Côte d’Ivoire’s new ICT development campaign is expected to positively improve the way the country’s post offices operate, with the goal of economically empowering millions of people.
The new plans will introduce various banking services at post office level. The aim is to stimulate financial inclusion in a country where over 85 per cent of the population does not have a bank account, nor access to modern banking methods.
The main priority is to give more people access to services typically offered by the banks, including modern payment and saving options and electronic money transfers. “Europe is home to many Ivoirians who want to send money home. Better electronic money transfer systems will make this safer,” says Mamadou Konaté, Director General of La Poste – the country’s postal services company.
Acknowledging that better access to the internet is good for overall productivity levels, an initiative was developed to help local entrepreneurs in creating a broader customer base.
“We set up a website, SanliShop. Sanli means buying. The website enables artisans to showcase their goods on an online global platform so that customers from overseas can place orders,” says Mr Konaté, noting that the ICT development campaign means good news for La Poste too. “The number of letters sent has declined due to modern communication technology. More internet users will stimulate online buying and lead to more parcels being sent.”
Mr Konaté adds that La Poste is determined to outperform similar private initiatives. “The postal services are owned by the state, on behalf society,” he notes. “These companies will never cease to exist, unlike private entities which tend to come and go. La Poste therefore offers more certainty.”
Readmitted as a member of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) after the 10-year political crisis, Côte d’Ivoire is proud to host the 2014 UPU annual meeting in October in Abidjan, reaffirming the country’s bid to advance postal services.