Today, an address is considered part of a person’s identity. According to the United Nations Development Programme’s Commission on the Legal Empowerment of the Poor, 4 billion people are excluded from the rule of law because they do not have a legal identity. This lack of identity is often a barrier to the enjoyment of their rights as citizens. Setting up a Postcode and addressing infrastructure is one step towards tackling this issue.
Since the launch of the “Addressing the world – An address for everyone” initiative in 2009 by the UPU, there have been a series of international activities to raise awareness of the value of address infrastructure as a key infrastructure of countries. These activities demonstrated unequivocally that it is almost impossible for individuals to be part of society without a legal identity, and that establishing such an identity often depends on having an official address. They also stressed that urban development, economic growth and the provision of basic services are inextricably linked to the existence of sound address infrastructure, in urban and rural areas alike. Addresses are a key element in aiding the delivery of policies at national and international levels in support of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly with regard to governance, rule of law, poverty reduction, disease prevention and the provision of basic services such as electricity, sanitation and water.
Aware of the importance of addresses as highlighted above, the National Postcode and Addressing System Policy has been developed to guide in development of a Robust Postcode and addressing System. It should be noted that the different components of the System fall under several sectors and different mandates in Government; this policy also aims at creating working synergies and harmonizing human and material resources from the different sectors.
The guiding principles for Policy include: Provision of an address for all; Promotion of collaboration between all stakeholders; Promotion of Public Private Partnerships; Promotion of environmental protection; Promotion of policy synergies; and Ensuring mainstreaming of gender, needs of persons with disabilities and other marginalized groups; among others.