Postal Services Not Yet dead in the ICT Age



It has been said that the development of ICT in Kenya has caused a downward trend in the postal services.

It is true that email, text messages and over the top services such as Whatsapp have all contributed to the decline of letters across the county. But the postal services are not yet ready to throw in the towel.

According to the last Communication Authority statistics, between January and March this year there were 16, 846,228 letters sent. This is a huge number but also a huge chunk might represent the number of bills that are still on slow mail.

During the World Post Day, yesterday, Cabinet Secretary for Information and Communication Technology, Dr. Fred Matiang’i reiterated that the growth of ecommerce could largely benefit the postal services.

“We have seen in other parts of the world where new and more innovative solutions have increased the opportunities for improving business processes in the post and courier operations.   Electronic commerce is steadily taking root in the country with the facilitation of the linkage between traders and consumers,” the CS said.

“It is true that ICT has posed a great challenge to the post, with pessimists even predicting the death of the post.  In retrospect, the technology options available to postal operators are also many.”

The government has also stepped in to ensure that the services remain relevant in the country by transforming some of the postal centres to Huduma Centres that offer more government services such as ID processing and availing government public documents.

“PCK [Postal Corporation of Kenya] will play a key role in implementing the mandate of the National Payment Gateway using its wide network of more than 623 Post Offices countrywide.  This is in addition to the recent adoption of the E-payments solution popularly known as Postapesa. This and many other e-payments systems will go a long way in contributing towards a cashless economy,” Dr. Matiang’i said.