As nation reconciles with itself, a successful transition helps Rwanda recover from past wounds

Mr. Joseph Bonesha

Interview with Mr. Joseph Bonesha

National Post of Rwanda 

Interview with
Mr. Joseph Bonesha
General Manager

Contact details:
Tel: +250-82703/5
Fax: +250-514091

Background to the Rwandan postal system 


The first post office opened its doors on 18th September 1922 in Kigali. At the time, the Post Office Administration was linked to that of the Belgian Congo and the Headquarters was in LEOPOLDVILLE, capital city of the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). The situation remained the same until the period of independence within our country, which ushered in a Ministry of Information, Posts and Telecommunications on 26th October 1961.

Post Office headquarters in Kigali

At the time the Rwandan Post Office was, together with that of Burundi, considered as one single entity designated as the "Post of Rwanda-Urundi" until 31st March 1962 when the said entity was dissolved by the Brussels Protocol that established the Rwandan Post Office on 1st April 1962.

Mountain Gorillas (Mar. 25, 1985)

As Rwanda prepared to achieve its Independence, the Cabinet Reshuffle of 18th May 1962 removed the portfolio of Information from the former Ministry of Information, Posts and Telecommunications, and the latter became the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. The new Ministry had the following components:

· The Office of the Minister
· The Rwanda-Urundi Agency for Telecommunications Services
· The Rwanda-Urundi Agency for Aeoronotical Services
· The Posts Network

When National Independence was declared on 1st July 1962, the former Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications was reattached to the Ministry of Public Works and Mecanisation to form one Ministry designated as the Ministry of Public Works and Equipment on 6th February 1963. This Ministry counted, among its attributions, "the management of the Postal System".

The cabinet reshuffle of 6th January 1964 detached certain attributions from the former Ministry of Public Works and Equipment in order to constitute the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications which had, among its attributions, the "Postal Services".

One should also note that on 6th April 1963 the Republic of Rwanda was admitted as a member of the Universal Postal Union. Having understood the importance of the country's postal service, the United Nations Organisation quickly gave considerable assistance by constructing the Kigali Posts and Telecommunications building that still stands today, which was inaugurated in 1965.

Memories of the Rwandan genocide
The structure of the current Posts network and its origine 


As a public establishment, the National Post Office has been in existence since 11th March 1992, and falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Communication (MINITRACO).

It is during the above-mentioned period that the Government decided on an institutional reform of the Post Office. Such a decision implied that the future organisation of the Post Office would integrate the following general principles within its structure:

Zebras & Buffalos (Nov. 26, 1984)

Zebras & Buffalos (Nov. 26, 1984)

- The exploitation, management and marketing of the postal monopoly as well as postal services as a whole such as defined and specified in the law and regulations in force;
- The exploitation, management and marketing of postal orders and postal cheques, such as is defined and specified by the laws and regulations in force, and at the discretion of the current law;
- The promotion and development of services at national and international level which derive from sectors targeting the above-mentioned subjects and any study or research carried out to this effect;
- Any mission that the Government judges as useful, as long as it is judged as capable of fulfilling it taking into account its technical capacity, and in the interests of Rwandans;
- The Post Office is authorised to carry out all operations, depending on commercial or financial requirements, comprising the normal prolonging of its mission or having a direct, indirect or compatible relationship with the Post Office.
Primates from Nyungwe Forest (1988)




1. Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Communication (MINITRACO).
2. Board of Directors.
3. Management: Research and Computers
4. Legal Affairs
5. Internal Auditing
6. Secretariat
7. Production Department: Marketing and Promotions
Dispatchment and Distributions
Organisation of Perceptions
Silver Articles
Production Unit
National Sorting Center

8. Resource Department: Personnel

9. Financial Department: General Accounting
Budget and Treasury
Inspection of Management

This organigram, which has a Board of Directors at the helm, fulfils pre-determined requirements thus creating a structure that is adapted to the functioning and development of a dynamic and modern enterprise.
The National Post Office is represented in all the country's provinces by the perception-collecting offices (15), sub-offices for perception (2), annexed counters (5) and 21 correspondents.

Rural organization (1989)
Mission of the National Post Office  


The mission of the National Post Office is to provide clients with good quality services. It should be identifiable as an efficient and modern public postal enterprise.
Objectives of the National Post Office 


Similarly to other domains, the postal sector was not spared by the 1994 War during which the Rwandan postal system lost over half of its personnel (senior staff), and experienced the looting and devastation of all its offices. After the war it was necessary to first of all rehabilitate all the components of the postal system. Alongside with this ongoing rehabilitation, the National Post Office has fixed the following objectives:

- Extension of the market for postal products and services
- Improvement of the quality of the service in order to satisfy clients
- Increase of productivity and profitability
- Adaptation to new information technology

The different products and services offered by the National Post Office 


Traditional Services

- Mail collection, transportation and distribution destined towards and originating from areas within the country or abroad, as well as small packages and parcels
- Transportation and payment of postal orders in all post offices within the country
- Deposit and payment of postal cheques in all the post offices of the country
- Instalment of post office boxes in all the post offices within the country
- Sale of stamp collection articles at all the country's post offices

New Services

- Public telecopy and telephone services in all post offices
- Representation of the telecommunication companies Rwandatel and Rwandacell through the sale of telephone cards and other telecommunications products at all post offices
- Minibuses that ensure the daily transportation of mail, and combine the transportation of passengers with that of mail in all the country's provinces.
- Foreign exchange bureaus to ensure the purchase and sale of foreign exchange at the Kacyiru Central Post Office

- An accelerated EMS Rwanda Express or international mail service: EMS dispatchments throughout 60 countries. Good standards of mail dispatchment are guaranteed (a maximum of 72 hours abroad and overseas, and 24 hours to areas within the country). Door-to-door deliveries are unfailingly carried out.

EMS vehicule
The Postal System and New Information and Communications Technology 


Among the technologies that are applied are the following:

- Internet/E-mail: Cyber Post at the five Post Office branches (Kigali, Butare, Cyangugu, Gisenyi, and Ruhango).
- Utilisation of the computerised system for follow-up and location of EMS dispatchments with the purpose of improving the quality of the service offered.
- Exclusive representation of the South African company "E-SAVE" for electronic transfer of funds within all the country's provinces.

Human Resources Development at the National Post Office 


Being in the service industry, the National Post Office is well aware that human resources are among the pre-requisites for production and investment. Thus the National Post Office continues to manifest the growing need for an appropriate training of its personnel. Hence the implementation of the following training sessions:

- Training of Inspectors of the postal and financial departments every year
- Training in the use of computers for office staff
- Depending on the available resources, the Rwandan Post Office provides training for senior staff (post inspectors) and managerial staff (directors) in Posts operations.
- On an exceptional basis, the National Post Office is sponsoring some employees to undergo university education.
An employee weighting the mail
The National Post Office: Perspectives  


- In a few months' time, postal services shall be available at all branches of the Banque Populaire within the country; the following will also be available:
- Computerisation of all Post offices within the country;
- Creation of a cyber Post in all post offices of the country
- Progressive extension of the postal network
- Electronic transfer of funds at an international level
- Creation of a postal bank that will have branches in all the post offices within the country
- Granting of loans to clients and payment of fixed bank deposits
- Extension of the EMS postal service to include door-to-door deliveries in the town of Kigali
- Mass mailing (mailshot): Dispatchment of publicity mail, directly effected by the Post office, that includes brochures, leaflets, catalogues, etc.

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