The MoU, facilitated and supervised by the Universal Postal Union (UPU), was signed by Mr. Abdullahi E. Hersi, Somali Minister of Information, Posts, Telecommunication and Transports, and Mr. Fahad Al Hosani, Acting CEO of Emirates Post Group, at UPU headquarters in Berne, in the presence of UPU Director General Mr. Bishar A. Hussein.
Under the MoU, the two parties have committed to negotiate the details of an agreement that would see Dubai act as a hub for handling mail destined for Somalia. The plan is to enable global Posts to forward Somalia-bound international mail to Dubai, from where it would be transferred to the office of international mail exchange in Mogadishu, using airlines flying into the Somali capital.
Mr. Fahad Al Hosani, Acting CEO of Emirates Post Group, commented, “Emirates Post Group is delighted to play a key role in the restoration of postal services to Somalia using Dubai as the hub. We believe postal services lie at the core of fundamental rights of every human being. Emirates Post will use its state-of-the-art postal infrastructure to ensure high-level services that will enable Somalia rejoin the global postal community.” Mr. Abdullahi E. Hersi said: “It is time for our government to provide postal services to the people as communication is a human right. People may have the Internet and phones, but these will never replace the benefit of receiving mail from a distance.” The postal network is basically non-existent today in Somalia, a country covering an area of over 637,000 sq. km and with a population of 9.9 million people. In 1991, Somalia had some 100 post offices and a postal staff of 2,165. Today, there is just one general post office in the capital and some 25 staff.
UPU Director General said the agreement signaled an important step toward launching mail services again in Somalia, but it is just the beginning.
As soon as the two parties finalize details of the agreement, the UPU International Bureau will inform the Union’s 192 member countries of the resumption of mail services to Somalia, expected within the next few months.
The challenges to bringing Somalia back into the global postal community are manifold there are no functioning post offices, only the main roads are named and most houses do not have a number.