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India Hosts ‘India Africa Postal Leaders Meet’ to Strengthen South-South Cooperation in Postal Sector

New Delhi: The ‘India Africa Postal Leaders Meet’ is currently underway in India, running from June 21 to 25, 2024. The event aims to bolster the relationship between the postal administrations of African countries and India. This initiative, part of the Universal Postal Union’s “South-South and Triangular Cooperation” programme, is supported by India Post and the United States Postal Service.

The significance of this meet is underscored by India’s recent initiatives such as the ‘Voice of Global South Summit’ and the India-Africa Forum, along with the inclusion of the African Union in the G20 during India’s Presidency in 2023. For this landmark event, 42 heads of postal administrations and senior management personnel from 22 African countries in the Global South are participating.

Key Themes and Objectives:

The primary theme of the meet is capacity building through study visits, showcasing India Post’s successful service delivery model. India’s unique approach of integrating digital services with traditional postal operations has garnered international attention, inspiring the coordination of this meet by the Universal Postal Union.

Developing countries’ postal services face similar challenges and play a critical role in sustainable development and financial inclusion. Collaboration among postal administrations is essential to address these challenges effectively. The Postal Leaders Meet provides a platform for mutual learning and exploration of new collaborative opportunities.

Showcasing India’s Postal Innovations:

During the study visits, delegates are being introduced to various services provided by India Post, including e-commerce parcels, Dak Niryat Kendras (postal centers supporting exports), postal financial services, and the India Post Payments Bank. The delivery of citizen-centric services such as Aadhaar-enabled services, Passport services, and Digital Life Certificates is also being showcased. Special emphasis is placed on the transformative role of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Aadhaar in bolstering India’s digital infrastructure.

Ministerial Addresses:

At an event in New Delhi on June 24, 2024, Minister of State for Communications Shri Chandra Sekhar Pemmasani emphasized India’s commitment to close cooperation in achieving the Universal Postal Union’s mission of a seamless global postal network. He highlighted India’s dedication to the Global South and Africa, particularly in addressing cross-border e-commerce and financial inclusion challenges through technological advancements. Shri Pemmasani assured continued support for training and capacity building through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme.

Minister of Communications and Development of the North Eastern Region, Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, lauded the successful organization of the summit. “This initiative underscores our commitment to fostering stronger Indo-Africa ties through postal services. I am confident that this program will facilitate the exchange of best practices and enhance the global postal network for last-mile delivery of services,” he stated.

A Shared Vision for the Future:

The delegates expressed their gratitude to the Department of Posts, Government of India, for hosting a productive and forward-looking event that aligns with the shared vision and goals for the postal sector in the Global South.

The event was attended by senior representatives from the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Customs, UIDAI, NPCI, India Post Payments Bank, and Members of the Postal Services Board. The meet underscores India’s commitment to strengthening international postal cooperation and leveraging postal services for broader socio-economic development.

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