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– Chronicle

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa arrived in Victoria Falls yesterday to officially open the 39th Ordinary Session of the Pan African Postal Union (PAPU) Administrative Council and 10th Ordinary Session of the elective Plenipotentiary Conference this morning.

The President landed at the Victoria Falls International Airport aboard an Air Zimbabwe plane just after 5PM and was received by Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, Minister for Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Richard Moyo, Minister of State Security Owen Ncube, Information Communication Technologies (ICT) Postal and Courier Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere and his deputy Dingumuzi Phuti, Zanu-PF Hwange District Coordinating Committee chair Cde Mathew Muleya, service chiefs, heads of Government departments and other officials.

The weeklong conference started on Monday and is being held under strict Covid-19 restrictions as a majority of delegates are following proceedings virtually from their respective countries.

It ends today when the elections for PAPU the secretary general and deputy will be held, with Zimbabwe fielding postmaster-general Mr Sifundo Chief Moyo as its candidate.

The Mali candidate withdrew his candidature leaving Mr Moyo to battle it out with Egypt’s Mr Sameh Solaiman, who is head of the international cooperation sector.

Mr Gjibrine Younnous is PAPU outgoing secretary general.

This is the first hybrid conference to be held in the history of PAPU where delegates attend physically and virtually.

Among other benefits to be realised from this meeting, is enhancing progress towards achieving the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), notably those relating to poverty reduction (SDG 1) and equality (SDG 10).

Individual country postal unions, under the auspices of PAPU, fall under the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the umbrella body of postal unions worldwide.

The host minister, Dr Muswere said Zimbabwe had distinguished itself by successfully hosting the event in the backdrop of challenges posed by Covid-19.

“The whole idea is that we are hosting the 39th PAPU conference in the context of intergovernmental union and postal development. We have received more than 25 African Union countries where there are 129 delegates. The conference speaks to our National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), engagement, reengagement and international relations as well as tourism plan,”

said Dr Muswere.

“This is a hybrid meeting and we have proved beyond reasonable doubt that we have capacity especially during this time of Covid-19 where everything is ICT based.”

He said the conference aims to deal with issues around finance, governance, elections and postal development as well as to prepare for the next conference in Abidjan.

“What has happened is that Zimbabwe has shown capacity to host an international meeting under hard conditions. We are also fielding a candidate for election in the name of Mr Sifundo Chief Moyo who is the current postmaster general. He brings in vast experience and wide knowledge and his priority is digitisation of the postal sector,”

said Dr Muswere.

He said Zimbabwe is fully utilising ICTs in communication, e-commerce and e-government among other strategies for development.

The Minister said embracing ICT for the digital economy is one of the priorities for the postal sector, in line with Vision 2030.-@ncubeleon

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