Uganda elected to PAPU Council
By Omondi Julius Odera, Kampala, Uganda
For the next four years, Uganda will be sitting on the Administrative Council of the Pan African Postal Union (PAPU). The development follows the election of Uganda to the Council during the 31st Administrative Council of PAPU that took place at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last month.
With its headquarters in Arusha, PAPU is a specialised agency of the African Union (AU). The 43-member state organisation was founded in 1980 following the decision of the Plenipotentiary Conference of the then Organisation of Africa Unity (OAU) – as the AU was then known – that was held in Arusha, Tanzania in 1980. PAPU aims to spearhead the development of postal services in Africa.
The Plenipotentiary Conference is the supreme policy making body of PAPU. It is composed of ministers responsible for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) of member countries, who meets every four years in Ordinary Sessions to consider and approve a four-year programme of action, budget ceilings for the four-year cycle, election of the Secretary General and their Assistant, among others. The Conference also holds Extra-Ordinary Sessions, where necessary.
The Administrative Council which reports to the Conference meets annually and is also responsible to run the affairs of the Union between Conferences. The Council’s work is supported by Technical Committees that address a wide range of issues affecting the postal industry. The General Secretariat plays the critical role of coordinating and implementing the decisions of the various organs under the supervision of the Secretariat Management Board.
Reacting to the elections, Hon. Nyombi Thembo, the Minister of State for ICT, said: “This is confidence by fellow PAPU members in our ability and quality of contributions at the continental level.” Hon. Thembo, who led the Ugandan delegation, added, “This raises the visibility of Uganda not only among fellow African countries but in the whole postal world.”
The Executive Director of UCC, Godfrey Mutabazi, was equally elated: “We will have first-hand access to information on projects, opportunities and resources from PAPU. We hope we will use this position to the country’s benefit.”
Hon. Thembo added that Uganda would draw lessons from the Addis experience to further her international ambitions. Uganda is also eying a seat on the Council of Administration of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) ahead of the UPU Congress due to take place in Doha, Qatar in September 24-October 15, 2012. Dr Rugunda is spearheading the lobbying to ensure Uganda gets elected to the post at UPU, where she once served in 2008 at the end of the mandatory two cycles.
In a related development, Younouss Djibrine (Cameroon) was elected the Secretary General of PAPU. Djibrine replaced Rodah Masaviru (Kenya), who has been at the helm of the organisation for the past four years. Kolawole Raheem Aduloju (Nigeria) was elected the Assistant Secretary General of PAPU.
Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Tanzania are the other four members from Eastern region elected to the Administrative Council for period 2013-2016. The 20-strong Council draws representatives from across Africa. Uganda has been an observer at PAPU and UPU meetings for the last cycle after having served as member in 2000-2008.