While the Postal Sector has historically followed a predictable pattern of recognising and licensing a Designated Postal Operator (DPO) with Universal Service Obligations (USO) and an associated quasi-monopoly to partially fund these obligations, there has also been a deliberate effort to liberalise a segment of the market in which commercial courier operators are at liberty to compete. However, the changing postal business environment and evolution of business models have continued to challenge the efficacy of the Postal Sector’s market definition and licensing frameworks not only in SADC but across the World.
It is against this background that the CRASA Postal Committee will be holding a workshop on “EvolutionaryPostal Licensing Frameworks” on 28 June, 2022 via Video Conference.The workshop seeks to raise awareness and to interrogate the key issues that need to be addressed, from the perspective of licensing frameworks, to facilitate the development of a relevant, resilient and adaptable postal sector that will continue to serve the evolving needs of SADC citizens into the digital economy and beyond. In so doing, the workshop will explore the role and importance of licensing frameworks in fostering the development of a postal sector that is able to keep up with the evolving needs of society and the dynamic business environment that is associated with the digital economy.
In this regard, the following, more specific objectives have been identified as being:
- To build a firm theoretical foundation around the concept of licensing as a key policy and regulatory tool as well as its main principles and application in other network industries, particularly in the communications sector;
- To explore the status quo, and how traditional licensing frameworks have been deployed in the postal sector,
- To outline some of the key trends in licensing reform and the specific deficiencies that such reform seeks to address,
- To unpack some of the key trends affecting the postal sector (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental) and how these impact the choice of licensing approaches and objectives to be pursued in a country, and
- To come up with recommendations for the development of an adaptable postal licensing framework for the SADC Region that takes into account the evolutionary trajectory of the sector.