International mail services officially resume in Somalia

01.11.2013 - Starting today, Posts worldwide can again send mail to Somalia using Dubai as a hub, following an agreement with the United Arab Emirates and its postal operator, Emirates Post.

(l. to r.) From dream to reality: Emirate Post's Fahad al Hosani, the UPU's Bishar Hussein and Somali Minister Abdullahi Hersi at UPU headquarters in April after agreeing to work together to make Dubai a mail forwarding hub for mail going to Somalia

Emirates Post will forward international mail for Somalia to that country’s office of international mail exchange in Mogadishu using airlines flying into the Somali capital. It will also process the terminal dues – fees countries pay for processing each other’s incoming mail – accruing to the designated operator of this Horn of Africa country.

For 23 years, Somalia has been isolated from the international postal community, in the absence of any formal means to send mail there.

The agreement covers the forwarding and processing of inbound and outbound letter post until 31 December 2014. The two operators will later look at extending the collaboration to other services.

Somalia's minister of information, posts, telecommunication and transports called the resumption of postal services a "huge deal" for his entire country.

“It symbolizes a new beginning for Somali postal communication, and people here are very, very happy to see that," says Minister Abdullahi E. Hersi. "People remember what postal services used to be, and they appreciate them coming back.”

Fahad Alhosani, acting president of Emirates Post Group, said he was convinced this agreement would open new horizons for the postal service of Somalia.

Historic moment

UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein called the return of postal services to Somalia "a historic moment" for the Somali people and members of its global diaspora. “In a country that has experienced so much conflict, the resumption of postal services is a critical step in rebuilding a nation, its identity and its pride.”

The UPU, which facilitated the talks between the parties, will provide all possible technical assistance to Somalia to help it develop its postal services. The organization hopes to soon deliver some basic mail processing equipment to the Somali Post, including tables, postal bags, postal boxes and delivery tricycles.

The postal network needs to be completely rebuilt in Somalia, a country covering more than 637,000 square kilometers and with a population of 9.9 million people.

In 1991, Somalia had some 100 post offices and a postal staff of 2,165. Today, there is one general post office in the capital and some 25 staff.

Development cooperation
 

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  1. Dirk at 19.01.2016
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