THEME: “The Post: The delivery infrastructure of choice for governments to meet their national development goals”
Dear members of the African Postal Fraternity, Ladies and Gentlemen,
As the New Year dawns, I would like to seize this very first opportunity to convey my warmest greetings to the each and every one and my best wishes of success in our individual and collective endeavours throughout the year 2018.
As you are aware, the theme for this year’s celebration of the Pan African Post Day is: “The Post: The delivery infrastructure of choice for governments to meet their national development goals”.
Before I devolve deep into the tenets of the theme, I wish to begin by commending the positive measures already taken by a good number of our Member States to incorporate postal development projects into their national strategic plans. These measures confirm yet again that our governments truly recognize the post as a potential and key socio-economic development player. By virtue of the extensive outreach of its massive network of interconnected post offices in both rural and urban areas, as well as its inclusive, diversified and non-discriminatory offering, the post definitely offers a key comparative advantage to its customers. On this front, we at PAPU are engaging with decision-makers at the highest level to create awareness of the existence and what the post can do.
As you will recall, last year’s theme focused on the Post as an essential infrastructure for the development of e-commerce in Africa. This theme sent 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 Africa and beyond.
In the same spirit, this year’s theme is a continuum of last year’s in the sense that it highlights the role of the post in the life of a nation. While recognizing that public authorities, particularly governments, can rely on a broad range of instruments to achieve their goals, the Post is still arguably the most dependable infrastructure for a host of reasons as it offers direct access to myriad services to citizens. Post offices are fast becoming business centre by virtue of being able to offer a host services in “one-stop-shop” business model whereby governments can achieve strategic objectives that will ultimately and significantly benefit especially those they are called to serve, namely the citizens of the country.
On the strength of more than 650,000 postal outlets worldwide, including more than 37, 000 spread out across Africa, the Post currently ranks second after the banking sector in delivering financial services on our planet. Better still, for those on the sidelines of the traditional banking system, namely rural populations and the urban poor, the post is the sole and surest partner with a broad and inclusive financial offering (including savings, payments, remittances, insurance, loans, etc.).
Taken together, the Post has a key stake in the fight against financial illiteracy and, financial exclusion, etc.
Moreover, through the Post, governments can easily foster the development of e-commerce, social inclusion, e-governance, digital inclusion, e-education, etc. Ideally, the Post is the essential infrastructure to support decision-makers in their endeavours to build inclusive societies with emerging economies.
The onus is therefore on stakeholders of Africa’s postal fraternity to come on board, reenergize and make the Post forge ahead as a key driver and indeed, the operational arm of government in the collective effort to bring about inclusive sustainable development.
Intrinsically, I am hereby appealing to all leaders of Africa’s postal sector to make it a pivotal development player. I am already pleased to note that a large number of posts in Africa have been able to take ownership and exploit the opportunities offered by ICTs. Today, more than ever before, the achievement of development objectives is determined by the level of digitization of product lines which call on you to be champions of innovative, inclusive, integrative, affordable, accessible and reliable with a view to spurring national growth and ensuring sustainability in the highly competitive market space.
As it will be appreciated, the theme of our celebration this year is in perfect synchrony with the African Union’s Vision 2063 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in the areas of integration, socio-economic inclusion and trade facilitation, just to mention a few. This entails that we need to systematically gunner our efforts to achieve the desired levels of socio-economic development to make Africa better place to live in.
In conclusion, permit me to wish you a happy, peaceful, prosperous and highly successful year in 2018.
Long live Africa!!!
Long live the African postal fraternity!!!