MINISTER for Works, Transport and Communications, Engineer Isaack Kamwelwe, has challenged fellow ministers heading postal corporations in Africa to modernise their operations in a bid to keep abreast with the digital age.
The minister underscored the importance of the postal corporations to embrace Information and Communications technology (ICT) with a view of remaining relevant in their respective countries.
“ICT strategy is essential in modernising and reforming postal corporations on the continent,” explained Engineer Kamwelwe while gracing a plenipotentiary conference to mark the 40th anniversary of the Pan African Postal Union (PAPU) on Friday.
The minister stressed that postal corporations will not live up to the anniversary’s theme of being veritable partners or financial and regional integration in Africa, should they fail to embrace ICT.
According to Engineer Kamwelwe, since all current postal services developed were rested on ICT, the information and communication strategy was essential for modernising and reforming postal corporations in Africa.
The minister’s call comes as postal corporations are facing the threat of being rendered irrelevant, thanks to the advent of e-commerce and other digital platforms.
Such a reality has seen the postal corporations compelled to adapting to the ever changing consumer behaviour, having already realised that they must use digital channels to engage with their key stakeholders to maintain relevance.
In the same vein, the minister called on the postal corporations to demonstrate trust to their esteemed customers.
He said “Customers would like to have trust in the financial services as well as government services offered by the post. To that end our designated postal operators must ensure they are certified with the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO), particularly in the quality management systems.”
Earlier on, Tanzania Postal Corporation (TPC) Postmaster General, Engineer Hassan Mwang’ombe, said the organisation was currently commercialising and digitising its services in all of its 161 postal offices in the country.
He told the delegates from the 45 member countries that the 26 year old corporation was now offering its services digitally after implementing some transformations.
“We are diversifying our products and service with a view of maintaining a vibrant sector and eventually remain relevant,” said the Postmaster general.
For his part, PAPU Secretary General Younouss Djibrine said postal unions in Africa could optimise on the potential presented to them in the face of the African Common Free Trade Area (ACFTA), an initiative signed in Kigali, Rwanda early last year.
Mr Djibrine exuded optimism that yesterday’s forum would bridge the gap in financial inclusion.
The specialised agency of the African Union (AU) was established on January 18, 1980 following the decision of the Plenipotentiary Conference of 35 the then OAU member countries during a meeting held on January 8 to 18 1980, in Arusha.
With 45 members to its name, the union is charged with the coordination of all activities aimed at developing postal services on the African continent.
Italy topped the list with 8,509 tourists entering Zanzibar while United States of America and South Africa contributed 6.2 and 6.1 per cent, respectively.