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Nairobi now firmly on the digital map

Kenya , 27 Feb 2023

Nairobi will begin rollout of its physical address and street naming system, relevant servers and logs, to enable digital navigation in support of a broader government plan to ease the regulatory framework for e-commerce.

Governor of Kenya’s capital Johnston Sakaja said: “We are also closely working with Google to make it easier to identify and locate businesses, homes and landmarks for ease of e-commerce.”

Nairobi Deputy Governor Njoroge Muchiri added: “The socio-economic foundation of a city is a physical addressing and street naming system. Once such a system is in place, it enhances inclusivity, e-commerce, security, and utility systems.”

He believes the system will strengthen Nairobi’s reputation for commercial competition and livability.

“Once put into practice, Nairobi will join Kigali, Rwanda, as (only) the second city to have such,” Muchiri said.

In 2012, Kigali began its street naming exercise which made the city easy to navigate on apps such as Google maps.

NAS programme

Kenya has tabled legislation to introduce a Naming Address System (NAS) programme, under management of the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA).

The National Addressing Bill 2021, which will be used to formally introduce the programme, remains under review in parliament.

If enacted, it will establish a national naming address framework to guide counties on how to implement a uniform street and building naming system.

However, Nairobi has taken the first step in acquiring a digital physical address and street naming system, and not yet clear if-and how this will integrate with a national system. 

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