Djibouti opts for what3words

Djibouti opts for what3words

The Republic of Djibouti has adopted what3words as its national postal addressing system. Located in the Horn of Africa, Djibouti is the fifth country in the world to use what3words as an addressing standard for their postal service. The other four countries are Tonga in the South Pacific, Mongolia in Asia, Sint Maarten in the Caribbean, and Cote d’Ivoire on the west coast of Africa.

Djibouti occupies a total area of 23,200 km2 with a population of approximately 850,000 citizens. With only a few named streets, delivering mail is a constant struggle for La Poste Djibouti, the nation’s official postal system.

Until recently, home delivery was restricted to express mail in Djibouti City the capital of the Republic. Any other post would be delivered to centralised PO Boxes, with the recipient responsible for collection.

“Thanks to our partnership with what3words, every place in the country now has a fixed, accurate and immediately assigned address. Each inhabitant living in Balbala or Arhiba, Ali Sabieh or Obock, Randa or Assa Geyla will be able to quickly determine any address, write it on an envelope or communicate it by telephone,” commented Bahnan Ali Maidal, CEO at La Poste Djibouti.

“With our application, individuals and businesses will be able to receive parcels from all over the world. They can sell goods and services throughout the country, insure houses precisely, deliver local products in the middle of the great Bara or on the Goda mountain without losing their way.”

The what3words system divides up the world into uniquely-named 3m x 3m squares which can be used as postal addresses. The system is available both as a mobile app and API integration and works offline without a data connection.

“Our goal has been to create an infrastructure that quickly solves a problem that many countries have been struggling with for years.” said Chris Sheldrick, CEO and Co-Founder of what3words. “La Poste Djibouti are now the fifth country to adopt 3 word addresses within the last 12 months. They have taken the lead and now have a solution that leapfrogs traditional, expensive, and inaccurate street systems. La Poste Djibouti were keen to connect their residents with each other, and the rest of the world. We have worked closely with them for easy implementation and we’re looking forward to doing the same for more regions in the future.”


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