NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
head of a global postal organization said on Tuesday he expects
the mail services to remain relevant despite stiff competition
amid a digital revolution.
Bishar Hussein, director general of the Universal Postal Union (UPU),
said that postmen and women still play an important role serving
certain communities and ensuring that all citizens have access
to a variety of services, including people living in remote
areas, on isolated islands and in disaster-prone areas.
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night; in times of
war and in times of peace dissuades these couriers from
completing their chosen rounds,” Hussein said in Nairobi at a
ceremony marking the 144th World Post Day.
“Until and unless one discovers how to deliver a parcel through
the iPad, internet or smart phone, the post is here to stay and
cannot be obsolete,” said Hussein who is Kenya’s former
He said the more than 600,000 postal outlets globally are used
by private citizens and businesses to send letters, parcels and
remittances and also conduct financial transactions even in some
of the world’s remotest places.
The advent of the Internet and other digital services have led
to a steady decline in postal services’ core operation of
delivering letters and parcels to recipients. Postal services
have responded by diversifying into new service areas to broaden
their revenue base.
“In the current digital age, the Post has positioned itself as a
major player in global commerce with its ‘one global network’
approach that makes it an obvious delivery partner for
businesses selling online,” said Hussein.
Kenya to host
regional e-commerce postal hub
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya Postal Corporation will host an eastern
Africa regional e-commerce hub, a government official said on
Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communication and Technology
Joe Mucheru said the hub, which will serve Tanzania, Rwanda,
Uganda and Burundi national postal services, will help
strengthen the operations of the postal corporations in the
The initiative aims at establishing an integrated, inclusive and
innovative e-commerce ecosystem provided by postal operators
through online e-commerce platforms, Mucheru said in a statement
issued during celebrations marking the 144th World
“The initiative will greatly boost local and regional e-commerce
and enable Kenya tap into the opportunity whose global value is
estimated to rise to 2.36 trillion dollars by 2022,” he added.
Francis Wangusi, director general of Communications Authority of
Kenya (CAK), said the country was identified to host the hub
because it is strategically located, has the busiest
international airport, deep seaport and one of the highest
up-take of internet and mobile telecommunication infrastructure.
The initiative will first strengthen the operational efficiency
of the national postal network for effective international
exchanges, Wangusi said.
“The e-commerce takes the place of one of the main drivers for
the delivery business in the postal sector filling the gap
caused by the letter volumes decline,” Wangusi said.
Postmaster General Daniel Kagwe observed that the corporation is
re-inventing itself by taking advantage of ICT to create
attractive innovative services.
He added that the corporation is also working toward a global
partnership on e-commerce with Jersey Post and Amazon Web
Services, which will be signed before the end of 2018.
phones make a hit in Kenya’s rural areas
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Chinese-made cell phones are now wildly popular
in Kenya’s rural areas due to their multitude of functions and
Chinese brands like Fero, X-tigi and Xgm are little known in
urban areas like Nairobi, but these low cost feature phones have
taken over the countryside. Several Chinese cell phones with a
pricetag of 8 to 25 U.S. dollars are affordable to residents in
Kenya’s rural areas where incomes in general are low.
Functions like radio, flashlight, camera and the internet make
the phones a hit in the countryside because they help local
residents enjoy a similar experience as if being in the city,
home to more expensive models.
Joseph Shikono, a motorbike taxi rider in western Kenya’s
Kakamega district, is the proud owner of a 15-dollar
“With this phone, I access all social media sites,” he said.
“This is what I can afford and it is serving me well,” Shikono
Like Shikono, a majority of the riders in vast upcountry towns
are using similar Chinese-made phones.
“This phone does not consume much time because it does not have
many applications like high-end smart phones,” said Beatrice
Agutu, a resident of Busia, on the border of Kenya and Uganda.
Agutu added that she charges her phone twice a week as the
battery lasts quite long. She also listens to music with it.
Unlike other foreign manufacturers that generally concentrate on
high-end phones, Chinese manufactures cover all kinds of
segments—low, middle and high-end.
Earnest Manuyo, a business management lecturer at Pioneer
Institute in Nairobi, said that the bulk of phone makers have
ignored the mass market, comprised of the rural population and
urban poor, who live in slums.
“Many Chinese manufacturers have not ignored this segment
including those who make expensive phones like Tecno and Oppo,”
Manuyo said. “This is a plus for them as they have cemented
their dominance in a market least talked about.”