Postal Sector Modernization - Ministry of Communications and

Postal Sector Modernization
This component aims to modernize the postal sector to improve its reach and service delivery. It
will be implemented through the following sub-component:
1. Reconstruction and modernization of Afghan Post Organization (APO),
2. Rewriting of the postal law, and
3. Setting up a Postal Regulator in the form of an independent authority under the
Minister of Communication and IT
1. Reconstruction and Modernization of Afghan Post Organization (APO)
The Afghan Post Organization (APO) is still a state entity and an administration
under MCIT. Contrary to the public telecommunication operators, the Postal Sector
has not yet enjoyed reforms and attracted investments. The future development
strategy for the Postal Sector encompasses the need of reconstruction and
modernization, rewriting of the postal law (see 3.A.2), and setting up a postal
regulator in the form of an independent authority under the Minister of
Communication and IT.
1.1. Development of Services
Postal organizations in the world; may they be private or public
corporations, are encountering more and more complex business
environment. The postal sector in Afghanistan is no exception to that. It has
to face the ever-faster pace of change, the impact of globalization and
global communication markets. New and affordable technologies need to
be introduced. Customers are more and more demanding; competition is
getting tougher; it cannot, therefore, be expected from an organization,
with a business service limited to the offering of basic postal service, to
generate sufficient revenues to self-sustain themselves. Thus, there is a real
call for traditional postal organizations to become more responsive,
commercial and competitive through understanding the dynamics of the
market in relation to their business. New services need to be introduced,
such as:
Inter-city buses
It is to be mentioned that, due to the small volumes of mail involved it
makes no economic sense to use a dedicated fleet for exclusive
transportation of mail to the head provinces and districts, therefore due to
these low mail volumes, it would make much sense from an economic and
social perspective to:
 Revive the old " mail bus system " (15 to 20 buses)
 Mail bus system could be started on the network's secondary
routes servicing all towns with a population of 15000 to 150000.
 The fleet would follow specific routes. Based on a weekly
program. Carrying paying passengers. Small cargo and mail
 Or alternatively use existing transport companies to minimize and
rationalize the costs based on volume variations
EMS Services & E-Post
Taking into consideration the profitability, y of the time cretin product
lucrative markets e.g. EMS, IFS and E-Post it is desirable to offer an EMS
service one of the priorities will be to clearly re-define a strategy of its
license policy, while respecting competition laws.
This activity needs the following elements and implications:
 The APO in order to offer a competitive EMS service will need
to operate like any other business operating in this market,
which implies a complete restructuring of the postal
administration in order to separate the EMS activities from the
current administration
 Furthermore, the current APO does not have the adequate
trained staff, neither the technical capital (i.e T&T equipment,
raining, etc.) to support this new activity.
Expansion of internet services Kiosks
As stated above, it does not appear reasonable to equip offices that neither
have the staff competence nor the electricity and network capacity to
manage IT tools.
Internet kiosk services with internet access have been set up currently in
the main central post offices of Kabul. This new service appears to be rather
successful in view of the number of visitors.
However, dependent on whether this is considered as part of the
development strategy of the APO, internet service could be provided to the
general public using whatever networking of service is available
(GCN,DCN..). This would impact the proposed investment on the suggested
computerization scheme of the post offices
Financial services
Setting up a postal financial institution, with low-tech investments, to offer
money-transferring service, development tool for under-served populations
throughout Afghanistan. By offering rudimentary financial services, taking
into account the vast postal network, the APO could play a key role in
providing people access to economic activities of their community.
The APO in this phase would simply offer front desk office network and seek
commercial partnerships with an existing bank that would carry out real
back-office banking activities. The APO would thus not be introducing a new
Bank on the market, merely extending geographical coverage of an existing
one and thus providing to the Afghan community, in more remote areas
access to services they would not have access to otherwise.
Most banks in Afghanistan are recently established or re-implemented; yet
they would not be in direct competition as they primarily target the
lucrative segments of the market.
The introduction of basic micro-credit money order and payment of savant's
salaries is envisaged to be offered under this project.
1.2. The Development of Afghan Post
APO will also need to modernize and offer secured and reliable mail
services, as mail is its traditional core business. The big Afghan companies
will send mail to their main clients (statements, official documents, etc.) for
this purpose, re-engineering of mail processes and new mail products with
printing services is enhanced.
In Phase 1, the APO will launch new basic services to the Afghan population.
These basic services will include mail and passenger transportation in mail
buses IFS- based international money transfer in mail cities, basic microfinance services in partnership with local Afghan Bank.
Phase 2 will be devoted to launch this larger range of services. This phase
will require setting up a reliable and long-term IT infrastructure, enabling
the Afghan post to secure the provision of services. This IT infrastructure
will bring communications between the APO's retail outlets and HQ and
other Afghan institution so as to offer new services
A: Technical Assistance
This will consist of technical assistance covering the following:
 Consulting services (global design of the projects, organizations
 List of equipment, installation, materials and staff required to
launch the projects
 Management of the projects
This technical assistance phase will cover approx. 200-250 man/day,
representing one-year preparation this duration will also respect the
international organizations, selection processes for projects # 1 and 2.
B: Development of Telecommunication Infrastructure of APO
A major part of the development of the APO will be devoted to creating a
reliable and updated telecommunications capacity. This will improve
institutional and service capacity of the APO, mainly focusing on its capacity
to provide access to financial service. The type of financial and business
management capacity and the level of IT of APO will enable of offer secured
and performing financial and other services to the afghan populations by
using GCN and DCN facilities.
C: Development of APO's IT system
The APO presently provides an Internet kiosk in the Kabul main post office,
using Afghan Telecommunications service,
Since APO service should not compete with the GCN and the DCN projects
or any telecommunications operator, it will use the existing infrastructures
of offer additional service.
Once the appropriate business functions and IT infrastructures are created
and the postal outlets are interconnected, the APO will be able to launch
the above-mentioned new service.
A number of requirements must be met so as to expand APO capacity to
provide a full rage of government, financial and other business services to
the postal outlet network. These include:
• Improved functional capacity in HQ especially for functions related
to the provision of the new service ( cash and liquidity
management, transaction support, capacity to maintain accountbased relationships with client….)
• Appropriate IT support for all key functions ( full control over IT
service, modern equipment and application software)
• EMS tracking and Tracing system
• Multipurpose tele centers/E-post
The project will have four main steps that will be covered by four main
types of actions:
 Interconnectivity for the APO platform
 National Payment system architecture
 Project Management
 Impact measurement of Key functions
Appropriate interconnectivity is a key requirement to enable the Afghan
population to have access to financial service and to improve infrastructure
in rural areas. This means that the project should include solutions that will
provide appropriate interconnectivity for all the postal outlets, allow growth
and accommodate other relevant functions, such as e-government. A fast
and cost-effective interconnectivity solution will be selected.
Interconnectivity will include the following equipment:
• Broadband hub in APO's HQ (Broadband platform)
• Communications equipment (additional communications equipment
per post office, such as additional fax and telephone)
• Office automation (printer, scanner, copy-machine per post office
This equipment will enable the rural access capacity to full and reliable
provision of APO's service.
1.3. Enhancing Mail Services
A: Re-engineering of mail delivery
The re-engineering will also require the provision of some basic
additional mail management material and machines. Afghan post will
offer this service in the 34 regional cities. This project will be launched
as soon as the addresses system is reliable in these cities. The
implementation will take approx. 2 year and will start immediately after
compilation of previous activates.
B: Decentralized printing centers in the main afghan cities
Printing mail services could be relevant solutions for the Afghan post to
print the forms, philatelic materials etc... Bank could use it for their
statements, utilities for invoices and advertising,
C: Project management
A management team will be dedicated to the project. This team will
include a project management, supported by several specialists in
financial management, procurement, especially in IT system and
D: Hybrid mail services in Kabul
With the development of the IT infrastructures in Afghanistan the APO
could launch internet-based hybrid mail services.
Several postal operators offer suck a solution. Their solutions are not
expensive to implement as IT platform are already in place. Designing
such a solution for Afghanistan would require translation into Dari and
Pashto, Payment of basic options purchasing and maintenance of
appropriate printers, franchising cost if relevant… this project could be
established in a short-term delay (6 months including translations)
Training schemes to the APO key account mangers would be required to
enable them to sell the solution to potential clients. A dedicated IT
customer support force would also need to be trained so as to assist
clients to use the hybrid mail solution (support call center).
Postal Financial payment Architecture
The postal financial payment architecture will enable to offer fast and
reliable payment service to the Afghan population. This project will
include the there modules
Once the national payment system is completed APO can directly
interconnect to the system of utilities and authorities and then
exchange information on bills to be collected and amounts collected.
This will facilitate collections and improve the quality of billing service.
The APO platform will also provide access to financial service in rural
1.4. Capacity Building
The APO currently employs 1260 staff, of which, 638 are civil servants.
211 people work in Head Quarters at Kabul. Each of 34 provinces has a
Central Post Office in the provincial capital, which acts as an
administrative and logistical platform for the distribution of mail for all
the Districts. The remaining staff is under yearly contracts mostly
working on clerical positions.
A large proportion of the APO staff operates out of rural areas. The
qualifications of the clerks and postmen are probably lower and less
marketable. It is to be mentioned that, a significant proportion of
women occupy different positions.
The APO staffs, particularly the postmen working in the field, enjoy high
respect in the local community. Due to their general level of literacy,
despite the infrequency of mail delivery due to very less mails by
inhabitant, they have a positive image within the districts and local
Management's ability to encourage and motivate change within the
current organization, and human resource development interventions
related to change management, are essential for a successful
turnaround of the any APO strategy.
The implementation of continuous study programs (1 to 2 weeks)
targeted at middle and senior management to gain an insight into
modern marketing, sales, finance and operational practices within a
modern postal organization would certainly be of strong benefit to the
development of new skills of the management. To meet the training
requirements, postal academy/postal college needs to be established in
1.5. Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of the Infrastructure and modernization of
the APO Post Offices
Afghan Post is far from meeting norms set by UPU in terms of services
rendered by one post office i.e. 3-4 km and/or 3000-6000 population. 82
APO owned Post Offices (82 such buildings of varying sizes and conditions
located mostly in large to medium sized towns) are proposed to be provided
facilities to improve heating, lighting, better accessibility and sign-posting,
and also rehabilitation of buildings from small structural damages. The post
offices are to be equipped with securing PO boxes, computerization and
basic equipment. In order to meet the norm set by UPU, 120 new post
Offices need to be constructed throughout the country in addition to the
MCIT owned post offices (approximately 188).