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Posting mails in post offices is not really active here but while this service is on the decline, Kenya has found a way to rejuvenate this in another dimension; of course technology is involved in making this happen. The service is known as MPost, with the tagline ‘Posta Mkononi’, literally ‘the post in your hands’. It turns the user’s mobile phone number into a virtual post office box. From Kenya’s last Quarterly Statistics Report the Communications Authority of Kenya indicates that the number of letters sent locally experienced a 35.6 percent growth, with 17.6 million letters sent during the first three months of 2016, up from 12.9 million in the preceding quarter. The percentage of courier items sent also grew from 305,248 items in the fourth quarter of 2015 to 445,836 during the first quarter of 2016.
In a bid to improve and provide a more superior customer service in distribution, communication and financial solution, the Postal Corporation, commonly known as Posta, has launched the service. Convenient indeed, clients can access post and mail services with ease and at their convenience through their mobile phones. This virtual post box costs KES 300 (US$2.96) a year, and enables users to track mail from their mobile phones and get timely notifications and alerts once mails are received. There is also the option to get mails delivered to a preferred location using Posta Dispatch or EMS services.
The mobile service links your physical box to a virtual address, which in this case is your mobile phone number. You can use this service in conjunction with your physical box, so the solid post box is not necessary abandoned.
Delivery of letters and post to people’s physical addresses remains a challenge. Although there have been efforts to assign buildings in Nairobi’s Central Business District with numbers and physical addresses, the rest of the city lacks a proper addressing system that would ensure that people get letters where they are instead of having to go to the post office.
This new service is a step in the right direction, removing the need to constantly check the post box for new mail, and the ability to have your mail delivered to you directly is a definite value added, I hope Kenyans think the same.