Somaliland and Kenya seal postal services deal to cement postal services integration in East Africa

Under the new agreement, the two Postal Services have agreed to work together in the processing of inbound, outbound, and cross-border mail and parcels.

The unions also agreed to jointly set up mail and parcel sorting centers at any place for the mutual benefit of the parties.


The two parties have further pledged to respect international security standards and procedures and the use of electronic data interchange (EDI) systems to facilitate the overall security of the international mail and parcel transport network.

About Electronic Data Interchange

Somaliland-Kenya Seal New Postal Services DealElectronic data interchange (EDI) is the concept of businesses electronically communicating information that was traditionally communicated on paper, such as purchase orders, advance ship notices, and invoices. Technical standards for EDI exist to facilitate parties transacting such instruments without having to make special arrangements.

EDI has existed at least since the early 70s, and there are many EDI standards (including X12, EDIFACT, ODETTE, etc.), some of which address the needs of specific industries or regions. It also refers specifically to a family of standards. In 1996, the National Institute of Standards and Technology defined electronic data interchange as “the computer-to-computer interchange of a standardized format for data exchange.

EDI implies a sequence of messages between two parties, either of whom may serve as the originator or recipient. The formatted data representing the documents may be transmitted from originator to recipient via telecommunications or physically transported on electronic storage media.”

It distinguished mere electronic communication or data exchange, specifying that “in EDI, the usual processing of received messages is by computer only. Human intervention in the processing of a received message is typically intended only for error conditions, for quality review, and for special situations. For example, the transmission of binary or textual data is not EDI as defined here unless the data are treated as one or more data elements of an EDI message and are not normally intended for human interpretation as part of online data processing.”

In short, EDI can be defined as the transfer of structured data, by agreed message standards, from one computer system to another without human intervention.

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