posta uganda

Posta Uganda launches affordable stamps to aid migrants’ remittances

Kampala, July 2, 2023: Posta Uganda has launched affordable stamps to aid Ugandans abroad in sending their remittances to families back home. The stamps cost between shs2, 000 to shs10, 000.

Speaking at the launch also used to commemorate the International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR) on June 29 at Posta Uganda headquarters in Kampala, the Managing Director of Posta Uganda, James Arinaitwe, said “The stamps shall be taken to all the postal offices throughout the country”.

The new products will see Posta Uganda charging between 3 per cent and 3.5 per cent as withdrawal fees of the amount remitted. Most financial institutions in Uganda currently charge 6 per cent for the withdrawal of money sent outside the country.

“Almost every family in this country will have one of its members working abroad and because Ugandans are very hardworking they want to send money back home but it seems they are paying a lot of money to do that,” said Arinaitwe.

And the purpose of the project Arinatwe said “was mainly to make that facility (stamps) more available”. He added that the mechanism being used now requires recipients to travel to urban centres to receive money from money gram.

Different types of stamps are to be sent to postal officers across the country.

“One of the objectives was can we make it accessible for someone in the villages to receive money quickly and also having not to travel long distances.

“Secondly, about 6 per cent of the money sent is charged as a remittance fee, this is quite high. The target is between 3 and 3.5 per cent of the remittance amount.

“As Posta Uganda, we will try to go below that threshold,” Arinatwe disclosed, adding that they are ready to partner with other financial institutions. “Yes. We are so glad that we have a sister agency whom we are already working with – the Post Bank. Posta Uganda and Post Bank, we share the umbilical cord – we came from the same origin.”

Although he is sure there will be more partners, Posta Uganda Managing Director said currently the primary partner is Post Bank “with its big networks out there”.

We will also provide the last miles. For example, if there is a Posta Uganda branch in Kihii (Kanungu) and there isn’t a Post Bank at the border, our post office will provide that service.

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“If there is a financial institution interested in rural inclusion, financial inclusion for rural societies, marginalized societies, we are more than willing to partner with them. We are open to partnerships provided they are going to improve on the products we are open to partnerships,” said the Posta Uganda boss.

Sander Glas is the programme officer at International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), whose organization is working with Posta Uganda. He said during the lunch that Uganda has a diaspora of nearly 1m people who send more than shs1b annually back home to their families.

“Uganda is also home to 1.7m migrants of whom more than 1.4m is refugees.

“Expanding the role of Posta Uganda of its mass footprints across the country helps to improve access to remittances for those people, especially in under-served rural communities,” Glas said.

Julianne Mweheire, Director of Industry Affairs and Content Development at Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) said remittances from migrants help in improving the lives of millions of Ugandans and half of these inflows end up in rural areas where poverty and hunger are concentrated.

“They (remittances) help alleviate poverty and boost human capital development covering education, health, and housing expenses, among others.

“When you invest in the potential of second or third-generation diaspora the impacts of remittances become even more significant. As UCC we recognize the importance of migrants in the economic contributions to the families back home and these remittances are vital in the livelihoods of our communities and their critical components in our economic development.

“Migrants remittance sent back home help in achieving numerous SDGs such as reduction in poverty, hunger; good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, among numerous other goals.

Julianne said as a Commission they recognized that even with “our 36m Ugandans who have access to mobile financial services, we also do appreciate the issues of the cost of transfer – the 6 per cent is still very high and the communities are greatly impacted as have been raised by Arinaitwe today and our partners is that the rural communities get the greater impact of this cost than other communities”.

“Today, one of the reasons we commemorate these stamps is to be able to raise a flag and to raise this issue, to be able to achieve the SDGs targets of 3 per cent as has been discussed here today,” she added.

Explaining the features in the stamps and how much has been remitted through Posta Uganda, the Manager of Financial Services at Posta, Aggrey Amwonya, said, “From our side, we are not sending money to EU countries but we are only receiving. So, if you have your relatives in the EU countries then your relatives are the only ones to send money on the platform.”

“Since we started with Eurogiro in 2021, currently we have received more than UGX700m for clients who are in Uganda,” Amwonya added.

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