Ore at the core

Baitshepi Sekgweng

Botswana Post host African counterparts for e-commerce talk

E-commerce, the process of buying and selling goods and services online, is seen as a key stepping stone in Botswana’s road to digital transformation.

With this in mind, last week the country hosted a special workshop as part of the Universal Postal Union’s (UPU) regional project on operational efficiency and e-commerce development.

Known as ‘ORE 3’, the event saw postal representatives from 45 African nations descend on Gaborone for five days of intense discussions and bench-marking.

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The underlying objective was to review progress on attendants’ Operational Readiness for E-Commerce Development (ORE).

Other topics covered included the implementation of physical postal services, advisory on delivery service enhancement, implementation of tracked delivery service and postal security and certification.

Speaking at the workshop, which ran from 6 -10 May and was the third of its kind to take place this year, Botswana Post Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Cornelius Ramatlhakwane explained the ultimate aim is to help Botswana grow its digital economy.

“A seamless and efficient e-commerce environment requires effective postal services to meet the needs of e-shoppers and e-retailers adequately. With a growing volume of e-commerce transactions and parcels crossing the borders, the question of operational efficiency of delivery services has become a priority,” declared

In 2017, the UPU resolved to implement regional cooperation projects in the hope of improving service through an integrated postal supply chain.

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The purpose of these projects is to assist Designated Postal Operators (DPOs), amongst them Botswana Post, meet operational readiness targets for e-commerce, particularly in focus areas of operational requirements, visibility, data quality, supply chain integration and end-to-end reliability.

This approach aims to help postal operators modernize operational processes.

“It is important for the postal regulations to set standards for service quality and ensure that digital postal services meet the minimum quality requirements in terms of reliability, availability and responsiveness. We seek for the postal industry to have impact on the growth of our region and that, the postal regulatory frameworks and practices should translate to tangible evidence towards its contribution to the regional agenda and vision,” added Communications Regulator’s Association of Southern Africa (CRASA) Executive Secretary, Bridget Linzie.

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Operational efficiency has become a priority for UPU due to the growth in e-commerce transactions and parcels crossing the borders.

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