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UN postal agency targets Nairobi e-commerce hub

Information Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru
Information Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru addresses guests during the World Post Day celebration at the InterContinental Hotel in Nairobi on October 9, 2018. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU 

United Nations’s Universal Postal Union (UPU) is eyeing a partnership with Kenya to establish a regional e-commerce hub.

The move is expected to throw a lifeline to the troubled Postal Corporation of Kenya given its decline in the letter post segment and other traditional postal services.

The UPU-supported project, dubbed [email protected], aims to assist postal corporations in Africa to develop efficient e-commerce services.

The infrastructure would include a series of storage areas at airports such as the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi and other ports of entry as well as at the standard gauge railway.

The UPU’s planned e-commerce hub will cater to countries within the eastern Africa region such as Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.

“Kenya has been selected by the union (UPU) as one of the countries to roll out the regional ecommerce hub with leverage on the extensive postal outlets that we have in the region.

“This initiative, together with the ongoing national addressing system, will greatly boost local and regional e-commerce and enable Kenya to tap into the opportunities in e-commerce whose global value is estimated to reach $2.36 trillion by the year 2022,” said ICT secretary Joe Mucheru during the World Post Day celebration yesterday.

After a pledge by President Uhuru Kenyatta to undertake the project and a principal endorsement of the draft agreement by the Attorney General’s office, the deal is due for signing in November by Mr Mucheru and UPU director-general Bishar Hussein.

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