The Lesotho Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has rolled-sleeves to underpin the weakening local business industry through a two-month countrywide road-show.
The Chamberâ€™s expedition which commences today, alongside the Ministry of Trade and Industry to execute its well-thought-out idea of sharing expertise on how best to revive the dying spirit of local businesses which was hit below-belt at the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, dwindling the economy of the country and consequently affecting small and medium businesses sector- is expected to run through June.
LCCI Advertising Officer, Paballo Mohapi indicated that LCCI as a canopy to the private sector, has firm intentions of saving the sinking ship by equipping entrepreneurs, small and large business organisations with tools and opportunities in the Chamber and the Ministry.
â€œFollowing the Covid-19 negative impact in the business sector, we discovered that most businesses have been shut-down while others are struggling to stand on their feet. We have the opportunities that can help the business sector but people are not aware of them,â€ she said, adding that they aim at disclosing such opportunities to the public.
â€œWe have previously aided the youths with internships and developed a programme called public-private dialogue where the private sector and the public have a dialogue,â€ she added.
She explained that the programme is intended to help the private sector and the public to merge in their work in order to enable both sides know their needs from the other.
She said the road-show will also expose the youth to a programme called the TFO Canada which is funded by Canada to assist the businesses. She said the programme will expose the local businesses to the Canadian market that they need to take an advantage of.
â€œWe have initiated an agreement with Canada and reached an agreement of the market where they will let us know their demand from our local businesses to meet their demand and make more money,â€ she said.
Mohapi further explained that they have invented a programme called TFSA which focuses on fruits and vegetable farmers so that they can also get a well paved market road to the United Kingdom (UK).
The Chamber further developed a platform for Lesotho business personnel to be exposed to the market demands of the United Kingdom, which will also help the Lesotho business sector know what it should produce more based on the market demands.
To achieve this mandate, LCCI joined hands with the African Bank where some funds are allocated to enhance the businesses in Lesotho.
She continued that, â€œEven if we do not put our members on priority, when we have the information it first reaches to them since they are the closest to us.
â€œWe also facilitate the negotiations between companies that are owed by the government departments to solve any misunderstandings between the two parties,â€ she said.
Other stakeholders on board are Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA), Lesotho Mounted Police Services (LMPS), First National Bank (FNB), Vodacom Lesotho, Econet Telecom Lesotho, Standard Lesotho Bank and Lesotho Post Bank.
On behalf of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, MatÅ¡eliso Lehohla said the ministry will be touring with the LCCI in order to teach people about the new laws that have been established in the ministry.
â€œThe business licensing and registration of 2021 has been established and it has changes that affect the business and the licences.
â€œThe law further depicts the licenses with a new look and we shall be demonstrating how it looks so that they may know the legit licenses,â€ she said.
She said the businesses that have not negatively been affected to the community and the environment will not need licenses but will only be registered while the companies that affect both the environment and the community will be issued with licenses.
The road-show begins in Mokhotlong today, going to Butha-Buthe on April 26, then Leribe on April 28, Berea on May 2, Mafeteng on May 04, Qachaâ€™s Nek on May 17, Mohaleâ€™s Hoek on May 19, Thaba-Tseka on May 31, Quthing May 18 before ending in Maseru on June 6, 2022.