Development of postal services in Northern Rhodesia(Zambia) during the Colonial Period,1893-1964

Thumbnail Image
Kayanda, Gloria
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Zambia
This study examines the development of postal services in Northern Rhodesia from 1893 to 1964 by focusing on the major transformations in the provision of the services in the territory. The study also analyses the availability and significance of postal services and the challenges encountered by the Postal Department in the provision of the services in Northern Rhodesia. It begins by giving a brief background of how pre-colonial African societies communicated before the introduction of regular postal services. Postal services were first introduced in the territory in 1893 at Abercorn in order to facilitate official communication between administrative centres. The study showed that in its initial stage of development, the Post Office was entirely concerned with the mail service. Transformations in the mail conveyance were influenced by technological advancements in the transport system. The first utilised mode of transport was the mail runner service which was later reinforced by the ox-cart, train, canoe, motor, and aircraft mails services. The study also revealed that the Post Office extended its service provision beyond handling of mails to include telegraph, telephone and wireless services to facilitate rapid communication. The extension of postal services to various parts of the country was influenced by the growth of administrative and industrial centres, where postal services were needed to facilitate communication. Therefore, postal services were more available in administrative and industrial centres, than in outlying areas where people had to walk long distances to access them. It has been argued, however, that achieving effective provision of services was not easy as the department encountered various challenges. These included boundary disputes, natural challenges and inadequate trained postal staff. Such challenges hampered the normal operations of the Postal Department in its effort to facilitate communication through provision of postal services to the public.
Master of Arts in History
Postal Services-Northern Rhodesia(Zambia)-History-19th Century