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Background – Southern Africa Postal Operators Association

SAPOA Background

The Southern Africa Postal Operators Association (SAPOA) is the region’s Association of premier providers of postal services dedicated to connecting people through the distribution of information, mail goods and financial services in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).  While the core business remains mail delivery, interests extend to retail, freight and courier, direct mail, eCommerce and financial services. With a network of 5,649 branches and outlets, the postal network is larger than that of the member countries’ banks, reaching the most remote populations. The Post is well positioned to deliver vital services to citizens and connecting the disadvantaged to the global economy.

SAPOA is a SADC regional body responsible for the postal sector. It was created in 2001 as per the SADC Protocol on Transport and Communication and Meteorology. The Association is composed of 14 Designated Postal Operators with the Secretariat located in Maseru, Lesotho. It has a Management Board which is supported by a Chief Executive Officers’ Forum and an Operations Directors Forum, providing technical expertise in the implementation of projects and programmes within the region.

The mandate of SAPOA is derived from Article 11 of the SADC Protocol on Transport and Communications and its role is to ensure that every sector of the community has access to modern, efficient and diversified range of mail, financial and e-products. To help fulfil its objectives, SAPOA has a unique consultative structure within the communications environment, which includes an annual conference of ICT Ministers where policy and strategic issues are vigorously debated, and resolutions passed.

The Association, in its existence, has held sixteen Annual General Meetings (AGMs) as at 2018. The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is an important governance process for the members of the Association. It ensures transparency, provide updates and give members an opportunity to vote for new Board members and on a range of matters.