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Lesotho validates a successor national industrial policy to harness economic growth

20 March, 2024
Lesotho validates a successor national industrial policy to harness economic growth

Lesotho, Maseru, 20 March 2024 - The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Sub Regional Office for Southern Africa (ECA SRO SA) provided technical support to the Government of Lesotho to develop   the country’s successor national industrial policy through the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Business Development (MTIBD).  The policy document aims to harness an export driven economic growth trajectory through industrialization, and was validated through a one-day workshop jointly organized by MTIBD and ECA SRO SA.  

The objective of the workshop was to review and identify gaps in the policy document, obtain feedback from participants and  further, provide a platform for stakeholders who were unable to participate in the questionnaire-based data collection process to provide inputs into the draft policy document to enhance collective ownership of the Lesotho National Industrial Policy.

In his opening remarks, Mr Thabo Moleko, Principal Secretary of MTIBD said that one of the key priority areas of the Successor Lesotho National Industrial Policy was enhancing inclusive Sustainable economic growth and private sector led job creation. He stated that  the National Industrial Policy will among other things take into consideration the changes in the continental operating environment, including the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and  ensure alignment  with regional frameworks  like  the Southern Africa Development Community Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap (2015 – 2063), as a regional industrial development blueprint which aims to promote industrialization and deepen economic growth through structural transformation.

He applauded ECA’s technical support to review the 2015-2017 Industrial Policy as a way of enhancing the efforts of government in improving the business and investment environment of the country and noted that, “I believe that together we can make Lesotho a responsive and attractive destination for domestic, regional and international investment in order to promote industrialization, enhance competitiveness leading to increased quality manufactured goods and exports”.

ECA Sub regional Office for Southern Africa was represented by Ms. Olayinka Bandele, Chief, Inclusive Industrialization Section who reiterated the support of the United Nations to the Industrialization development agenda in the Kingdom of Lesotho in support of Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 9 on Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. She underscored three critical steps that the country must take:

• Firstly, a shift from a consumer-based economy to a producer and export-driven economy as the consumer-based economy makes the Lesotho economy vulnerable to price volatilities and external shocks. 

•Secondly, the role of technological advancements and innovation in industrial development, as this will spur productivity gains and global competitiveness.

•Lastly but not the least, the critical role of the private sector with Micro Small and Medium Enterprises at the center of the economy.

The official speeches were followed by the presentation of the draft 2024-2028 National Industrial Policy by ECA SRO-SA consultant Dr. Mamello Nchake who guided group discussions on industrial policy priority areas, implementation arrangements, resource mobilization and monitoring and evaluation. She highlighted that one of the Strategic Policy Objectives was to accelerate economic diversification in industrial base as well as enhance energy efficiency and sustainability.

The afternoon was dedicated to group discussions on the above thematic areas. The workshop was attended by participants from government ministries, the private sector, development partners, academic and research organizations, and local media houses.

The session was closed by Ms. Mart Motebang, Director of Trade on behalf of the Ministry of Trade. She spoke to the government’s commitment to accelerate the implementation process once the industrial policy has been launched. She called on participating stakeholders to play an active role, “ each one of us has a role to play, please go back and interrogate the industrial policy so that key contributions are given to change the narrative so that the successor national industrial policy strengthens Lesotho’s capacity to coordinate industrial policy implementation, mobilize resources for implementation and monitoring progress to deliver on the country’s industrialization milestones.”

The meeting ended with a stated ambition to deliver a finalized document as soon as possible in readiness for consideration by the government of Lesotho and thereafter implementation

Issued by:
Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 11 551 5826