Managing Director of Ghana Post, James Kwofie, who doubles as the Chairman of the West African Postal Conference (WAPCO) Council Administration, has identified a major setback impeding the growth and development of the postal and e-commerce services in West Africa.
Mr. Kwofie was speaking at a two-day workshop held in Cote d’Ivoire.
It was organised by the ECOWAS Commission and WAPCO on the ‘Contribution of the Post to the Development of E-Commerce in West Africa’.
Cote d’Ivoire would again assemble stakeholders of the postal and e-commerce sector as it hosts the 27th Universal Postal Congress next year in Abidjan.
The WAPCO workshop was aimed among other things at reviewing national e-commerce strategies implemented in ECOWAS countries via the Ecom@Africa framework.
Progress on test pilot countries Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya and Tunisia selected for regional strategy on the e-commerce were shared at the workshop.
It was also meant to define a regional action plan for the development of the e-commerce in the postal services at the ECOWAS level and further unite the posts of ECOWAS member states around the Abidjan platform, a warehouse hub consisting of 10 acres located at the Airport.
He said e-commerce service offers growth opportunities for the postal sector with large physical, logistic and financial infrastructure in all countries.
“The goal is to adopt an integrated plan taking into account the evolution of new technologies of communication, while addressing issues pertaining to technological infrastructure development and cross-border payments indispensable to e-commerce.
“This strategy depends on our ability to remove the barriers to the consumers of cross-border transactions; Help the postal leaders to modernize their business processes; use all standardised IT tools and end-to-end systems to implement efficient operational and simplified solutions; Help the designated operators to better prepare for the e-commerce.”
He acknowledged the critical role played by the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the United Nations’ specialized agency for the postal sector in the expansion and development of the e-commerce sector.
Mr. Kwofie was confident the workshop would be a success such that the postal network can play the role expected by the political leaders for the emergence of the ECOWAS member states.
The WAPCO Chairman expressed gratitude to Ecowas, UPU and the government of Cote d’Ivoire for their great contributions.