Getting ready for take off

Mr. S.M. Msofe, Postmaster General

Interview with Mr. S.M. Msofe,
Postmaster General
Read our exclusive interview

Mr. S.M. Msofe,
Postmaster General

Contacts :
Posta House 12th Floor
P.O. Box 9551
Dar es Salaam , Tanzania

Tel: +255 (022) 2113.394
Fax: +255 (022) 2113.081
Telex: 41412
Email: msofe.tpc@cats-net.com

Postal services in Tanzania operated jointly with the telegraph service as from early 1880 s when they were first introduced and administrated by the German colonial administration (German East Africa comprising Tanganyika, Rwanda and Burundi in 1885-1916). As the time went, the administration of postal services in Tanganyika changed hands from Germany to British colonials.

In 1960s and 1970's the postal and telecommunications services were operated jointly by the three East African states (Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda) under the umbrella of the East African Community.

In 1977 the East African Community broke up and the government of the United Republic of Tanzania (URT) established the Tanzania Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (TP& TC)

In response to economic developments and reformation, the government of URT decided to reform the postal and telecommunications services.

On December 31st 1993, the Parliament enacted several laws to streamline and deregulate the operations of posts and telecommunications.

Following the new laws, three distinct and independent legal entities were created:

- The Tanzania Communications Commission (TCC) the regulator of postal and telecommunications services in the country.

- The Tanzania Posts Corporation (TPC) fully owned by the government of Tanzania in a form of a public corporation, with a mandate to provide postal services on a commercial basis.

- The Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL) fully owned by the government of Tanzania as a limited liability public company.

Following the above developments (liberalisation of the postal industry in Tanzania) the Tanzania Communications Commission has licensed TPC as a public postal operator and private companies such as DHL, TNT, SKYNET, FEDERAL EXPRESS, NMM and several others were also licensed to provide domestic and international express mail services.


Tanzania - Winne.com
TPC started business under the deregulated environment in January 1994. The Corporation's initiated/developed the first five years Strategic Business Plan (1994-98) with a clear vision "to survive under the new business environment created by the liberalised market "

With further commercialisation of the activities, in 1997 TPC signed a Management Performance Contract with the government that covers three years period (1997- 1999) which was revised in 1999 for another three years. The contract has the key performance indicators:

  • Speed of service delivery

  • Security

  • Profitability

  • Business growth

  • Customer satisfaction

  • Also incentive for achieving the set targets and penalties for under achievements are clearly indicated.

    Evaluation of TPC performance is annually undertaken by an independent firm appointed by the government. The 1997 and 1998 audit performance for TPC was undertaken by the Netherlands Consultancy Firm (NEPOSTEL) and New Zealand Post International (NZPIL).

    Major audit findings indicated that the performance was met particularly in the areas of speed of service delivery, customer satisfaction, security and profitability.

    Under the framework of the first five years Strategic Business Plan, TPC increased its focus on marketing and business development as well as application of information technology and human resources development.

    With precisely vision, objectives and strategies, which support market, oriented programmes, the revenue increased by 109% from the year 1994 to 1999.

    The Corporation has established a network of 430 Post Offices through out the country.

  • 145 are full-fledged Post Offices operated by TPC employees

  • 71 are franchised

  • 214 are Sub Post Offices, which provide basic postal services to the population in the rural areas where there is low traffic volumes.

  • There are also 121,710 rented private letterboxes and 287 private letter bags.

    It is obvious that as far as the postal services are concerned, the customers do not need much more than fast delivery of their mails that is high quality in terms of speed and reliability.

    In order to meet the customer's expressed need, the Corporation introduced Overnight Mail Service in the high volume routes.

    The main objective is that the mail should be delivered within 24 hours between the major towns and business centres along the routes. Currently delivery of the mail guaranteed by the next day.

    The Corporation has installed Closed Circuit Television at Dar es Salaam General Post Office for strengthening surveillance of both international and domestic mails. Also security checks of incoming and outgoing mails are regularly conducted at the Dar es Salaam International Airport.

    Scanning machines have also been installed at strategic Post Offices to check against illegal transmission of prohibited materials through the post, thus provide reliable and secured services, which meet international standards.


    The Corporation (TPC) operates under the parent Ministry of Communications and Transport and is regulated and licensed by the Tanzania Communications Commission.

    The overall management of the corporation is vested in the Board of Directors and the chief Executive officer is the Postmaster General (PMG).

    Two Directors and two Managers assist the Postmaster General:

  • Director of Corporate services responsible for finance and human resources management, corporate planning and estate, computer and information technology.

  • Director of Operations responsible for strategic business units (Mails, Counter and EMS) and field/regional operations.

  • Manager Marketing and sales responsible for product development, pricing and marketing communications management.

  • Manager Legal Services responsible for Board affairs, legal matters and administration of insurance and pension services.

  • Operationally TPC has five zones under zone managers to manage field operations. Resident Manager is managing the TPC operations in Zanzibar.


    Mission of TPC is to provide efficiently universal quality postal products and services that meet customer expectations.

    Vision. In serving the general public the corporation desires to be recognised world wide as an efficient, effective and outstanding public postal enterprise.


    Objectives developed to serve the mission and vision of TPC include:

    . Increase market share of its products and services.

    . Increase quality of services and customer satisfaction.

    . Increase productivity, business growth and profitability.

    . Improve commercial orientation of employees.

    . Improve employee's motivation and compensation.

    . Apply new technology in the introduction of new products and services.


    The corporation was established by an Act of Parliament and is mandated to discharge its responsibilities on commercial principles.

    The main responsibilities under the Act are:

  • To provide a national postal service within the United Republic of Tanzania and between places outside the United Republic.

  • To provide a comprehensive and efficient postal services to meet the industrial, commercial, social and household needs of the nation.

  • To provide services by which money may be remitted by whatever means the corporation deems fit.

  • To provide counter services for the corporations own and government business.

  • To do anything which appeals to it to be advantageous and hence improve its performance and not inconsistent with any enactment for the time being in force.
  • Products and services offered are grouped into three board strategic business units:


    It includes collection, distribution and delivery of all types of letter mails and parcel post.

    The new services provided or to be provided includes:

  • Priority mail, which is tailored to the needs of specific customer segment, therefore it is for specific routes with reliable/ efficient transportation system. Mails are delivered within 24 hours.

  • Post Cargo- transportation of cargoes of any size, weight and any shape.

  • Advertising Mail - distribution of direct marketing mails by post, which includes fliers, leaflets, brochures, catalogues etc. Advertising Mail was developed by the Post Office (TPC) to assist small and medium sized enterprises in their advertising and communication campaign.

  • Hybrid mail - TPC is developing a product, which will combine traditional mail and electronic mail.

  • Tanzania - Winne.com


    It includes financial services (traditional money order and postal an order), philately and stationary products as well as agency services includes:

    The new services provided or to be provided under the umbrella of counter services includes:

  • Interstate speed cash - the service allows customers to use the extensive network of Post offices in East Africa to transfer funds for various payments among the three countries.

  • Post Giro - Post office is working as an agent to effect different types of payments like pensions, gratuities, salaries, insurance benefits, and dividends. Also different types of cash collection tailored to specific requirements are being done on behalf of clients.

  • The corporation will also continue the exercise of developing dynamic philatelic programmes that appeal to customers and contribute to the positive image of the country. Stamp collectors will therefore benefit from various types of mint stamps, souvenir sheet, first day covers, souvenir folders, maximum cards, stamp packs and other related products.


    EMS Money fax service

  • Courier service - collection, distribution and delivery of time sensitive documents, packages and parcels.

  • Transmission of messages by fax - urgent messages are transmitted and delivered within 12 hours in all major cities and business centres.

  • Money transfer - EMS provide electronic money transfer to all major towns within 24 hours.

  • EMS offers a highly sophisticated computerised tracking system that monitors the progress of international items from point of origin, all the ways to its destinations. This unique technology is being expanded to encompass EMS extensive domestic network so that TPC can determine the where about of customer's packages at any point along the delivery route.


    The core issue is the Corporation to remain relevant in the future and be able to provide value in the new economic forces of globalisation, liberalisation, commercialisation and competition. In that case therefore, the TPC future plans are clearly stipulated in its five years Strategic Business Plans (2000-2004) which can be grouped into three main areas:

    Human Resource Development

    Being a service industry, the issue of human resources development is one of the priority areas for investment. The needs to provide relevant training for the successful performance of the corporation itself. For a well trained manpower is both the means and the end of TPC development.

    Investing in human resource development will make a critical difference in the way the corporation will be developed in the next 5 years.

    Rejuvenation of traditional Services

    The growing customers demand to improve the quality of TPC products and services put pressure to the corporation for more investment so as to improve, extend and provide products and services that are responsive to the customers demands.

  • Continue to stimulate mail use by adding value on it.

  • Fill the demand for different types of mail and financial services tailored to specific customer needs.

  • Adopt valuable hybrid services that help customers choose both physical and electronic means of communication.

  • Preserve the value of advertising mail, making it more targeted - such as in one to one marketing and exploiting communications between business and individuals.

  • Meet the sophisticated customer's requirements especially in the area of speed, security and reliability.

  • In order to comply with the high quality service, the OVER NIGHT MAIL CONVEYANCE project will be consolidated for greater efficiency and extended to other high mail traffic routes to guarantee 24 hours mail delivery service between regional centres.

    Introduction of New Services

    Postal services worldwide are already exploring opportunities offered by modern technology. In that regard most of the Postal Administrations are struggling to develop and introduce new value added products and services traditionally not regarded as part of their core businesses.

    As the world around TPC changes, to be successful, the corporation will apply new technology to:

  • Improve services quality

  • Provide faster services

  • Provide greater accuracy

  • Provide reliability and convenience

  • Provide additional value added services such as tracking and tracing of mail items including packages/ parcels etc.

  • The Corporation will explore the internet and e-commerce service chain, therefore a policy document is being established to guide, synchronise and harmonise all the new hybrid products and services to be offered to customers by using the new information technology.

    Enhancement of Management Information Systems

    One of the objectives for the application of Information Technology is to improve management information system resulting into faster and more effective decision.

    The enhanced MIS will also reduce operational costs and consequently increase the corporation's profit. Cost-efficiency has the potential to make the service more competitive. Customer should then benefit through competitive and stabilised prices, consistency and reliable information as well as high quality services.


  • Property development either on joint venture basis with TPC or on Build lease and Transfer terms (BLT).

  • TPC has pieces of Land strategically located in Dar es Salaam City, which could be developed for commercial use.

  • Technology infrastructure

  • TPC is starting to invest significantly in E- business. There are obvious benefits from a collaborative approach with common infrastructure and associated branding.

    As Tanzania is marked by rapid change, there is still a window of opportunity in the area of E-business service network country wide, strategic competencies in mail distribution and payments, and at an industry level, a brand image which stands for trust and neutrality. No other single entity in this country can claim competencies in all these areas.

    Therefore the TPC strategy infrastructure is to collaborate with private investors to create a Postal E- business for the benefits of all stakeholders.

      Read on  

    © World INvestment NEws, 2000.
    This is the electronic edition of the special country report on Tanzania
    published in Forbes Global Magazine.
    October 16th 2000 Issue.
    Developed by AgenciaE.Tv Communication