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Archaic postal services to be phased out

NAIROBI, July 16 – The government has announced plans to improve postal services in the country, moving away from the use of postage stamps, to ensure better services and fair competition worldwide.

Information and Communication Minister, Samuel Poghisio, said Wednesday that the government would move to appoint other methods that were ICT based, and compliant with the modern world.

Poghisio singled out the courier service business which he said is worth about Sh30 billion and stressed that chances of churning up more revenue were apparent.

“We must catch up with the rest of the world in terms of posting materials, take for instance adopting personal delivery,” the Minister said.

He anticipated that with the completion of The East Africa Marine Systems cable (TEAMS – which is set to be completed by the close of 2009), would come high speed business opportunities, from which postal and internet services would fast advance.

“We have a chance for Posta to get a cut out of the Sh30 billion business. We only need innovativeness, especially in courier services.”

Meanwhile, the Minister announced that the corporation was set to redeploy a newer technology to replace the defunct internet surf, which collapsed shortly after take-off a few years ago.

“There were problems with that technology but, we have now sorted that and other bottlenecks out, and soon Posta will provide better services in internet provision,” he assured.

Poghisio was speaking at a dinner event organised in Nairobi in honour of Rodah Masaviru, the first Kenyan to be elected to head the Pan African Postal Union (PAPU), a specialised agency of the African Union (AU).

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The Minister said Masaviru’s election as a Secretary General was poised to grant voice to the country on postal services in Africa and worldwide.

He noted that her election would also reveal the continent’s position in the universal postal services, which has widely been lagging behind.

Masaviru was unanimously elected to head PAPU for a period four years, after beating her sole challenger Paul Ouedragou of Burkina Faso with 18 votes to 12. PAPU has a membership of 43 countries.

She is expected, among other things, to champion policies that would improve postal services on the continent besides reviving participation among players in Africa.

“This position presents the continent with a great opportunity to align the development of postal services to the achievement of Millennium Development Goals,” Masaviru said at the dinner gathering.

Meanwhile, Minister Poghisio reiterated in an interview with Capital News that the appointment of the new Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) boss would be above board.

He maintained that the eagerly awaited appointment would be announced in due course, and called for patience among players and the general public, promising that the appointment would meet the expectations of the public.

Already the names of three potential candidates have been presented to him by the CCK board and include John Omo, Charles Njoroge and Nashon Awayo.

“There is no vacuum at CCK,” Poghisio insisted.

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