Speech by MR. YOUNOUSS DJIBRINE, SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE PAN AFRICAN POSTAL UNION (P A P U) DURING THE OFFICIAL OPENING CEREMONY OF THE 33RD ORDINARY SESSION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL OF THE PAN AFRICAN POSTAL UNION
The Chief Guest, the Right Honorable Vice President of the Republic of Malawi, Your Excellency Saulosi Chirima;
The Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture, Honorable Kondwani Nankhumwa;
The Representative of the Commissioner of Infrastructure and Energy of the AUC, Mr. Christian Minoungou;
The Chairman of PAPU Administrative Council, who is also the Director General of Tanzania Communications and Regulatory Authority (TCRA), Professor John NKOMA;
Principal Secretary, Ministry of Information, Tourism and Culture of the Republic of Malawi, Ms. Chimwemwe Banda;
The Permanent Secretaries and other government representatives from member states here present;
The Director General of the International Bureau of the Universal Postal Union, Mr. Bishar Hussein;
Board Members of MACRA and Malawi Posts Corporation;
The Director General Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority, Mr. Charles Nsaliwa;
The Postmaster General, Malawi Posts Corporation, Mr. Andrew Kumbatira;
CEOs of Regulatory Authorities and Postal Organizations of PAPU Member States;
Members of the Administrative Council and the entire PAPU Members;
Heads of Sub-regional Organizations;
Our distinguished guests;
Members of the media;
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me to welcome you all to this beautiful venue and say in the various official languages of our Union:
صَبَاح اَلْخَيْر (Sabah Al-khair)!
Bon Dia !
Habari Zenu ?
Muli bwânji nonse?
Ifenso tili bwino!
It gives me great pleasure to have this opportunity to address you this morning on the occasion of the official opening of the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Administrative Council of the Pan African Postal Union.
As guests of the Government and the postal authorities of the Republic of Malawi, we want to say a big “thank you” to the Warm Heart of Africa. Indeed, taking the cue from the pet name, you have aptly confirmed that you are truly a warm-hearted nation.
At this juncture, please also allow me to express our warm congratulations to His Excellency the President, His Excellency PROFESSOR ARTHUR PETER MUTHARIKA and the Vice President of the Republic of Malawi for their victory in the recent elections that ushered in a new democratic dispensation. We wish the President, the Vice President, the Government and all the people of Malawi a happy and prosperous future.
On behalf of member countries, the General Secretariat of the Pan African Postal Union and on my own behalf, I also wish to express to them my profound gratitude for the wonderful hospitality and excellent arrangements and facilities they have put at the disposal of the General Secretariat and member states in this quiet and peaceful environment of the capital city, Lilongwe.
Your generous and kind gesture goes a long way to reaffirm your commitment to Africa’s solidarity and the sustained efforts towards social and economic integration of our great continent. In the same vein, you have demonstrated unflinching support for PAPU’s development agenda for member states.
I furthermore, wish to pay special tribute to our Guest of Honour, the Right Honourable Vice President of the Republic of Malawi, for finding time from your very busy schedule to grace this occasion with your presence.
Similarly, we have received support and good will from the Minister for Information, Tourism and Culture, the ministry’s senior staff including the Principal Secretary, the two key
stakeholders organizations (MACRA and MPC), both of whom have gone out of their way to make our work and stay most enjoyable.
Your Honour, Ladies and Gentlemen;
At this moment, allow me to express my deep appreciation to the Director General of the International Bureau of the UPU, Amb. BISHAR Hussein, who needs no introduction as his roots are deeply rooted in Africa, has travelled a long distance from Bern, Switzerland, for joining us on this important occasion. I recall that both of us traveled to Addis Ababa a few days ago for a highly successful meeting with the AUC Chairperson on ways and means of advancing the Postal Infrastructure Development Project.
Moreover, I would like to put on record our deep gratitude to the African Union Commission, represented by Mr. Christian MINOUNGOU whose presence here today is a clear signal of commitment and support from our mother Organization for the postal sector.
We have also received invaluable support and guidance from the Chairman, Professor John Nkoma who, along with the Chairman of the Plenipotentiary Conference and Vice Prime Minister of Ethiopia, H.E. Debretson Gebre-Michael, have been continuously available to help out and encourage us.
Similarly, the attendance of other distinguished invited guests including representatives from La Poste France, India Post, Swiss Post, Emirates Post, the Netherlands, Escher Group, Reason Solutions of India, Ethiopian Airlines and Agwhyte International of Nigeria among others, is a demonstration of our mutually beneficial interaction and collaboration.
Furthermore, we are sincerely encouraged by the impressive turnout of member countries and observers, some of whom have volunteered to play active roles as panelists and presenters during our meetings.
Your Honour, Ladies and Gentlemen;
This year – 2014 – presents our continent and the postal fraternity many opportunities for development of the network towards attainment of greater social and economic integration.
In this regard, PAPU in collaboration with key stakeholders including the African Union Commission and the UPU, has put in place initiatives to ensure that member states take full advantage of modern and customer oriented communication systems, products and services in the ICT domain, targeting the “triple i” : “Innovation, integration and inclusion”.
Electrification and connectivity of postal outlets is one of the key projects in the pipeline for which, as mentioned earlier, we have secured immense support and encouragement from the Chairperson of the AUC, Her Excellency Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.
The other major project that PAPU and UPU are jointly implementing within the framework of the Regional Development Plan for Africa is improvement of quality of service in line with the goals and objectives of the Doha Postal Strategy towards continued enhancement of quality of service, reliability and efficiency of postal networks. Similarly, facilitation of e-services and development of international e-commerce are in focus as the clock ticks towards the mid-term strategy review meeting in October, 2014.
As you are aware, Africa through one of our member States, the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire is expected to host this important forum. Just before the UPU Strategy Conference in Abidjan, PAPU is supposed to convene the African Strategy Conference in Grand Bassam, to assess the implementation of the Doha Postal Strategy by member states, as well as identify priority areas as input to the Global Conference.
The General Secretariat will continue to seek strengthening and expansion of the existing support and cooperation structures and frameworks not only with the AUC but also with the UPU, regional economic communities, sub-regional postal organizations, as well as regional and international financial institutions, to ensure that the postal sector gains the desired momentum to contribute to the socio-economic development of our societies.
We will also endeavour to fast track reforms in the postal sector and improve quality of service within the framework of social and economic integration of our continent.
In particular, PAPU in its capacity as an intergovernmental organization deals with governmental, regulatory and operational matters.
This is why our theme for this year which is “Postal Regulation: Stimulating Growth and Quality Improvement”, is dedicated to regulatory issues.
As you are aware, no designated postal operator can develop a viable business in a fully liberalized market and at the same time assume its universal service obligations without an appropriate legal framework and efficient Regulatory regime.
On the other hand, the African integration cannot be achieved without a continental harmonized policies, laws and regulations.
In this regard, I would like to call upon you to actively participate in the panel discussions and come up with pertinent and practical recommendations to our member states.
Your Honour, Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have a heavy agenda before us that includes exciting panel discussions and presentations by experts from member states and partners as well as a wide range of recommendations from the Administrative and Technical Committees that will engage us for the better part of today and tomorrow.
In conclusion, I wish to express my profound gratitude once again to our host for the roles they have played in the efficient organization of our meetings.
To you all, your presence and participation is highly appreciated.
May God bless you!
God bless the postal sector!
God bless Africa!
Thank you very much!
شُكْرًا كَثِيرًا (Shoukran katheeran)!