Minister Kunkuyu urges postal and courier operators to reach rural areas
Minister urges postal/courier operators to serve rural communities, highlights importance of postal services in Malawi at 2022 World Post Day in Ntcheu-Thokozani Beaton.
Malawi: Minister of Information and Digitalization, Moses Kunkuyu, has called on postal and courier operators in the country to expand their services to reach rural communities, writes Thokozani Beaton.
Kunkuyu made the remarks during the unveiling of the data centre renovated by the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) in Ntcheu during the commemoration of the 2022 World Post Day in Ntcheu on Friday.
During his speech, he acknowledged the important role postal services play in the exchange of information and goods in the country and highlighted the need for the government to form a National Postal Policy to ensure a regulated and inclusive postal industry.
"One cannot talk of communication operators that have a direct presence within rural communities without talking of the Post Office," Kunkuyu said.
"In other words, postal and courier service providers remain an integral part of communications services in Malawi and they should be commended for the role they play in the development of our country."
Kunkuyu also acknowledged postal services' potential to provide essential social and economic services to all Malawians but urged operators not to become complacent and to remain innovative.
"It should be our goal to reach the most remote parts of Malawi, particularly underserved communities that are cut off from the information superhighway," he said.
"The government believes that a connected citizen is an empowered individual. It is therefore critical that we all work together towards reducing the communication gap that is there among our people, especially those living in rural areas.”
Victor Sitima, managing director for DHL International Malawi Limited and vice chairperson of the Courier Association of Malawi, said that there are challenges in the courier industry, particularly the influx of unlicensed courier operators.
"The main challenges are basically the influx of unlicensed courier operators in the country. People are just coming to start operating as couriers without being licensed," Sitima said.
He also indicated that clearing their parcels with the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) and Malawi Police takes time when flights land at the airport.
"For the courier bulks to be attended to by MRA, it takes time. So it delays the clearance in the country," he said.
Despite the challenges, Sitima has appealed to the government and other stakeholders to give courier operators more attention when flights land to smooth their operations.
Macra's board director, Reverend Father Henry Saindi, spoke on behalf of the board chairperson and said that the 2022 World Post Day was commemorated on October 9 each year, but it was shifted to give time for renovation works at the Data Centre.
This year, the day was observed under the theme "Post for Planet".
World Post Day is celebrated to highlight the importance of postal services in people's and businesses' everyday lives, as well as its contribution to global social and economic development.