Promoting Postal Network for Public Service Delivery in Rural Areas

Zimbabwe celebrated the World Post Day on 18 October 2013 in Rusape under the theme “The Post, delivering for people and business daily”.

The day is celebrated to mark the Universal Postal Union (UPU), which was established in 1874 to coordinate postal development activities worldwide.

In his key note address at the occasion, Hon. Webster Shamu, Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier said, “Zimpost’s countrywide network infrastructure can play a pivotal role in the provision of Government services, such as online passport applications, Government pension payouts, financial services and web based applications for national registrations”.

Noting that the postal network has a key role in assisting rural populations to become economic players in the broader national economy, the Minister said, “Zimpost has commenced a programme designed to ensure access to information through setting up of rural communication centers”.

In 2012, Posts globally delivered 350 billion letters and more than 6 billion parcels. They also processed millions of financial transactions. While the core letter-post service remains an important part of the business – letters still accounted, on average, for 45% of a Post's overall revenues in 2012 – the gradual decline in business mail is forcing national postal services to redefine themselves.

In his statement on the day, the Universal Posta Union Director General, Mr. Bishar Hussein said, “With more than 600,000 post offices globally, postal services are inclusive and accessible; no one gets turned away. The Post is truly a public service for every citizen, irrespective of one's position in society.”

Posts around the world are diversifying their products and services to better meet customers' needs for reliability, speed and security. As e-commerce grows, they are positioning themselves as the delivery service of choice for goods ordered online. There is no question that Posts remain important facilitators of national and international trade in this constantly evolving world.

In his message on the World Postal Union Day, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon called on Governments to use the “tremendous potential” of their postal networks to reach out to their citizens and bridge the gaps in today´s information society.

As part of the commemorations, the Minister presented prizes to the top three students who won the 42nd UPU International Letter Writing Competition. Each winner was awarded a certificate, a shield, school fees voucher and prize money. The winning schools were also presented with school textbooks and other library materials.

At the event the Minister announced that the 2014 edition of the UPU International Letter Writing Competition topic will be:  “Write a letter describing how music can touch lives”.

Some 1000 people representing government, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe, postal and courier operators, consumer associations, schools in Manicaland Province and other key stakeholders in the communication sector attended the ceremony.