Why harmonized postal services is key for Africa’s progress  

15Sep 2021
The Guardian
Why harmonized postal services is key for Africa’s progress  

IN a fast-changing world we live in today, formation of unions and blocs is the way to go so as to achieve efficient delivery of goods and services. 

Outgoing Secretary General of PAPU Younouss Djibrine (seated left) and incoming PAPU SG Dr Sifundo Chief Moyo from Zimbabwe exchange documents in symbolic handover of office at PAPU Headuarters in Arusha, recently. Looking on is outgoing Minister for Communication and Information Technology Dr Faustine Ndugulile (third right) and his Zimbabwean counterpart Dr Jenfan Muswere (second right). Photo courtesy of TCRA

The African postal sector umbrella organization, Pan African Postal Union (PAPU), is poised for a single harmonized policy and regulations as a part strategy to consolidate the sustainable growth of postal services in the continent.

In his message at a handover ceremony of incoming and outgoing management of PAPU in Arusha recently, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) Director General Dr Jabiri Bakari said that PAPU remains the hub for building a single African postal territory for improved people’s living standards and sustainable development of respective member states.

He said digitalization of postal services to make it ICT-driven, remains one of PAPU’s fundamental missions to open opportunities and upgrade e-commerce not only in the continent but also to unlock the potentials of the African business globally.

“The contribution of postal services to the development of the digital economy and emphasized ongoing ICT boom offers a unique opportunity for the development of postal services in Africa,” said the TCRA DG.

  1. Bakari congratulated the outgoing and incoming PAPU management for a peaceful leadership change saying the move conformed with official procedure of credible succession process after reaching the end of their tenure with remarkable achievements.

The DG said construction of the PAPU Head Office complex in Arusha, a joint venture project between TCRA and PAPU, was a clear testimony of deep rooted relations between the two entities, as the 17-storey multibillion investment becomes a reality.

Dr Bakari said in his speech delivered by his representative to the event, Dr Emmanuel Manasseh that the process of improving the postal industry calls for sustainable dialogue, collaboration, confidence building, learning and experience sharing among PAPU member states.

In his speech, the outgoing Minister for Communication and Information Technology Dr Faustine Ndugulile said Tanzania has always cherished supporting a drive of having a unified and harmonized delivery of postal services.

“The government is determined to continue supporting PAPU to make it a vibrant, modernized, ICT-driven postal services Organisation for improved living standards of the people in the member states,” he said.

Dr Ndugulile told delegates at the ceremony that the 17storey complex which is under construction in Arusha is a clear manifestation of the government’s commitment to transforming PAPU into an income generation and credible continent body.

He commended the peaceful leadership change and office handover process between outgoing Secretary-General of PAPU Younouss Djibrine and incoming PAPU SG Dr Sifundo Chief Moyo from Zimbabwe as well as outgoing PAPU Deputy Secretary-General Kolawole Raheem Aduloju who also handed over the office to Jessica Uwera SSengooba of Uganda.   

Gracing the event in Arusha recently, the Zimbabwean Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services Dr Jenfan Muswere thanked Tanzania for not only hosting the headquarters of PAPU since its inception in 1980 but also for unwavering support and goodwill that has been extended to the union over years, be it financial, moral and material.

Dr Muswere who was also chairman of the plenipotentiary conference of PAPU paid special tribute to the President SamiaSuluhu Hassan for the noble gesture and promise that Tanzania will continue supporting efforts towards improving the union’s performance. 

He appealed to the new management to bring into fruition the PAPU complex project and align the work of the union with the Abidjan World Postal Strategy and Plan adopted during the 27th Universal Postal Union Congress.

Dr Muswere reaffirmed Zimbabwe’s continued support towards efficient administrative role of PAPU aimed at achieving improved delivery of services to all member states through harmonized policies, regulations hence sustainable development of Africa through the digitalized postal sector.

PAPU) as a specialized agency of the African Union (AU) was established on 18th January 1980, following the decision of the Plenipotentiary Conference of 35 the then Organization of African Union (OAU) member countries during a meeting held on 8th to 18th January 1980, in Arusha.

With its headquarters in Arusha, PAPU whose membership by then consisted of only 35 countries when it was created, currently boats 45 active member states. The main objective of the union is to coordinate all activities aimed at developing postal services on the African continent.

In the 1980s, the then Minister of Communication and Works, who later became First Vice President and Prime Minister John Malecela ensured PAPU got a plot at Sekei near Philips in Arusha. In the 1990s a dream to construct joint invest complex was conceived by the then Tanzania Communication Commission (TCC), Tanzania Postal Corporation (TPC) and Tanzania Telecommunication Company Limited (TTCL) to jointly with PAPU, construct the complex., according to the first Director-General of TCC, Emmanuel Ole Kambainei.

The vision has now become a reality, as TCRA under the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology is fully engaged in a joint venture construction project, creating job opportunities for hundreds involved in the exercise.

PAPU was established by the constitutive Plenipotentiary Conference of African ministers in charge of postal services, held in 1980 in Arusha. The conference was convened by the OAU Secretary-General following a decision by African Heads of State and Government during their summit in Libreville, Gabon, from 2nd to 6th July in 1977.

Thereafter, the convention formally establishing PAPU as a specialized agency of the OAU was signed during the Constitutive Plenipotentiary Conference held on 18th January 1980 in Arusha.

PAPU’s vision is to ensure the implementation of a single postal territory that provides innovative, integrated and inclusive policy guidelines for the development of the postal sector in Africa.

It fosters inclusive socio-economic development for the African citizens and residents through exchanges of documents and goods, money transfer services, assisting development of small and medium enterprises and the corresponding industrialization process in Africa, among others.

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