At the same time, it’s vitally important that businesses strive to keep up with the latest and most promising innovations to remain competitive and meet the demands of their customers. The Tanzania Posts Corporation (TPC) is no different.
Technological innovations have had a key role in helping the Postal Service improve the quality of service it provides customers. TPC in collaboration with other postal organizations began to see technology as a great opportunity to completely change its operations in line with its core responsibilities.
TPC acting postmaster general Macrice Mbodo says that in order to be more effective, the corporation has developed an integrated system—the postal management information system (PMIS) in which there are various systems such as human resource management, finance, operations and operations, and International Postal System that have a link with International Financial System.
According to him, TPC continues to undergo digital transformation to reach many people and improve its services for national development.
The official noted that the corporation has also put in place a system of tracking trends of letters, bags, and even national and international packages namely “truck and trace” as well as customer service.
“TPC also developed an online marketing platform to take advantage of the growing e-commerce business in the country. The e-shop provides a room for traders to enter their products, and buyers can order after seeing them online, import through digital channels and do payments online and later products delivered wherever they are through digital Post,” he says.
According to TPC, by July this year 270 large and small businesses had registered at the online postal service to sell various products.
TPC has a Smart Postal service which is a digital platform that aims to transform postal services operations into digital format. Smart Post operates digitally through the use of mobile phones acting as a virtual box or (digital box) that brings simplicity to the marketing technology by making sure every person who owns a mobile phone can have access to postal.
A resident of Tabata in Dar es Salaam, Juma Ali commends TPC for its various digital services, which he says: “Will help to improve people’s lives.”
The Acting Postmaster General says these systems have also been developed as an “APP” where a smart customer can download them to his mobile phone and start working without having to travel long distances to follow the postal services at the Post Office.
Mbodo says that as a result the old boxes in the post office buildings have been set up in another form where a person's phone number can be registered and become his or her digital box, such a customer has the advantage of getting text messages on his phone is SMS when he sends an item or product through the Post Office and he can track his product through his phone.
“When the goods arrive at the Post Office, SMS is sent to the mobile phone and he or she chooses the method of delivering the item, either to the Post Office to pick it up himself or to be sent wherever he/she wants,” he says.
The corporation has also developed a one-stop service centre to facilitate the delivery of various services to the public.
“This is one of our strategies to increase efficiency and enhance trouble-free access to government services.
Services available at the centre include those provided by the Registration Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (RITA), National Identification Authority (NIDA), Business Registrations and Licensing Agency (BRELA), and Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).
“When a person gets into the Post Office, he/she does not need to start moving here and there looking for other government offices, but is served within one office easily and on time,” he says,
For example, he says: “A person who needs a passport when arriving at the post office will make arrangements for the immigration department and if he/she does not have a National Identity Card he/she will make arrangements to obtain an ID without leaving and if there is a payment he/she will make payment arrangements within the office.”
“If his passport is ready he/she can also be sent to where he/she wants by post.”
TPC in general has greatly simplified postal services in stark contrast to the post-independence period of mainland Tanzania, a service that was time-consuming as workers were taking postal documents on foot.
“But today’s digital Post is just a click through closed and uninterrupted enabling systems and it is safe as even digital post offices currently have digital security through CCTV cameras installed in Post Office buildings with a new digital look.
In fact, the Tanzania Postal Corporation has made great strides, especially on the digital side, and I commend them for that innovation," Mbodo adds.
Before independence, postal services were carried out by the German colonial government, which jointly ruled Tanganyika, Rwanda, and Burundi.
The Postal Headquarters for all these countries was in the Sokoine Post Office building (Old Post Office) in Dar es Salaam.
The first stamp letter service was introduced in the country in 1893 and the letters were sent using messengers who were walking long distances to the district and provinces' headquarters. The train service between Dar es Salaam, Kigoma, and later to Mwanza and Arusha improved the network of postal services in the country.
In 1951, the colonial government created a body to oversee joint services in Tanganyika, Kenya, and Uganda--the East African Common Services Organization (EACSO).
"In addition, under the union, a law was enacted to establish the East African Post and Telecommunications Agency (EAPTA) which continued to administer these services until the time of the original East African Community in 1967," he says.
After independence, postal services continued to be regulated under the Act establishing the EAPTA
The Executive Officer continued to be the Postmaster-General, under which were the Regional Directors of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanganyika. At that time, the headquarters was in Nairobi, Kenya where the headquarters of the Tanganyika “region” was in Dar es Salaam.
After the breakdown of the East African Community (EAC), whereby the Tanzanian government has appointed a committee to draft a law to create a Tanzania Postal and Telephone Corporation to replace the East African Postal and Telephone Corporation, which came into force on February 3, 1978.
TPC was established by an Act of Parliament No. 19 of 1993 (Tanzania Posts Corporation Act. 1993) after the amendment of the former Tanzania Postal and Telephone Corporation (TP&TC). Tanzania Postal Corporation officially started on January 1, 1994. The Postal Corporation is 100% owned by the government and is under the Ministry of Information, Communication and Information Technology (ICT).