UPU: geared to enhancing postal development in Africa
Speaking in Zimbabwe, the Director General of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) Bishar A. Hussein told an audience from African posts that the UN specialized agency was dedicated to enhancing African postal development.
“We continue to collaborate in various activities geared to enhancing postal development in Africa and to strengthen our partnership which has grown from strength to strength. We also come together to celebrate our achievements and to tackle challenges facing the postal sector in Africa,” he said.
The UPU DG spotlighted the intensive work of the UPU’s Regional Project on Operation Readiness for E-commerce (ORE) to assist posts to modernize processes and IT systems. There are 45 African countries participating in the ORE regional project enabling them to contribute to the growth of the e-commerce market.
“The project is geared to ensure that designated postal operators in Africa benefit from the global growth of e-commerce,” Mr. Hussein told the audience.
He pointed to the tremendous progress made under the ORE regional project of the UPU Customs Declaration System (CDS). The system assists posts to exchange messages with their customs authority and other posts using electronic data interchange technology. In 2017, no African country had implemented CDS. Just four years later, as of April 2021, 40 African countries are able to send and receive EDI messages connected to e-commerce items.
The UPU is also channelling support to designated operators in African countries as part of the Regional Project on Digital Transformation and Diversification of Postal Services in Africa. Capacity building workshops and other activities are facilitating the digital transformation of designated postal operators in the region.
In addition to the technical assistance to be provided through the UPU co-operation and development funds, additional financial resources are being mobilised from donors and other partners. The UPU is also exploring opportunities for south-south and triangular cooperation, for the benefit of the region.
The other strategic project being delivered in the region is the Project on Electronic Advanced Data (EAD) funded from the UPU Common Fund.
“EAD’s objective is to build the necessary capacity within designated operators to enable to them to meet the new UPU mandatory regulations on the movement of postal items containing goods,” said Mr. Hussein.
The UPU DG was speaking at the 10th Ordinary Session of the Pan African Postal Union (PAPU) Plenipotentiary Conference.
The Plenipotentiary Conference composed of Ministers in charge of Postal Matters/Communication and Information Technology in Member States, whose ordinary sessions take place every four years to elect the secretary general and the Members of the Administrative Council.
Held in Angel Falls, Zimbabwe, the conference was also attended by President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Dr. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, Minister of ICTs, Postal and Courier Services in Zimbabwe, Dr Jenfan Muswere, the Chairman of PAPU Plenipotentiary Conference, Madam Minette Libom Li Likeng, the UPU Deputy Director General Pascal Clivaz, and the heads of delegations of PAPU member countries.