During the official launch of Sir Ketumile Quett Joni Masire’s stamp marking the 1st Anniversary of his remembrance, Botswana Post CEO Cornelius Ramatlhakwane assured those gathered that there is a reasonwhy they are still making stamps even though the letter mail is known to be on the decline world-wide.
“According to Shiela Case in her ‘Guide to development of Botswana Philately’ handbook, inevitably with the evolution of the dotcom platform (world wide web), the stamps became a rare artistic beauty with rich historical interests. This led to the development of stamps as a hobby. This hobby, known as Philately, has developed into an international business, valued at 10 billion dollars annually,” revealed Ramatlhakwane.
The CEO further said in the past five years they embarked on a Philately Resuscitation program which aims to position their Philatelic Bureau as one of the best in the world. He said they have observed that the stamp was declining both in popularity and commercially as technology invaded the communication space almost rendering letter mail irrelevant.
Ramatlhakwane further stated that since they had little knowledge on philately ,they engaged experts to assist them to reposition their own product. He said they appointed the first philatelist to assist with what they called phase 1 which focused on, “1. Re-institution of the stamp issuing program, 2. Re-institution of the stamp adversary committee, 3. Introduction of the artists workshop program to identify potential talent, 4. Dealing with philatelic practices examples steps to stamp production, sales and marketing strategies and 5. Museum practices.”
Ramatlhakwane highlighted that the program has helped them to get back on track with their production which is guided by their stamp issuance policy. “I am happy to say we have consistently adhered to the policy, releasing 4-5 issues annually for five years now. We do not only pride ourselves in adhering to the stamp release policy but also the quality of the stamps released with relevance to both our local and international collectors ,” he closed.