The government has urged the nation of Zambia to stay connected by utilizing modern postal services that are earmarked for lunch soon.
Minister of Communications and Transport Dora Siliya in a speech on the launch of the 2008 World Post Day reminded the nation of the vital link to people’s lives that Zampost plays especially in rural areas.
Siliya said the World Post Day Celebrations theme was “Stay Connected”; to emphasis the pivotal role that communication plays in the social, economic and structural development of the world economy.
“We live in a society where access to information lies at the heart of most human activity. Information about goods and services is increasingly driving global business, and the Postal systems finds itself providing that most important link to the global market as long as we stay connected,” said Siliya.
She observed that some Postal enterprises have realized the importance of the need to reform by using new technologies and have embarked on implementing measures designed to improve the quality of service and to expand the product and service portfolio.
She informed Zambians that Zamposts was implementing the theme for this years and had partnered with the Zambia Telecommunications corporation limited (ZAMTEL) by installing the Wide Area Network (WAN) to link all Posts Offices throughout the country. She said implementation of the project was at an estimated cost of USD 700 000 and that it had already stated and was expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Siliya observed that the Wide Area Network will bring many benefits not only to Zamposts but to the general populance through improved connectivity, wider internet access, automation of counter operations, operational efficiency through better financial monitoring and control, cost reductions and new business opportunities.
She said Zampost was acquiring more computers to ensure that counter services in all Post Offices wre efficient and effective.
“This initiative is expected to greatly improve service delivery and will minimize the long queues we are accustomed to see at post offices,” said Saliya.
She added that Zampost was taking full advantage of WAN comprising of 119 fully fledged post offices, 46 sub post offices and 58 postal agencies to expand its product set with new value added products and services such as more tarck and trace facilities, hybrid mail, post shops, automated teller machines, point of sale devices, banking services and Electronic Post (e-post).
She said the services combine both hardcopy and electronic express mail delivery and that customers will be able to send messages via e mail for physical delivery to post boxes and physical address.
She said her ministry was mandated to ensure that information and communication technology related services such as telecommunications and internet services were available to all the Zambian people including rural areas.
She observed that in this regard Post Offices have been identified as key institutions which will play a major role in achieving that national vision 2030.
“Despite predications of their demise not so long ago, postal services are alive and well and now more relevant than ever. E-mail and the Internet have not replaced them, but have interested created new opportunities. We live at a time where the different means of communication complement each other. The postal sector provides a precious service, not only to anyone who buys or sells online, but also to people not yet able to make full use of the new technologies and for whom a the mail is a vital and inter-regional trade, the development gap between postal services around the world needs to be narrowed so that businesses and individuals can benefit more from them,” said Edouard Dayan, Director general of the UPU.