Ethiopian dance group’s remarkable energy sets tone for remainder of UPU’s Second Extraordinary Congress

03.09.2018 - UPU’s Second Extraordinary Congress opened with a celebration of the vibrancy and energy of Ethiopian culture at the African Union Conference Centre in Addis Ababa.

A dance group from the the Hager Fikir Theatre, Africa’s oldest indigenous theatre, performed a number of dances electrifying the packed Nelson Mandela Conference hall.

In their final dance, the male and female group plunged into the audience and encouraged a number of participants to take part in the celebrations.  

The vivid dances were an excellent metaphor for the energy and efficiency that the Ethiopian hosts, including the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, have brought to the organization of Second Extraordinary Congress.

Speaking after the dancers had finished, UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein reflected on this when he said, “This is the first time a UPU Congress has been held on the continent of Africa. We are glad it is taking place in Ethiopia; the cradle of mankind, the country of very rich cultures and friendly people.”    

Compliments on Ethiopia continued with Chairman of the UPU Council of Administration, and Director General and Chairman of the Board of Turkish PTT Corporation Kenan Bozgeyik thanking the hosts and saying it was unfortunate that the dancing had to end.

Turning to substantive issues, he said, the international postal network had always tried to meet the needs of the people and noted the need for cooperation to implement e-commerce solutions in the market place.

In her own speech, the Ethiopian Minister of Communication and Information Technology Ubah Mohammed Hussien said the postal sector was going through changes and faced increasing calls for diversification and modernization and the need to meet customer expectations. 

President of Ethiopia Mulatu Teshome helped to reinforce the transition from the ceremonial to the substantive when he described the Congress when he said, “One of the most important in UPU’s history that can lay the foundation for a better future for the Post.”     

This theme was reinforced at a press conference attended by Mr. Hussein, Minister Mohammed and Mr. Bozgeyik. In his opening statement to the assembled journalists, Mr. Hussein said that bilateralism was the driving force behind the postal network. He described the postal network as the world’s biggest logistical operation, which was not simply about letters and parcels. Mr. Hussein went on to outline the role of postal operators in e-commerce, education and health.

Mr. Hussein and Minister Mohammed subsequently attended the opening session of the plenary session. “The decisions you will make here in Addis will go a long way to determining the future direction and sustainability of the union. I am hopeful your decisions will take us to the next level in developing the Post and the Union,” stated Mr. Hussein in his remarks opening the session.

All of the Congress is being broadcast on  



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  1. Dirk at 19.01.2016
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