ThePlenipotentiary Conference of the Pan African Postal Union (PAPU), held its 10thOrdinary session in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe from 24th to 25thJune, 2021. The session was preceded by the 39th Ordinary Session ofthe PAPU Administrative Council and meetings of the Council’s Administrativeand Technical Committees. The opening session was presided over by thePresident of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency Dr. Emmerson DambudzoMnangagwa and was chaired by the Minister of ICT Postal and Courier Services,Hon. Jenfan Muswere. The Communications Regulators’ Association of Sothern Africa(CRASA) was among the eight international organisations that were invited toparticipate as observers, and was represented by the Head – Postal, Mr Brian K.Mwansa.
Further to its mandate, CRASA was once again at the forefront of facilitating harmonised SADC positions regarding numerous matters that were up for consideration by PAPU’s highest decision-making body, as articulated and circulated prior to the Conference in a number of regional position papers. While the said Conference was conducted using both physical attendance and video-conferencing, CRASA Secretariat opted for in-person participation due to the enhanced ability to lobby other regions to support specific decisions including the election of the SADC Candidate for the position of PAPU Secretary General, Mr Sifundo Chief Moyo (Zimbabwe).Furthermore, physical attendance also enabled the Secretariat to play its usual role of coordinating SADC responses to specific developments as they unfolded on the ground, while representing the interests of the region (noting that someMembers were not be in able to travel to Zimbabwe at all).
Ultimately, the 10th Ordinary Session of the PAPU Plenipotentiary Conference succeeded in achieving its intended objectives thanks to the commendable organisation of the event by the host, Zimbabwe, in collaboration with the General Secretariat.
Even amidst growing concerns associated with the hosting of physical events in the region due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Conference was a clear demonstration of Southern Africa’s ability to overcome these concerns and hold a successful conference of this nature.