Posta Kenya needs support from the Universal Service Fund (USF) to subsidize operations of 300 offices which do not make any business sense
Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) is in the process of transforming its outlets into comprehensive communications solutions hubs, offering a spectrum of services, including e-Payment, e-Governance, and E-commerce, among other innovations.
Speaking during the commemoration of the 148th World Post Day in Nairobi, John Tonui, the Postmaster General and CEO of PCK said postal services are a key contributor to the growth of e-commerce, with Business to Customer (B2C) e-commerce being most effective where there is high reliability of postal services.
Christopher Wambua, Ag. Director General, Communications Authority of Kenya said the government was instituting regulatory and policy interventions geared towards catalyzing the changing postal and courier market.
“We are collaborating with the Information Communication Technology Authority to lay 2500 kms of fibre in unserved and underserved areas. As Communication Authority, we are investing Sh5 billion into this initiative because once we digitalise the rural areas, e-commerce will follow, e-government will follow and many other things that will stimulate the rural economy,” Mr Wambua said.
He added that the expansion of ICT and public postal networks particularly in unserved and underserved areas of the country through the USF, and that the plans involve the “roll-out of digital infrastructure and hubs across the country to accommodate postal outlets in order to ensure universal access to postal services.”
According to McKinsey & Company, the e-commerce megatrend is expected to fuel a $9 trillion retail opportunity by 2025, creating opportunities that no postal player should give up without a fight.
Parcel logistics, from pickup to delivery, are steadily becoming the most important enabler of that growth, given that an estimated 70 to 80% of all e-commerce purchases are delivered via networks rather than picked up in store.
“In line with our ICT Policy, the government is committed to integrating courier and postal services into the digital marketplace and delivering e-services to our citizens through this network,” said Hezron Nyamberi, Senior Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Information, Communication and Digital Economy.
Prior to Covid-19 pandemic acceleration of e-commerce growth, the Universal Postal Union (UPU) valued the global B2C E-commerce at about $1.2 trillion. Pre-covid 19, this segment still was growing faster, especially in Asia and Africa.
The Postmaster General emphasized that the agency was keen on improving service delivery and optimize their current operations, before focusing on fashionable, idealistic concepts of droids and drone deliveries.
He said Posta Kenya needs support from the USF to subsidize operations of 300 offices which do not make any business sense.
“While under the Universal Service Obligation, under the 1948 Charter we are supposed to serve those postal networks as well,” Tonui said.