Fortunes in the postal sector dwindle as calls are made to salvage it

Postal Corporation customers queue for services at the General Post Office in Mombasa. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Nairobi, KENYA: The Communications Authority CA has called upon regulators in the African region to seize opportunities and further put mechanisms in place to promote development of the postal sector.

During the 36th Ordinary Session of the Administrative Council of the Pan African Postal Union PAPU in Nairobi, CA Chairman Ngene Gituku on the other hand agreed that the demand for traditional postal services has been on the decline due to changing customer taste, competition, and the substitution of paper mail with digital messaging solutions.

Mr. Gituku  noted with concern that this has created the need for innovation for the postal operators in the face of cutthroat competition posed by new communication services.

“The Postal service in Africa either way still plays an important role in the socio-economic development of our countries. It facilitates human interactions, trade and commerce despite the ever-evolving global environment,” Mr. Gituku continued.

In his remarks on Monday, he stated that the extensive postal network in the region presented an opportunity that, when properly harnessed, would increase access to financial, communication and a host of other retail services.

He advised that postal services were a key element in achieving of the African Union Agenda 2063 as well as the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals SDGs.

During the summit, Cabinet Secretary ICT Joe Mucheru noted that this comes at a time when the Postal service is under immense pressure from new technology-driven communication innovations.

“The advent of social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Messenger, Telegram and Whatsapp as well as SMS and the increasing use of smart phones have enabled instant and efficient information delivery thus disrupting the traditional role played by the post,” Mr. Mucheru commented.

The CS mentioned that all was not lost since postal services still facilitate human interactions, trade and commerce despite the ever-evolving global environment.

During the deliberations at the conference, the main focus would be to analyze and understand the stakes and challenges of e-commerce for Africa’s postal sector.

The theme retained for this year’s Pan African Post Day is: “The post: An essential infrastructure for the development of e-commerce in Africa”.

” This core concept sends a powerful signal that the postal fraternity is committed and determined to continue building and harnessing its extensive global network to serve governments, customers, companies and other stakeholders with the ultimate goal of fostering growth and creating wealth for all citizens across the world,” concluded PAPU Secretary General Younouss Djibrine.