Closing up the digitalisation Gap in Cameroon’s Postal Services

It plays a preponderant role in the world in terms of e-commerce even though faced with other technological challenges. President Paul Biya had initiated several reforms to keep Cameroon’s post offices abreast with modernity.

Shawn-Nathan EPANG

Cameroon joined the international community on October 9 to commemorate World Postal Day. Though no public manifestations were held in the country to mark the event, actors in the sector are reflecting on improving on its services in the wake of growing challenges brought about by technological innovations. This year’s theme selected by the Universal Postal Union is “The post delivering goods to the world.” To the Director of Mail Operations and Network of Cameroon Postal Services (CAMPOST), Marc Aurèle Mandeng, the theme does not only connote the business aspect but also highlights the human aspect of the postal services in delivering goods to all humanity no matter where they are. Cameroon Postal Services is the only operator in Cameroon that caters even for the rural communities. Mr Mandeng cited the example of the distribution of school textbooks to rural areas by CAMPOST, stating that it plays a public service function.

He equally enumerated measures that have been put in place by President Paul Biya and his government to modernise the sector such as the e-post project that links over 250 post offices in the country with one network. Operations carried out in Ekondo Titi in Ndian Division for example can be instantly be seen in Yaounde. The government has also constructed the CAMPOST Data centre in Yaounde to match up with technology.

The postal services in Cameroon, he disclosed, are being improved upon to catch up with the technological evolution. The aspect of sending mails he affirmed, has been narrowed to government administration and private enterprises while personal mails are almost inexistent due to the emergence of digital platforms of communication. However, the post office is adapting to the changing times with digitalisation of its services on the move. It is however waxing strong with e-commerce as it transmits goods to clients bought via e-commerce operations. This is confirmed by the Director General of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), Bishar A. Hussein, in his message on the World Post Day. “In the era of digitalisation, the post is positioned as a major actor in e-commerce across the world. It is based on the world network that has made the post a partner for the distribution for enterprises that sell their products online,” he said. The Director General of UPU thus urges the international community to celebrate the confidence, reliability and security that characterises postal services. The postal services in Cameroon has one public operator (CAMPOST) and over 250 private operators in the sector.

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