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CDG Takes On Govt In Matter Of $400,000 Payment To Google
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Coalition for Democratic Governance (CDG) has challenged the decision by government to pay tech giants, Google, an amount of $400,000 for embedding the company’s online map into Ghana’s newly designed National Digital Property Addressing System, Ghana Post GPS.

In a statement signed by Chief Convener, Dr. E.K. Hayford, the CDG described the payment to VOKACOM as ‘fraudulent, expensive and an embarrassment to technology and innovation.’

Consequently CDG in the statement urged government to set the records straight on how much the country will be paying annually to Google.

According to the Managing Director of Ghana Post, James Kwofie, Ghana will be paying Google, an amount of $400,000 for embedding the company’s online map into Ghana’s newly designed National Digital Property Addressing System in an App which has already cost the country US$2.5 million to purchase by Vodakom whom CDG indicates lacks the experience and ability to execute such an epic project.

According to CDG, the Ghana Post GPS application, both in the browser and the mobile apps embed a piece of code from Google, specifically from their maps platform, which allows Ghanaians to locate their homes and generate digital addresses therefore embedding this Google Maps API (Application Programming Interface) cannot cost the nation $400,000 annually as explained by the Head of Ghana Post, Mr. James Kwofie.

“It is important to note that Vokacom which is partnering Ghana Post GPS to roll out the Digital Address System has no previous experience in rolling out such a system anywhere in the world,” the statement noted.

Disclosing the findings from investigations conducted so far since the launch of the digital addressing system, CDG revealed that Google allows businesses, governments, big organisations and anyone making lots of use of their Google Maps API to pay a fee depending on size and usage.

“Google regulations, using their API in a mobile application, either Android or IOS, attract charges. Example: “Default 1,000 free requests per day, increased to 150,000 free requests per day after identity verification. Free uplifts for complying applications,” it explained.

“That is, if the application of a legitimate entity (such as Ghana Post GPS), complies with the proper use as stipulated by Google; Google would allow an almost unlimited amount of requests per day for their API. Similarly, by using Google Map API for website mobile application, Ghana Post GPS team is not using any specialised, reserved premium option of the Google API.”

The statement further explained that “what Ghana Post is using is just the same as the tens of thousands of individual developers around the world use without payment.

…Therefore, Google is officially saying we do not have to pay, when API is used in a mobile application. CDG by this revelation wants to know why the country is paying the US$400,000.00 and for which services? It is worth noting that the use of Google Maps API for mobile, purposes is literally free,” it said.

Source: today

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