Postage stamps, specifically the ones that Baroka plans to print featuring Sidi's photograph, are symbolic of the most effective way (at least in Soyinka’s opinion) for Africa to modernize. Unlike railways or unions, which Baroka sees being forced on him, stamps and the development of a postal system represent a way to embrace progress and modernity without completely upending or forsaking Ilujinle's current way of life. Stamps are a modern, Western invention, but they're also something that Baroka can use on his own terms. They will allow him to dictate how, when, and how much Ilujinle progresses.
Postage Stamps Quotes in The Lion and the Jewel
I do not hate progress, only its nature
Which makes all roofs and faces look the same.
The old must flow into the new, Sidi,
Not blind itself or stand foolishly
Apart. A girl like you must inherit
Miracles which age alone reveals.