Kenyan wins second term at helm of global postal agency

Universal Postal Union director-general Bishar Hussein. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL
Universal Postal Union director-general Bishar Hussein. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL 

Kenya’s Bishar Hussein has been re-elected as director-general of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) for a second term.

Mr Hussein will begin the four-year tenure in December after Kenya garnered 159 votes for a seat contested by 14 other member states.

Pascal Clevez was also re-elected as the deputy director-general. UPU is a specialised agency of the United Nations that coordinates postal policies among member nations and the worldwide postal system.

To win the position a candidate requires 50 plus one votes from the member states. A third of the membership of the organisation constitutes African countries.

Information Communication Technology Cabinet secretary Joe Mucheru expressed gratitude to member countries for supporting Kenya, which he said was a sign of their confidence in the country.

“Kenya is fully committed to promoting and supporting the principles and ideals of what the UPU stands for.

“We believe in the unity of the union and would like to see its great success in the Istanbul Cycle to achieve the common vision of integration, inclusion and innovation,” he said.


During his bid for another term Mr Hussein said his team has supported member states, especially those in developing countries, to take advantage of emerging technologies as well as keeping stakeholder engagements at the centre of it decision making.

For instance, UPU has supported the industry regulator to automate the letter and parcels delivery monitoring system that was launched in Kenya in June.

The organisation has also undertaken reforms at UPU secretariat that have resulted in enhanced efficiency, transparency and well as regional and gender balance for its international staff.

UPU’s headquarters are located in Bern, Switzerland. The agency consists of 192-member countries, that agree to the same terms for conducting international postal work.

Mr Hussein is the first African to lead the 141-year-old agency after taking over from Edouard Dayan of Uruguay in January 2013, for a four-year term which expires on December 31. 

In the last elections Mr Hussein beat Serrana Bassini Casco from the Uruguay by 87 votes to 72.