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Postal Francophony Conference, Riyadh, 30 September

More than thirty participants, representing 13 Posts replied to the invitation of La Poste Groupe and Swiss Post to take part in the Postal Francophony conference at the Marriott Riyadh Diplomatic Quarter hotel, upstream from the UPU's 4th Extraordinary Congress (Riyadh).



Chaired by Jean-Paul Forceville and Aimé Theubet, this conference brought together Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Morocco, Tunisia, DRC, Gabon, Madagascar, Togo, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, France, as well as a representative of the Consultative Committee: ADS Group.




Members of the International bureau were also on hand to present current postal issues related to the French-speaking world:


Olivier Boussard (Director of the IB DG Cabinet) spoke of the historical and ongoing links between the UPU, the International Organisation of Francophony and the French language. He thanked France for its support and highlighted the arrival of a young United Nations recruit that will be dedicated, among others, to the French-speaking world. Mr Boussard floated the idea of an event during the Francophony week in March 2024 in conjunction with the UPU's 150th anniversary celebrations.


Abdel Ilah Bousseta (Director of Operations) gave a comprehensive presentation on Electronic Advanced Data (EAD).


Saleh Khan and Sergey Dukleskiy presented an overview of financial inclusion and banking exchanges in French-speaking countries.


4 thematic fact sheets were presented:


Postal financial services (Mr M'hamed El Moussaoui - Morocco);

Product Integration (Ms Nadine Devisch - Belgium);

The package on UPU opening-up (Mr Francis Sailer - Switzerland);

The green package (Elisabeth Massonnet - France).


The session continued with a round table on financial inclusion, digital transformation and innovation moderated by the Chairman of the Council of Administration, Mr Isaac Gnamba Gao (Côte d'Ivoire), with the following panellists:

  • Mr Sergey Dukelskiy (International bureau)

  • Mrs Judith Glidjia (CEO, Benin Post)

  • Mr Oussama Rouatbi (Head of the Digital Transformation Department at the Tunisian Post Office)

  • Mr Mamadou Dramé (ADS Group).

The panellists presented the challenges and opportunities of innovation and the digitisation of postal services. The UPU, but also external operators such as ADS Group in Africa, can support these opportunities.


The conference ended with a cocktail reception where participants were able to continue their discussions.


As Olivier Boussard pointed out, the UPU is preparing to celebrate its 150th anniversary next year, 150 years of the UPU's official language and of linguistic diversity.

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