shopping delivered directly to their homes. In South Africa, a courier service startup is leveraging on digital addressing system to collect essential medicines from hospitals and clinics, then locate patients too sick to make journey themselves.

Conclusion
As we continue to integrate new technologies into our daily lives, the role of precise and reliable addressing systems becomes even more essential. Better addressing enhances the customer experience, delivers business efficiency, and drives growth and supports social and economic development of countries.
Government should also put in place measures to help educate and sensitize the public on the usage of digital addressing systems. I suggest that digital addressing should be a required course in our basic, secondary and tertiary institutions. Also, even as it has already been started by the government, all private and public institutions should have digital addresses at their entrance.

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FDA records 39 staff testing positive for coronavirus

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A statement issued by the Food and Drugs Authority(FDA) has disclosed thirty-nine (39) of its staff have tested positive for Coronavirus out of staff strength of 450.
According to the FDA, the staff who tested positive have been asked to self-isolate.

The FDA added that, despite this new development, it shall continue to render its services to the public.
“The general public is assured that despite this unfortunate development, the FDA shall continue to effectively execute its mandate as a regulatory agency to register and enforce the important, manufacture, distribution and sale of safe and quality products, especially PPEs, Face Masks, Sanitizers, Medicines, Food as well as other medical devices which are now more than ever in the vital fight against COVID-19,” the statement reads.

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COVID-19: Which African airlines are taking off and when?

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Since 25 June, Royal Air Maroc began operating a portion of its domestic flights (Agadir, Dakhla, Laâyoune, and Oujda) from its Casablanca hub, followed by its other hubs, Marrakech and Tangier. The low-cost airline Air Arabia Maroc will also resume operations on the same date, while Air Côte d’Ivoire will reopen for business on 26 June.

However, for many airlines, the situation is less certain. The pan-African carrier ASKY Airlines, which provides service to destinations from Lomé, is waiting for African countries to open their borders before making any announcements. Similarly, Air Algérie has not announced an operations resumption date. Plagued by major financial difficulties, Air Mauritius is set to get back to business on 1 September, whereas RwandAir has suspended its flights until further notice.

On 25 June, Egypt Air said it would resume international flights gradually as of 1 July. The first round from 1 – 7 July will include: Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Amsterdam, Paris, Toronto, and Washington DC (among others).

As of 8 June, South Africa’s Airlink began taking bookings, while Safair began flights on 15 June. Mango, the low-cost airline of the near-bankrupt South African Airways (SAA) group, also resumed domestic flights as of 15 June.

South Africa has banned leisure travel until the 5-phase lockdown is entirely lifted. It is currently at level 3.

Many questions if South African Airways will be able to resume international flights given it was struggling with bankruptcy prior to the pandemic. A vote by SAA creditors has been postponed to July 16.

The gradual reopening of borders

In the intercontinental segment, Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways will be providing service to Paris, Geneva, and Brussels in July, but with a reduced flight schedule. After a controversy sparked by the posting of a fake flight schedule on social media in May, Air France has listed several African capitals in its flight plan for July: Conakry, Cotonou, Douala, Yaoundé, Nouakchott, and Tunis. The airline is currently preparing landing authorization requests for the various countries concerned.

Resurrecting flights from Europe is pinned on both the ability to receive authorization from national civil aviation authorities and the reopening of the Schengen Area. In mid-June, the ECOWAS Ministerial Coordinating Committee for Transport, Logistics, Free Movement, and Trade recommended a gradual reopening of air borders: 15 July for flights between member states, 22 July for flights to non-member African countries and 1 August for intercontinental flights.

These projected dates come up against two obstacles: the health situation is neither clear nor stabilized in several African countries and fears about a second wave remain high in Europe. As a result, no one wants to be responsible for potentially importing cases in either direction.

For passengers, new restrictions are surfacing. For example, Congolese nationals stuck in Paris who want to get on an Air France repatriation flight will have to provide proof that they were tested for COVID-19 before boarding the flight upon their arrival in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire. Once they have disembarked, they will have to undergo another COVID-19 screening and quarantine at a hotel.

Air Senegal targets mid-July for Paris flights

Airlines think it will take a while for businesses to return to pre-pandemic levels. Air Côte d’Ivoire, whose operations are currently limited to domestic destinations (Korogho, San Pedro, Bouaké, Man, and Odienné), accordingly plans on a gradual return to its normal service schedule: in a first phase, 25% of flights will resume, before increasing to 50%, all the while having no intention of giving up its expansion strategy in the long-haul segment.

Another example is that of Air Senegal, which resumed its service to Ziguinchor this past weekend, a destination it will get back to serving daily as of next week. While Senegal’s borders are to remain closed until 30 June, the young company, which sent all of its pilots to France to take a “refresher” flight simulator course, plans, according to our sources, to resume flights to Abidjan (four times a week, initially) and to Praia in mid-July. Air Senegal hopes to get back to operating flights to destinations such as Conakry, Bamako, Casablanca, Barcelona, and Marseille in early August, and, starting in September, Ouagadougou, Niamey, Accra, and Lagos. This means the airline could be operating 80% of its pre-pandemic flights at the end of August. Air Senegal will begin offering daily service to Abidjan in October if traffic allows for it.

The airline will know in the coming days if it will be able to resume its service to Paris in mid-July, as it hopes, with an initial schedule of five flights a week. “We can’t figure out how high demand will be. We don’t want to be in overcapacity, but we assume there will always be a segment of travelers who are flying to visit their loved ones,” says a source from Air Senegal, which is set to receive its two A321s in September and October and was the beneficiary of government grants of 45bn CFA francs (€68.5m), an amount which surpasses its target for the funding round scheduled in 2021.

Long-term schedule reductions

For the main West African operators, the crisis could bring about a more streamlined offering, while just before the pandemic many players were battling over small markets. “There were 320,000 seats available for flights between Abidjan and Dakar in a market with 150,000 to 170,000 passengers. The end result is that planes were operating at between 50% and 70% capacity.

The most predatory airlines will surely be more cautious and no longer operate as many flights as before,” says an executive from a West African carrier, adding that Brussels Airlines suspends its stopovers in Conakry and Ouagadougou when Kenya Airways and Vueling reduce their flight schedules.

What’s more, the financial situation of certain players like Air Burkina and Camair-Co, which have temporarily laid off their employees, makes a quick resumption of service more hypothetical than anything else.

Several firms are currently working on air traffic recovery scenarios for carriers and airports. “Three different realities are possible: traffic will fully resume despite the presence of COVID-19 cases, traffic will resume between certain countries that reopened their borders and traffic will resume without any particular restrictions in the absence of no new COVID-19 cases,” says Jean-Marc Bourreau, Global Director of Aviation at the Canadian firm CPCS. He is not counting on a broad-based rebound of air traffic.

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Man Rapes 6-Year-Old Girl In 7 Thunder Church In Owukpa

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A man identified as Patrick Onoja Igah, a native of Ogwurute Itabono Owukpa, was mercilessly beaten by an angry mob for allegedly raping a 6-year-old girl (name withheld).

IDOMAVOICE gathered that Mr. Patrick, famously known as Omolomo, was caught pants down while having carnal knowledge of the underage at the premises of 7 Thunder Church located in Akparoji.

Irked by his abominable act, some angry youths pounced on him, tied him, and gave him the beating of his life until he fainted.

Patrick, believed to be in his late 30, was handed over to the local vigilante who will hand him over to the police for immediate prosecution.

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