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February 20th, 2017
Djibouti Chooses what3words as National Addressing System

February  2017 – what3words, the multi-award winning addressing system, has been adopted as an addressing standard by La Poste de Djibouti. Located in the Horn of Africa Republic of Djibouti is the fifth country in the world to accept 3 word addresses to improve its national infrastructure.

Djibouti occupies a total area of just 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 de 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. Even with the PO box system, inconsistent addressing meant that postal service in the East African nation is slow. International mail is often misdirected, with some items failing to arrive entirely.

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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.

Bahnan Ali Maidal, CEO at La Poste de Djibouti

what3words provides an easy-to-use, accurate, and fixed address for every 3m x 3m square in the world. By making this addressing system part of the country’s national infrastructure, La Poste de Djibouti is helping unlock the region’s economic growth and social development.

Using 3 word addresses for Djibouti’s postal service is practical and user friendly for residents, and offers significant cost savings for the company. It provides an easy reference for international mail and immediately enables home delivery – something that has been out of reach for La Poste de Djibouti since its foundation.

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.

Bahnan Ali Maidal, CEO at La Poste de Djibouti

To inform consumers about their 3 word address, La Poste de Djibouti is planning an expansive education campaign, including visiting customers’ homes, providing brochures, flyers and other informational material.

Our goal has been to create an infrastructure that quickly solves a problem that many countries have been struggling with for years. La Poste de 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 de 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 countries in the future.

Chris Sheldrick, CEO and Co-Founder of what3words.

Available in thirteen languages, including English, French and Spanish, what3words is used by individuals, delivery companies, navigation tools, governments, logistics firms, travel guides and NGOs. It is more precise than traditional addresses, simpler than descriptions, and easier to communicate and remember than long strings of GPS coordinates. The system has built-in error detection and is available both as a mobile app and API integration. The system works offline without a data connection, ensuring it can be used everywhere.

La Poste de Djibouti joins  Mongol Post,  La Poste Cote d’Ivoire,  Postal Servcies Sint Maarten and  Tonga Post as postal services that have adopted the system.


what3words is a global grid of 3mx3m squares where each square has been pre-allocated a fixed and unique 3 word address.

75% of the world suffers from inconsistent, complicated or inadequate addressing systems.

This means that around 4 billion people are invisible; unable to report crime; unable to get deliveries or receive aid; and unable to exercise many of their rights as citizens because they simply have no way to communicate where they live.

It means that in remote locations water facilities can’t be found, monitored and fixed; and schools, refugee camps and informal settlements remain unaddressed. Even in countries with advanced systems, people get lost, packages aren’t delivered and businesses aren’t found.

Poor addressing is costly & annoying in developed countries, but limits growth and threatens lives in developing ones.

Our API is being integrated into businesses, apps & services. It works across all platforms and devices, in multiple languages, offline and with voice recognition.

What3words means everyone and everywhere now has an address.