The impact of liberalization on the growth of the postal industry in Uganda

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Kampala International University, College of Economics and Management
This study was carried out to establish the impact of liberalization on the growth of the postal industry in Uganda. The research focused on identifying the changes registered in Uganda’s postal industry as a result of liberalizing the sector; the effects of liberalization on the business performance of Uganda Post Ltd (UPL); and the major challenges facing the postal industry in Uganda as a result of introducing competition in the sector. The descriptive survey design was used in the study, applying a combination of both qualitative and quantitative methods to collect the required information. Primary data was collected through key informant interviews, observations and questionnaires administered to a stratified sample of 80 respondents representing customers of the different categories of licensed postal operators. Secondary data was gathered through a literature search covering textbooks, journals, handouts, as well UPL, UCC and Government reports on the industry just before; and after the relaxation of the postal monopoly in the country. Major findings of the study include a persistent annual growth in the number of licensed courier operators from 7 in 1997 to 25 in 2007, a widening range of postal products, a significant improvement in the quality of postal services since the introduction of competition, a substantial drop in the volumes of letter-mails handled by UPL, and a widening quality gap in postal services delivery between the urban and the rural areas of the country after liberalization. From the findings the researcher recommends more government support to the sector by maintaining the basic infrastructure essential for postal services and strengthening the legal and policy frameworks; the enhancement of regulatory capacity to ensure compliance to postal license conditions; constant sector monitoring to determine the optimal number of private operators for the country; improvement in management of the RCDF to meet the USO all postal operators especially UPL, to embrace ICT as the engine towards profitability.
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Award of the Degree of Master of Business Administration of Kampala International University
Liberalization, Growth, Postal industry, Uganda