On the sidelines of the celebration of 40 years of UPAP, a high-level forum was organized in Arusha on January 17 on the theme: La Poste, a veritable partner for financial inclusion and regional integration. ”
The overarching objective of the forum is therefore to share experiences and best practices drawn from various organizations in ensuring that regional integration and financial inclusion are bolstered on the continent in general, especially how the post can be looped in to play that lofty role.
To explore the theme, the main stakeholders will include development partners, policymakers from Member States, among others: UPU, EGYPT, Bank of Tanzania, CRDB Bank, African Union Commission, Vodacom, and IFAD.
The Forum was chaired by Mr. Yaya Sangare, Minister of Communication, responsible for relations with the institutions of Mali.
In summary, at the end of the Forum, participants must have known and understood the potential role of the post in bolstering regional integration and financial inclusion in Africa. Thus the goals of this forum are as follows:
- Understand role of the post in the pursuit of political and economic integration which includes free movement of persons and goods/services as well as establishment of Continental Free Trade Areas, among others. Strategies to achieve these activities may include introduction of measures to boost e-commerce and electronic transfers for trade promotion, etc.;
- Establish the link between the post and its contribution towards socioeconomic development on the continent via financial inclusion initiatives.
Au terme du Forum, la déclaration ci-dessous a été faite:
We, delegates from the under listed PAPU Member States, assembled in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania, on 17th-18th January, 2020 during the PAPU 40th Anniversary Celebrations:
Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Congo (Republic), Congo (Democratic Republic), Egypt, Gambia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Madagascar, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.
In the presence of the following partners:
African Union Commission (AUC), African Airlines Association (AFRAA), African Telecommunications Union (ATU), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Japan, Pan African Parliament, Universal Postal Union (UPU), BoT Tanzania,.
Expressing our gratitude to His Excellency Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, the President of the United Republic of Tanzania for his continued commitment to host the Pan African Union Headquarters;
Further Expressing our gratitude to the Government of Tanzania for hosting and facilitating the 40th Anniversary which presented us with the opportunity to renew the Posts commitment to Financial Inclusion on the one hand and the Post & regional integration on the other in our respective countries, and to coordinate our efforts so as to strengthen the implementation of the African Union Agenda 2063 “the Africa we want”, the United Nations Sustainable Goals (UND SDGs) as well as the Regional Development Plan for Africa (2017-2020);
Recalling the theme of the 40th Anniversary of PAPU “The Post: A veritable Partner for Financial Inclusion and Regional Integration”;
Taking note of new initiatives to foster Financial Inclusion & Regional Integration of our continent at the national, regional and continental levels such as Financial Inclusion Technical Assistance Facility;
Considering Resolution L12 on Postal Financial Services adopted by the Seventh joint AUC/UNECA annual Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development held in Abuja in March 2014, which underscored, among others, the need for postal networks to deploy advanced ICTs in order to provide adequate access to basic financial and other services as well as confirmed its commitment to prioritizing the transformation of existing postal assets and resources with a view to increasing access to basic services and thereby promoting financial inclusion.
Determined to pursue an inclusive, innovative and integrative approach in implementing Financial Inclusion & Regional Integration initiatives via the post at all levels;
HEREBY AGREE AS FOLLOWS:
On Financial inclusion
- Access to financial services is a basic right to the majority of our people, especially the disadvantaged and those in rural settings;
- The need for the Post in Africa to be empowered to diversify their product portfolio to provide financial services such as license to operate Bureau de Change, work on behalf of the government for revenue collection;
On regional integration
- The role of the postal operator is to develop partnerships that will lead to innovativeness, inclusiveness and interoperability;
- Africa must develop interdependent infrastructure to foster regional development.
Call for the elaboration of development goals on Financial Inclusion & Regional Integration within the context of the Regional Development Plan for Africa (2017-2020 and beyond) that are supported by measurable targets and indicators;
Renew our commitment to further enhance the role of Post as a veritable partner for Financial Inclusion & Regional Integration. In this regard:
Urge Governments to prioritize and allocate resources in their national budget for the promotion of Financial Inclusion & Regional integration via the Post;
Further urge the Designated Postal Operators to undergo ISO Quality Management Systems in order to build trust to customers as well as improve quality of service;
Call upon development partners to support this declaration.
Request the African Union Commission, in collaboration with the Regional Economic Communities, sub regional postal organizations and the Member States to harmonize and coordinate the formulation of such development goals by improving the performance of postal financial services & regional integration and promote innovation in the areas in which the Post faces particular challenges.
Call on the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and other development partners to facilitate the adoption by the international community of such development goals delivered via the Post.
Done in Arusha, Tanzania, on 18th January, 2020