Coders4Africa have launched a beta version of their latest app Anwani, which helps users create a physical address on an online database. Anwani, which is the Swahili word for “address”, helps users to create, share and store addresses, simplifying the process of giving directions. The app is available on the Google Play Store.

According to the Universal Postal Union, four billion people lack a formal address. As such, the potential for such an app are huge, especially for navigation and service delivery to individual households. At the moment, many of these households rely on landmarks for directions and navigation. The lack of an address system makes the logistics of mail delivery, access to emergency services and  among other services difficult for over half the world’s population.

“Users create a profile with their details, such as their name, mobile number and a picture of the location they want to create an address for. They then set up a pin code to secure the account. The address is then geolocated and saved for the user to share with other individuals, businesses or even government entities “ says Coders4Africa CEO and co-founder Amadou Daffe.

There are similar apps, such as OkHi, which also allows users to set up profiles with their addresses, and the defunct Mocality service, which combined an online directory with a mapping system for businesses.

“The main differentiator between Anwani and similar apps currently on the African market, is our branding into 3 different verticals; Anwani Citizen for individual users to set up their personal addresses, Anwani eBusiness for corporations involved in e-commerce, delivery, and door-to-door marketing, and Anwani eGov, for government agencies that carry out data collection such as polling and population census. The app can also be used to coordinate security activities and they can also use the service to direct emergency services,” adds Kwame Andah, co-founder of Coders4Africa.

Anwani is potentially a game changer, enabling individuals without access to a formal addressing system to share their addresses easily. The app simplifies the logistics of access and navigation, eliminating the need for complex and often confusing directions.

Eric Mugendi Author

Get the best African tech newsletters in your inbox