The call by the Zambian government to urge Postal administrators in the Southern African region to invest in Information Communication technologies for them to provide value added products and services to their countries is valid.
Press reports show that Deputy Minister of Communications and Transport, Mubika Mubika said this in Siavonga on Monday June 17 when he opened the Southern African Postal Operators Association annual general meeting. Mubika urged Postal administration to reform their traditional operation led organizations and adopt customer and service led organizations.
For Zambia it should be noted that, in 1994, Parliament enacted the Telecommunications Act, which resulted in the restructuring of the telecommunications sub sector by separating the Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (PTC) into two commercial entities which are the Zambia Telecommunications Limited (ZAMTEL) and the Zambia Postal Services Corporation (ZAMPOST). In additional this included the removal of regulatory functions from the PTC; thus resulting in the establishment of an autonomous regulatory agency, the Communications Authority of Zambia (CAZ). On the other hand regulation of the postal sub sector was still carried out by the Ministry of Communications and Transport through a Licensing committee comprising various stakeholders.
Postal and courier services are mainly provided by ZAMPOST. The Corporation covers the country through a network of about 116 Post offices, 64 Sub Post Offices and 55 Postal agencies.
A large percentage of the 72 districts have an operational post office. In addition, there are private courier services, which are concentrated along Livingstone Copperbelt corridor for delivery of parcels. However, some private courier operators now service provincial centres as well.
In relation to provision of ICTs, ZAMPOST offers a money transfer service called “SWIFT CASH” which has enabled many people within the country to receive and send money. Many Zambians are happy are please with the services as it is an alternative to Western Union a money transfer service which many Zambians now use to receive and send money to people living out of the country.