St Helena : St. Helena Participates in the Conference of Commonwealth Postal Administrations
Submitted by Saint Helena Herald (Juanita Brock) 22.08.2006 (Article Archived on 05.09.2006)
St. Helena's Commercial Representative, Asam Kossowski, hasattended this important conference.
CONFERENCE OF COMMONWEALTH POSTAL ADMINISTRATIONS
Date: 25 – 28 JULY
Location: Sun City
Conference: 2006 Conference of Commonwealth Postal Administrations (CCPA), 25TH- 28TH July 2006, Sun City, SOUTH AFRICA.
Topic: “SHOWCASING AFRICA”: Postal Challenges: The next two years from the 2006 CCPA to the Nairobi Congress in 2008.
Adam Kossowski, St Helena Commercial Representative, attended the Commonwealth Conference of Postal Administrators (CCPA) on behalf of St Helena Island Postal Services as an observer.
The conference took place at Sun City, South Africa, from 25 to 28 July and was attended by the Postal leadership and representatives from a number of the Commonwealth countries, including Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand, South Africa, Botswana, India, Singapore, Kenya, Nigeria, Cameroon, Lesotho, Ghana, Zambia, and represents approximately 96 member nations from every corner of the globe, with a total population of 1.7 billion customers. The conference provides a critical platform for member countries to discuss matters of mutual interest and exchange best practices and technical cooperation.
“It was interesting to observe that the range of representation stretched from India with a population of 1.2 billion people served by 155 516 post offices, to St Helena with our population of around 4000 people and one post office service. This should make the island proud to have a voice for the first time at such an event, especially as all territories were treated equally in importance in terms of their services and challenges” says Adam Kossowski.
The conference theme, titled Showcasing Africa particularly focussed on addressing issues that Commonwealth postal administrations face and further establishing global joint venture partnerships. The CCPA provided a forum for discussing matters of mutual interest, particularly the present challenges of technological substitution, globalisation, increasing pressures of de-regulation, growing customer expectations, and competition.
“In essence this conference looked at the essential challenges facing postal administrations worldwide to ensure efficient postal service globally, while finding ways to continue in an increasingly technological and challenging environment” said Adam, “this raises the nub of what all postal services worldwide are focussing on: to ensure an adaptive and responsive postal service challenged by new modes of communications that are increasingly quicker and cheaper”.
Support for postal sector reform by governments is needed so that postal services can effectively meet commercial challenges and thus satisfy customer needs. This need was stated in the 1998 Kula Lumpur Declaration and is an imperative for modernisation and reform within all Commonwealth postal administrations worldwide. Thus another key focus of the conference was the role government should play in the support of postal administrations, particularly in developing countries, in the face of these challenges.
“The conclusion reached at the conference by many speakers was the need for government to commit support to their postal administrations to achieve modernisation and reform. In St Helena’s case this would translate to any services that the post office requires in the future to ensure mail is delivered efficiently as measured by smooth lines of communication and ongoing and immediate contact with other postal administrations to secure acceptable effectiveness in it delivery” comments Adam. “Keep in mind the changes and likely pressure of this need with soon-to-be air access where direct airmail will become a reality from and to St Helena.”
“The conclusion reached by the conference I fully endorse”, says Postmistress Beverley Francis, St Helena Post Office. “I am confident that St Helena government will continue to give their support to St Helena Post Office to achieve modernisation and reform, especially with the development of air access. St Helena Postal administration is looking forward to see the changes imposed by air access to bring about an improved the service.”
Representatives identified many new aspects to the usefulness of the postal service in future. In particular these included: the postal administrations unique outreach into rural areas, support for pensions and grants, ensuring delivery of official documents and other suchlike postal offerings, as well as evolving new and emerging activities such as financial postal banking and related e-services.
“In conclusion, St Helena’s attendance allowed me to report back to our Postal Administration with a review and completely up-to-date picture of the issues and solutions being proposed by these global challenges and make some useful introductions for the St Helena Postal Service to improve its own postal arrangements with South Africa, the United Kingdom, and internationally,” says Adam. “On this note I would like to personally thank Beverley Francis for the great trust she put into me to represent her organisation at such a conspicuous event. This is greatly appreciated and I hope the reward of the new contacts made and information provided will bring the required support for her office.”
The outcome of this conference will also see postal administrators preparing for the first Universal Postal Union Congress to be held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2008, to which St Helena is cordially welcomed.