Uganda has won to retain its position at the Council of administration of the global Posts body called Universal Post Union. The voting took place Wednesday 5th October 2016 at the 26th sitting of the UPU congress going on now in Istanbul Turkey’s capital. Out of 192 member countries only 151 countries had voting rights at this congress and Uganda was voted 6th from the African region that had 16 contenders. Only eleven had to be picked.
“As Uganda’s head of delegation i am very proud of this win. Despite the fact that we didn’t have any campaign budget to host lunch and dinner receptions as many countries did here at the magnificent Hilton Hotel, we still managed to sell our country candidacy through a subtle-one to one campaign typical of our home grown ‘Kakuyege’. Am immensely grateful to the competent team of staff from Uganda commissions’ commission, Uganda posts, Ministry of ICT and Foreign Affairs that ably backed me on the ground here to execute the campaign. I also thank Our ambassador to Turkey H.E Johnson Agara Olwa for his diplomatic frantic efforts. I thank my Predecessor Hon John Nasasira for having set this campaign in motion. Largely we owe this victory to his leadership. Equally appreciated is Hon Sam Kutesa and his ministry for creating good dependable allies of Uganda. Above of all that, I thank H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for being a good ambassador of our Country as the chief guide of our foreign policy. Many countries that we canvassed support from had high regard for our President. That is what largely enabled our campaign.
This 26th UPU congress also discussed the role of Posta in the changing global digital environment. It was agreed that posts allover enjoy huge networks of physical infrastructure and if integrated with e-commerce, Posts can become a far much better, efficient and cheaper actor in the provision of e-commerce services compared to banks and telecoms. Member Countries therefore were tasked to review their domestic policies to make sure the work of posta copes up with the digitally changing environment and position it to respond ably to the needs of it’s clients majority of which are the rural under-served.
Next week Uganda proceeds to Washington – USA, where we are sponsoring a candidate Mr Patrick Masambu vying for the top most job of Director General of the International telecommunications satellite organization (ITSO). We hope for the best and seek prayers of all Ugandans.
Minister of ICT and National Guidance
Issued 5th October 2016
Hilton Hotel, Istanbul Turkey
STATEMENT BY MINISTER OF ICT AND NATIONAL GUIDANCE AT THE 26TH UPU CONGRESS, ISTANBUL, TURKEY, 3RD OCTOBER 2016
Ministers and Heads of delegations,
The Director General of UPU,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
On behalf of my delegation, I would like to thank the Government and People of the Republic of Turkey for the kind hospitality extended to us since our arrival in this beautiful and historic city of Istanbul and the excellent facilities provided to make the 26th UPU Congress a success.
I bring you warm greetings and salutations from H.E President Yoweri Museveni, the Government and the people of Uganda. My delegation and I are indeed pleased to be associated with this continental event where visionary policies, regulations and development plans for the postal industry are formulated.
Mr. Chairman, today, there is no doubt that the modern world is undergoing an unprecedented transformation from the industrial society that marked the 20th century to the information society of the 21st century. In order to get equal and maximum benefit from this continued growth of the information Communications facilities including postal services, the world community ought to increase their efforts for more global cooperation and harmonization in appropriate areas.
We believe that this important Congress will create an important platform to deal with cooperation projects and exchange of views among the nations and together we shall be able to identify and adopt the right decisions to grow the Post further, especially in this constantly changing global ICT environment.
Mr. Chairman, Uganda is pleased to note that the Congress is focusing on issues that are indeed pertinent to us and the African continent as a whole. In this context, effective infrastructure, internet connectivity, electricity distribution, addressing, quality of services, security and capacity building remain paramount. We believe our discussion of these issues will provide the right solutions so as to reposition the Postal sector especially in the face of constantly changing global environment, which have posed multi-dimensional challenges to the postal sector especially in Africa.
A major challenge that we face as Governments, Regulatory Authorities, Postal Operators and other stakeholders individually and collectively is to quickly adapt to the changes in the Postal landscape to realise the benefits of an e- government, e-post, e-commerce and an e-world. As developing countries, we need to take advantage of the postal technological opportunities in order to overcome the challenges brought about by the digital divide.
Mr. Chairman and distinguished delegates, the Government of Uganda recognizes the importance of the postal sector in socio-economic development of the country and thus is committed to;
Leveraging growth in communications services’ penetration using the Universal Access rural model
Adopting standards and ICT enabled platforms to reengineer processes and new postal product development
Promoting the role of the post as a viable medium in delivery of e-government services to citizens
We are further dedicated to strengthening the relevance and contribution of the Postal services by bringing on board all the stakeholders and member states, to implement the three (3) “I”s (innovation, integration and inclusion). This, we appreciate is key to the transformation of postal services from the basic delivery services to the three dimensional postal service that combines the physical, electronic and financial services.
In Uganda, we have embarked on this transformational journey through the following:
Implementing the National Addressing Systems and post code
Remodeling of our post offices through partnership with actors in other sectors
Partnering between various government departments to increase the diversity of services available through the post offices
Enhancing quality of service, reliability and efficiency of the postal networks by putting minimum QoS standards in place for operators
Increasing postal integrity and security and facilitate customs processes by developing draft Industrial security guidelines currently which have been shared with stakeholders
Facilitating international e-commerce (via RCDF) of the establishment of postal tele centers in various towns to be used in the provision of modern postal services
We look forward to strengthening these as well as others identified under the UPU and sharing experience with each other.
Uganda is further grateful to the UPU for its QSF project support initiatives during the cycle 2012 – 2016 which have improved transmission and delivery of inbound mail.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is our belief, that we have a collective responsibility to ensure that this Union is positioned to coordinate identification and implementation of solutions that adequately address the social economic challenges of the 21st century.
In the new environment of the globalised market economy, the need for more and instant knowledge and information cannot be overemphasized. We live in an age of interconnectivity and interdependence, where technology has traversed geographic boundaries in the transaction of business. Therefore, as representatives of our governments in this forum, we need to support the efforts of the Union and advocate for prioritization of postal reforms and development in our Governments.
This congress being a top policy-making organ of the Union, allow me to address the members on the subject matter of elections. I am pleased to inform and remind you that Uganda is seeking re-election to the Council of Administration of UPU for the period 2016-2020. On behalf of my government, I, respectfully request your support for Uganda’s candidature.
Lastly, I wish to assure Chair of Uganda’s commitment towards the implementation of the resolutions and programs that will be agreed upon at this UPU Congress.
We look forward to more fruitful deliberations
I thank you for your kind attention.
Frank K. Tumwebaze
MINISTER OF ICT AND NATIONAL GUIDANCE