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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

African countries adopt action plan

The postal leaders of 25 African countries have committed to speeding up the development of electronic postal payment services.
 The leaders approved an action plan at the end of a regional workshop held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 12 to 15 September 2011. The workshop brought together 70 postal representatives from English-speaking African countries and several Indian Ocean islands.
The action plan’s objectives involve designating national project managers, setting out urgent actions for developing electronic money transfer services, identifying potential corridors, establishing partnerships with financial players, and installing the required UPU IT applications.
The workshop and action plan fall within the priorities set in the 2009–2012 UPU regional development plan for Africa.
At the workshop, the countries undertook to quickly develop a national action plan, in line with the regional plan and the current world postal strategy. The UPU representatives encouraged them to integrate the International Financial System (IFS) as soon as possible and to join the POST*Net EDI network. So far, seven countries of the region have installed IFS.
“We should take advantage of the African postal network’s 30,000 post offices … and quickly translate this action plan into concrete measures; we will then evaluate the progress made with respect to those measures at our next meeting”, concluded Rodah Masaviru, secretary general of the Pan African Postal Union (PAPU).
Reliable and affordable
At the workshop, Ali M. Hussein, postmaster general of Kenya Post, said it was important for Africa’s postal operators to increase their market share in the money transfer segment both regionally and internationally. “The future of the Post will depend on its ability to make effective use of electronic services”, he said. “Consequently, financial services, and in particular money transfer services, must be a priority for all countries.”
Money transfers are essential to a country’s economy. According to 2010 World Bank figures, money transfers account for 10% and 8% of gross domestic product in Lesotho and Gambia, respectively. According to Gladys Mutyavaviri, UPU regional coordinator for Africa, “we must guarantee reliable money transfer services at affordable prices, and this is precisely what the UPU’s worldwide electronic postal payment network does”.
Courtesy : UPU

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