The national postal network should play a major role in improving communications
in Malawi and serve to bind the country together. The postal network has
a particular economic and social significance in rural areas in ensuring
access to a wide range of public services.
The separation of posts from telecommunications and the strategy of commercialisation will be of particular benefit to Malawi Posts. To date, Posts has been the Cinderella service of MPTC, given a lower priority and regarded as uncommercial. Yet, in other countries (e.g. Botswana and Tanzania) where the postal service has been given autonomy, it has been conclusively shown that it is possible to provide an efficient national postal service serving all the people without it being a permanent drain on public funds. That must be the aim for Malawi as well.
It will be necessary to ensure that Malawi Posts can cover its costs. Work has already begun on identifying the true scale of the losses of the postal service. Once this has been done and a true extent of deficit has been identified, it may be necessary for the Malawi Government to provide a subvention to Malawi Posts for a transitional period. By the end of that period, Malawi Posts should have taken the necessary steps to balance its books.
The new policy of Malawi Posts shall be to provide postal services which are characterised by speed, security, reliability and efficiency and should also be affordable to the majority of the people with a reasonable return on investment.
In order to achieve these policy aims, the Ministry will ensure that Malawi Posts offers postal services compared to the best in the industry by -
1.2.2 focussing on customer needs and commercial strategies;
1.2.3 improving quality of services and operations;
1.2.4 increasing productivity and achieving customer driven postal services, and also devising quality of services according to international standards.
1.2.5 extending the financial services provided in Post Offices, e.g. by introducing Post Office Savings throughout Malawi.
This initiative will help achieve certain targets, among them -
(b) The extension of express mail service to rural areas.
(c) The facilitation of easy tracking and tracing of mail items through improved access by Malawi Posts to national and international mail networks.
(d) The increase in the number of private boxes throughout the country and according to demand from the present 45,000 to 100,000 by the year 2002.
(e) The increase in the number of outlets providing postal services in order to achieve the objectives of "not to travel more than 10 kilometeres to the nearest postal service".
(f) The introduction of new services including agency services.
(g) The introduction of cost-related tariffs
within 5 years.