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POSTAL PROJECTS IN AFRICA TO FOCUS ON QUALITY OF SERVICE AND DIVERSIFICATION OF SERVICES

 
     
 

Africa has spoken. In line with the strategy framework spelt out in the UPU DPS document for 2013-2016 Congress cycle, Africa has agreed on its priority projects that PAPU member countries believe will enhance quality of service and open new business opportunities through deployment of ICTs.

 
     
 
A total of 24 member countries together with key stakeholders including the UPU and sub-regional postal organizations attended a Regional Development Plan for Africa (RDP) formulation and validation meeting on 21-22 February, 2013 at the headquarters of PAPU in Arusha, Tanzania to carry out an in-depth examination of projects.
 
     
 

The projects were divided into three main priority blocks, ranging from first level to second level - for those that are top priority and which will benefit from co-financing by member countries and the UPU- to third level category for projects that PAPU and the UPU will seek funding from donors and sponsors.

 
         
 
The first and second level projects will essentially be on improvement of quality of service for domestic and international mail, which goes along with promotion of the use of quality of service fund of the UPU, and stimulation of growth of designated postal operators by developing
e-commerce, parcels and small packets.
   
       
 
Pursuant to the above, Africa is keen on acquisition of means for mail conveyance for domestic networks, supply of IT systems for Tracking and Tracing mail processing mainly on the domestic front, development of Key Account Management approach, development and increase of parcel and small packets through e-commerce, development and/or implementation of electronic payment systems, implementation of the UPU Dot. Post project, and capacity building in use of ICT tools to enhance customer satisfaction and improve efficiency.
Financial inclusion, sustainable development, regulation and governance will also be in focus.
   
  The third level category of projects will address gaps in infrastructural development mainly in electrification and broadband connectivity.    
 
  Group photograph of delegates to the RDP meeting in Arusha Tanzania
21st - 22nd February 2013
 
     
 
In his remarks during the opening ceremony, Tanzania’s Minister for Communication, Science and Technology, Professor Makame Mbarawa said ICTs had opened real opportunities for fast growth and sustainability of postal services, adding that customer satisfaction was equally important.
 
 

“Staying close to the customer, regularly setting and measuring quality standards should be a “must do” for all service providers failure to which you will be consigned to playing second fiddle to your competitors,” he said.

 
     
 

The Director General of the UPU, Ambassador Bishar Hussein underscored the need for improvement of quality of service and challenged the sector to take note of key statistics that might help stakeholders plan well for the future. They include:

 
     
 
Africa hosts 40% of the least developed countries
Africa has the highest postal outlets that that are not connected electronically
Africa's percentage decline in mail volumes compared with other regions is high
Africa has experienced decline in parcel post volumes in 2010/11(-7.5%) compared with other Postal Regions that have posted positive growths.
 
         
  He said UPU was ready to continue supporting and promoting the postal sector throughout the world.  
 

In his welcoming speech, PAPU Secretary General, Mr. Younouss Djibrine said the General Secretariat will strive to deliver on its promises as demonstrated by the remarkable success of Africa’s active participation in Doha Congress.

 
 

 

 
  About the new leadership at the UPU under Ambassador Hussein, he said:  
 

“The International Bureau of the UPU under your leadership demonstrates commitment to strengthen the very close collaboration relations with PAPU within the framework of our common agenda of raising the African post to unprecedented levels of operations and competitiveness. This meeting is only but one of the most visible milestones of the collaboration between our two organizations.”

 
     
 

Mr. Djibrine said the Regional Development Plan was an essential tool for development of all the regions of the single territory formed by the 192 UPU member countries, even more so for Africa being the weak link of the chain of the global postal network.

 
     
 

“The tool is not just a mechanical instrument. It reflects the wishes, aspirations and needs of a particular region as it helps to make decisions and grapple with the challenges of postal development in Africa.”

 
     
 

Among the guests present were, the President of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights, Hon. Lady Justice Sophia Akuffo, the President of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Judge Van Joensen, the representative of Kenya’s Minister for Information and Communications, Ambassador Bruce Madete and Hon. Jesca  Eriyo, a Deputy Secretary General of the East African Community.

 
         
©  UPAP-PAPU 2013
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