IGF 2022 Lightning Talk #90 The postal sector role in the digital economy

Tuesday, 29th November, 2022 (07:15 UTC) - Tuesday, 29th November, 2022 (07:45 UTC)
Speaker's Corner

Universal Postal Union (UPU)
Juan Moroni, Digital Inclusion and Policy Expert, UPU

  • Hanna Arayaselassie, Chief Executive Officer, Ethiopost

  • Rodney Taylor, Secretary General, Caribbean Telecommunications Union

  • ​​​​​​Yu Ping Chan, Senior Programme Officer, Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology
Onsite Moderator

Tracy Hackshaw, Project Manager .POST, UPU

Online Moderator

Juan Moroni, Digital Inclusion and Policy Expert, UPU


Juan Moroni, Digital Inclusion and Policy Expert, UPU


10. Reduced Inequalities

Targets: Posts are key drivers of the digital economy, and can advance not only digital, but also financial and social inclusion.


Fireside chat

Duration (minutes)



The postal network and the UPU were agreed as key stakeholders in the development of the Information Society, as recognised in the outcomes of the UN World Summit for the Information Society (WSIS) in 2005. Now, with the UN Global Digital Compact initiative, the UPU has launched a consultation on its input to it, with the aim of gathering the views of the postal sector to advance an open and secure digital future for all. In this session, the role of the postal sector in the digital economy, as a key driver of digital, financial and social inclusion, will be discussed.

1) Fluent coordination between the online and the onsite moderators 2) Interactive and engaging session with active moderation both online and onsite 3) Mentimeter

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

The postal sector has 650,000 post offices worldwide, with a fundamental presence in rural areas. Through this network, Posts can advance an inclusive digital future by creating enabling environments which bring digital services to the communities, e.g. e-government services (including digital identity), digital payments and e-commerce, and are provided by local postal workers which know their specific context.

Post can become digital hubs facilitating access to digital, financial and e-commerce services both for citizens and businesses (MSMEs in particular). For example, they can facilitate demand aggregation, increasing digital services affordability. To fully leverage on this opportunity, the UPU has launched the Connect.post initiative to connect all post offices in the world to the internet by 2030. Connecting a post is connecting a community.

Session Report (* deadline 26 October) - click on the ? symbol for instructions

A foundational building block of digital transformation and digital inclusion is access to reliable, financially and environmentally sustainable and affordable broadband internet connection. According to ITU data, currently more than 1/3 of humanity does not have internet access, and at least 50% of businesses do not transact on the internet nor participate in the digital economy according to UNCTAD. As the world becomes more digitalized, disparities that put individuals and businesses at a disadvantage, threaten to accelerate existing inequalities.

The postal network is one of the critical infrastructures for bridging the digital and physical divides. This was recognized by the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) outcomes where connectivity of post offices was agreed by member states to be essential to enable growth of the digital economy. This was reaffirmed by the UN General Assembly in 2015.

Connected post offices enables each and every community to connect to the government and the economy, regardless of whether it is in an industrialized or developing economy, SIDS, LDC or LLDC. In outlying areas, post offices are often the only public service available, where they constitute a vital channel to communicate and to exchange goods and services, between communities and with governments. Connected post offices connect communities, their citizens and businesses to the digital economy.