It is a requirement for all companies to acquire and declare valid P.O. Box addresses prior to registration in Uganda. This has been difficult to enforce because the Post Office Uganda had only about 80,000 physical addresses, which were fixed on the walls. One solution to this is the Digital Addressing System, dubbed ePosta, which CITZ Technologies developed in collaboration with Posta Uganda.
The Addressing System has various capabilities because it gives real-time connectivity. Posta Uganda has used the System to connect 49 out of 108 offices country-wide, thereby enabling the quick and reliable exchange of information.
Furthermore, the System has enabled on-line creation and management of Post Office Addresses (previously called P.O. Box Numbers) thereby easing fulfilment of the national law on the registration of companies and lately, filing annual returns. With digitization, the Post Office now has the capacity to offer limitless addresses.
For instance; to date, Posta Uganda has already created 1,050 digital addresses, and registration is continuing all over the country. The ePosta system has also enabled on-line payment, renewal, and amendment of the owner’s particulars in case there is a change in the composition of Directors of a company.
There are on-going efforts to secure budgets to create Government Service Centres in Post Offices, where citizens shall obtain services conveniently, cheaply, and quickly. This is mainly because the government already has Post Office buildings across the entire country.
The ICT Minister, Hon. Judith Nabakooba, says that the system has been tested and found to be secure. Furthermore, it allows for end-to-end encryption through finger-printing to prevent hackers and fraudsters from possible interference. The entities would maintain their back-office operations, but decentralise the non-core functions to Post Offices countrywide.
Some of the government entities that could use the System to improve on their service delivery for Ugandans include:
- URSB could expand its network all over Uganda, thereby further easing business registration and annual filing of returns at Post Offices
- NIRA could use the ePosta System for citizens to apply for, and eventually to distribute National Identity Cards by simply putting equipment at Post Offices. Ugandans would therefore no longer queue up in Kampala but wait to be served at the nearest Post Office up-country.
- Immigration could avoid the queues we now see in Kampala by simply transferring Passport application and distribution to Post Offices
- Application and distribution of Drivers’ Licences could also be decentralised.