In pursuit of one of the BotswanaPost strategic goals of bringing services and products closer to the community, a philatelic bureau was this week opened at Chobe Post Office in Kasane.
Speaking in an interview with the Sunday Standard, Public Relations Manager for BotswanaPost, Keoagile Rafifing, said with these new developments, BotswanaPost is planning to form strategic partnerships with tourism establishments in the Chobe, Ngamiland and other tourist attraction areas. “This is aimed at making philatelic products and information easily accessible at these establishments,” he said.
According to Rafifing, philately is the collection and study of postage stamps. “Collecting stamps is a very enjoyable hobby for people of all ages all over the world. It is one of the most interesting ways to learn about other countries, their people, their wildlife, history, culture and other socio-economic activities,” he stated, adding that people collect stamps for different reasons be it a hobby, to appreciate and learn about the history and culture of other countries and for serious philatelists, as an investment.
Rafifing said at BotswanaPost they have realized that tourists visit Botswana to learn about its heritage, culture and other various elements of interest. He said postage stamps are not only used to show that postage has been paid, but also they disseminate knowledge about the country’s history, geography, culture and economy and other activities of Botswana. “There has been above average demand of philatelic products by both professional philatelists and hobbyist,” he said.
The Chobe Philatelic Bureau, therefore, is expected to service tourists, travellers, stamp collectors and the general public. Products range will include stamps, year packs, souvenir sheets and other philately auxiliary products. Botswana philatelic stamps are sought all over the world, especially Asia.
According to Rafifing, BotswanaPost has a policy to produce a set of four to six different stamps per annum. There are two types of stamps namely, Definitive Stamps, which are stamps issued every five years. A definitive series usually comprises about 15 stamps from the lowest denomination to the highest value.
Another type of stamps is Commemorative Stamps. “A commemorative set is sold for a limited period, usually one year. These stamps may honour a person, place or event; they may promote understanding of Botswana’s cultural and historical heritage both human and environmental, or it may promote social programmes such as HIV/AIDS interventions, literacy etc,” he explained.
Another Philatelic Bureau is expected to be opened at the Maun Airport Post Office in the near future.