Tonderai Rutsito Tech Spot
Zimbabwe last week joined the rest of the world in commemorating the World Post Day in the resort town of Victoria Falls with a call for postal and courier services companies to innovate.
It was noted that while the postal services have been under siege globally due to technological advances, the industry is not completely dead as some postal and couriers services still have relevance in the current digital age.
The call was captured in this year’s theme “Innovation, Integration and Inclusion: Key Drivers for the future of the Post”.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Universal Postal Union regional project co-ordinator for Southern and Eastern Africa, Mrs Gladys Mutyavaviri, the Universal Postal Union director general Mr Bishar Hussein said the celebrations are a reminiscent of a rich history of transformation in the Post, which has always been able to find its place in the world market.
“As we celebrate World Post Day, we can look back with satisfaction on a rich history of transformation in the Post, which has always been able to find its place in the world market,” he said.
Besides being able to remain relevant in the world market, Mr Bishar said the Post can pride itself on being the oldest medium of communication, one that still plays a key role in the sending of information and goods. Mr Bishar applauded the postal companies for their resilience especially in this era where information technology was now a threat in almost every sector of the world economy.
Deputy Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, Dr Win Mlambo who was the guest of honour also emphasised the need for innovation.
“As can be seen, the first word of the theme is “innovation”, implying technology,” he said.
The deputy minister said every country should be conscious of the impact of technology in this modern day age.
He challenged the postal and courier sector top brand to be proactive rather than reactive to remain relevant in the business.
“Technology has undergone generations of transformation since 1874, and the trend still continues today.”
Courier and postal operators also took turns to share their experiences in this technological infested market.
Zimpost managing director Dr Douglas Zimbango explained how they have managed to survive after the death of the traditional postal business.
He said Zimpost has developed a number of innovative products and services as a result of the emerging technological tools.
“Zimpost has thus introduced products such as ZipCash, ZipFound, Safe Custody Services, e-government services and many more to ensure inclusion of all communities through the extensive postal network,” Dr Zimbango said.
Besides these services, he said Zimpost is also working with Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services in rolling out Community Information Centres (CICs) in order to bridge the digital divide between the rural and the urban populace in line with the Millennium Development Goals and ZIM-ASSET. This project has seen the establishment of eight Community Information Centres countrywide.
Mr Jeff Phiri, DHL Country manager also pointed out that they had been able to take advantage of the opportunities that come with technology to ensure that their customers are able to trace and track their parcels, book collections, order supplies and get quotations online.
Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe deputy director, Engineer Baxton Sirewu urged the postal and courier operators also spoke about the need to innovate.
“ As a regulator, POTRAZ continues to advocate for new and innovative ways to transform and mordenise the postal services sector by enabling regulatory framework and environment for this to take place,” said Eng. Sirewu.
He also said the regulator was committed to ensuring that a level playing field is maintained. The regulator pledged its support to the postal and courier services operators through fulfilling its mandate of creating awareness of the role of postal and courier sector and its contribution to the social and economic development of Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, three students walked away with prizes after winning the Universal Postal Union International Letter Writing competition. The three Runyararo Zianaro (Terry Goss High School), Tapiwa Garaba (Murambinda B Primary School) and Tinotenda Ruwaza (Terry Goss High School) walked away with $600, $900 and $1200 respectively plus stationery hampers each. World Post Day is celebrated on October 9 every year.
The writer is the editor for TechnoMag, Zimbabwe`s Premiere Technology Magazine, More In depth from www.technomag.co.zw follow us on our social platforms Twitter: @TechnoMagZw, Facebook: www.facebook.com/technomagzw