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The head of a global postal organization said on Tuesday he expects the mail services to remain relevant despite stiff competition amid a digital revolution.
Bishar Hussein, director general of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), said that postmen and women still play an important role serving certain communities and ensuring that all citizens have access to a variety of services, including people living in remote areas, on isolated islands and in disaster-prone areas.
"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night; in times of war and in times of peace dissuades these couriers from completing their chosen rounds," Hussein said in Nairobi at a ceremony marking the 144th World Post Day.
"Until and unless one discovers how to deliver a parcel through the iPad, internet or smart phone, the post is here to stay and cannot be obsolete," said Hussein who is Kenya's former postmaster general.
He said the more than 600,000 postal outlets globally are used by private citizens and businesses to send letters, parcels and remittances and also conduct financial transactions even in some of the world's remotest places.
The advent of the Internet and other digital services have led to a steady decline in postal services' core operation of delivering letters and parcels to recipients. Postal services have responded by diversifying into new service areas to broaden their revenue base.
"In the current digital age, the Post has positioned itself as a major player in global commerce with its 'one global network' approach that makes it an obvious delivery partner for businesses selling online," said Hussein.