A Humble Beginning
The Postal history in Kenya dates from the early years of the 17th century. A Portuguese governor was installed in Mombasa in 1592 and official correspondence between the town and the outside world has been recorded from 1610 onwards, carried by ship to Arabia and India and transmitted to Europe by the overland route. Early letters from the interior of Kenya date from about 1848 when the missionaries sent their correspondence by native runners to the Coast for onward transmission.
Early Postal Development
By 1877 some letters from Coast were being taken north from Lamu to Aden by ships of the British steam navigation Company, although the bulk of mail was being transmitted via Zanzibar. A system of mail-runners was developed and expanded by the British East Africa Association, while individual traders and concessionaires organized their own service. That enjoyed the use of distinctive postage stamps in 1889-90.
An East African Postal Service
A regular postal service in British East Africa was introduced in May 1890 and post offices opened in Mombasa and the island of Lamu. Two years later offices were opened at Malindi and Wasini and by 1897 an office was to open at Kilindini,necessitated by the construction of the railway. On 1st July 1895 control of the territory in British East Africa was transferred from the company to the imperial government. The Postmaster of Mombasa was responsible for running the postal service in the territory and in 1901 the Postal Services of British East Africa and Uganda were amalgamated.
Establishment of PCK
The Postal Corporation Of Kenya was established by an Act Of Parliament (PCK Act 1998) and operates as a commercial public enterprise. The Corporation’s mandate includes provision of accessible, affordable and reliable postal services to all parts of Kenya as public postal license whereby communication through the post office forms part of the basic human right as is enshrined in the 1948 United Nations Charter. Our mission is to deliver innovative superior communication,Distribution and Financial (Payment) solutions to our customers and create value to stakeholders. The Post Office remains the most accessible, affordable, and effective and time tested communications platform in Kenya with a total of 623 outlets spread across the country.
The Post in Kenya currently cooperates with other postal administrations within East Africa in the provision of Postal Money Transfers through the UPU’s electronic International Financial System (IFS). It also has the International Postal System (IPS) that enables track and trace facilities for mail and EMS within UPU member countries. A number of neighbouring postal administrations use Nairobi as their transit point for international mail. Postal Corporation of Kenya in this connection has plans of putting up a modern International Mails Transit Centre at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), Nairobi.