The government will soon introduce several new trade-related policies thanks to the African Development Bank (AfDB) supported Economic Diversification Support Project (EDSP).
These include the investment policy, financial inclusion policy, microfinance policy, and the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) policy.
This was highlighted by the Minister of Trade, Industry, and Business Development Mokhethi Shelile during a recent media workshop on the performance of the EDSP for purposes of informing and designing future AfDB projects in the country.
The workshop was held by the ministry in partnership with the AfDB’s Southern Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office.
The recently concluded project’s objective was to support private sector development through entrepreneurship and skills development, access to finance and markets, and investment promotion in the selected sectors critical for economic diversification.
“The government is now in the process of approving policies such as investment policy, financial inclusion policy, microfinance policy, MSME policy, and many others that were developed under EDSP. This clearly, demonstrates the magnitude of the investment that has been made to Lesotho with this project,” Shelile said.
He said the economy of Lesotho has been transformed under the project.
“I would like to extend my appreciation for the amazing work done on the EDSP by all stakeholders. The professionalism and the endless hours that you spent have benefitted the country immensely.”
He said the investment promotion landscape in Lesotho has been reshaped by the development of a compendium of investment projects.
“Our investment promotion agencies have been equipped with new instruments and tools to promote Lesotho as an investment destination of choice.”
Some of the beneficiaries of the project are the Ministry of Trade and Industry; Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture (MTEC); Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Small Business Development, Cooperatives and Marketing (MSCM); Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC); Basotho Enterprise Development Corporation (BEDCO); and Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC).
Speaking on behalf of the AfDB, Babouccarr Koma highlighted that this support was done continentally.
“We are proud to observe the inclusiveness and growth in the business of the beneficiaries as they survived against all odds,” Koma stated.
Tšoanelo Jae from Miss Jay Couture, a beneficiary under the EDSP gave a glowing testimony about her business development journey courtesy of the project’s support.
“We are now in the process of expanding our business to Sefika Complex in Maseru where there will be a two-storey building with the first floor for our ready-made products, while the second floor will have the bridal apparel.”
“We are going to need more financial power of which funding or investments are needed and the company is going to increase the number of employees,” Jae explained.