‘Postal services crucial in Covid-19 fight’
SENIOR STAFF WRITER
POSTAL and courier services have kept the world afloat in the most difficult period of the ravaging coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic by delivering essentials, including medicine and necessities hence the need to innovate and embrace the use of technology, a Cabinet minister has said.
Speaking during the World Post Day commemorations yesterday in Gokwe, where he also officially opened a Community Information Centre set up by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz), Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security minister Jenfan Muswere said Covid-19 had taught the world the importance of postal services hence the need to capacitate the sector to make life easier for people in times of crises.
“This is what gives me hope and I believe that modernisation of the sector will help us alleviate and overcome the pandemic,” Muswere said.
“Globally, the postal sector is moving away from focussing on offering traditional mail business, which was predominantly letters, and is now focussing more on e-commerce, agency and financial services to enhance financial inclusion through provision of e-solutions, which are cost sensitive and widely accessible.”
He said the government was mulling use of drones for postal services and urged companies to embrace technology in their doing of business.
“As the ministry responsible for ICTs, I implore the postal and courier sector to explore and establish e-substitution solutions in line with global trends,” Muswere said.
“I also urge the post office to consider drone deliveries as these will eliminate risks associated with physical transportation.”
Potraz director-general Gift Machengete said ICTs remain key, especially as Zimbabwe fights Covid-19.
“Post offices have also been essential in e-commerce and in the near future they will be the hub for e-government services, a project which the ministry is seized with, in partnership with partners like Potraz,” Machengete said.
Midlands Provincial Affairs and Devolution minister Larry Mavima saluted the government and Potraz for considering rural areas in ICTs development.