The Universal Postal Union (UPU) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will publish a book about how the postal sector’s use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to reduce the digital gap and bring improvements to service, especially in rural areas.
The book will be launched during the UPU Strategic Conference in Nairobi in September 2010.
Edouard Dayan, director general of the UPU, made the announcement during the opening ceremony of a forum organized at the ITU’s Geneva headquarters to mark World Information Society Day.
The book will document the best case studies of Posts using ICTs to improve service and reduce the digital gap, especially in rural areas.
Over the past few years, several UPU projects in Asia and Africa have led to more post offices being equipped with ICTs and being better interconnected, often with the help of the ITU.
Dayan also reaffirmed the UPU’s commitment to global efforts to reduce the digital divide.
He recalled the postal sector’s important role in both electronic and physical communication. With a global network of 660,000 post offices and 5 million employees, the postal sector’s infrastructure is critical to the development of e-commerce.
By facilitating the delivery of goods ordered online by maintaining a close working relationship with Customs and transporters, the UPU contributes to the integration of the global supply chain.
The director general said the UPU helps to reduce the digital gap by managing an electronic network linking more than 140 of its member countries and providing state-of-the-art technologies to all countries, no matter their level of development.
The UPU network enables countries to exchange electronic data among each other and with other networks, and thus improve service.