Provide affordable postal services, Nape urges

ARUSHA INFORMATION, Communication and Information Technology Minister, Mr Nape Nnauye has challenged postal corporations and communication regulators in Africa to optimally utilise its extensive network in providing affordable postal services.

Mr Nape insisted that postal network in Africa still plays a vital role providing infrastructure that is being used to bridge the digital divide, especially in rural areas, through the provision of various ICT services.

“Our role as regulators, operators and partners should always be to strive for alignment of regulatory frameworks as well as portability of postal services within our continent notwithstanding different regulatory regimes we have at the moment,” urged the minister, while addressing a Postal Business Forum in Arusha yesterday.

He equally urged the operators and the regulators gathered at the forum to forge for the right partnerships and collaboration that will provide solutions to communication related challenges.

“Our postal realm must be poised to facilitate express postal delivery services in consonance with the ongoing digital transformations,” insisted the minister.

He added, “Delegates partaking in the forum must remain attuned to the shifting global paradigms.”

“It is through this forum we can deliberate on how our African Post Offices can thrives to tap in socio-economic opportunities arising from changing global logistic trends and e-commerce as well as the capacity to innovate and deliver inclusive postal social services in Africa,” he explained.

Mr Nape further urged the delegates gathered at the forum to make the most of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

According to the minister, Africa’s postal and express industry forms part of the trade infrastructure.

He said: Our postal sector should be ready and facilitative to this initiative as around half of all newly generated trade will be facilitated by express delivery services. Therefore, it is important that regulations governing postal services are aligned with the fundamental goals of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

The minister called on the participants to align their regulations to facilitate easy movement of goods from one city to another and within vast African boarders and support Africa’s exporters and traders, particularly micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

Mr Nape observed that posts were well positioned to provide effective, reliable and profitable commercial services to the business community especially the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

He said there were here several examples of postal services providing end-to-end e-commerce solutions covering the whole e-commerce value chain.

“One cannot over emphasise the extreme relevance, the timing and the importance of this forum to the African Postal Sector generally. It is also ideal to consider the changing global contexts such as increased globalisation, ICT revolution and unity of the continent and capability of rallying support around its own common agenda,” he added.

Mr Nape has affirmed Tanzania’s unwavering commitment to collaborating with regional postal stalwarts including the Pan African Postal Union (PAPU) and Universal Postal Union (UPU).

For his part, Chief Postmaster of the Tanzanian Postal Corporation (TPC), Mr Macrice Daniel Mbodo, disclosed that the corporation had reformed its services, enabling postal access through mobile phones.

Mr Mbodo reiterated TPC’s readiness to learn from other postal corporations across the continent.

Dr Jabiri Bakari, Director-General of the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), an instrumental partner in hosting this prestigious gathering, echoed the need for African postal entities to surmount their structural limitations through strategic utilisation of postal services.

“We assemble here in the backdrop of inadequate investments in postal endeavours throughout Africa, resulting in suboptimal intra-African postal exchange and global market participation,” Dr Bakari stated.

“To surmount this structural chasm, we must harness the potential of postal services within our purview and make digital technologies transformation as a solution.”

The TCRA Director-General further underscored the imperative for Africa’s postal sector to harness digital technology transformations in revolutionising operational methodologies, thereby ensuring seamless integration with the digital economy agenda.

The event brought together over 530 distinguished delegates representing postal operators, regulatory bodies and collaborative partners from across the African continent and beyond.

This significant event was expertly organised by the esteemed PAPU in conjunction with the UPU, heralding a promising confluence of postal intellect.

The annual forum, a venerable tradition, provided a platform for postal luminaries and regulatory custodians to share their strategic visions for the Post’s transformative journey in this digital epoch, envisioning it as a pivotal catalyst for economic prosperity.

It also set the stage for spirited dialogues with partners regarding potential synergies in service provision and inventive solutions for diverse postal niches, including e-commerce, e-government, e-health, philately and more.

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