By Mpho Shelile


-In a significant step towards enhancing Lesotho’s economic landscape, the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Business Development held a final draft stakeholder validation meeting for the Lesotho Investment Policy and Incentives Framework.

The meeting gathered key stakeholders from various sectors to refine and validate a comprehensive policy designed to attract and retain both local and international investments.

The Lesotho Investment Policy and Incentives Framework is a pivotal component of the country’s broader economic development strategy. Its primary objective is to create a conducive environment for investments, stimulate economic growth, and generate employment opportunities.

The new policy outlines various incentives for investors, including tax breaks, subsidies, and streamlined regulatory procedures, with a particular focus on sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, and renewable energy.

Mr. Motebang Mokoaleli, a SADC Consultant for Lesotho, emphasized the importance of implementing a transparent incentive procedure through the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) and the Revenue Services Lesotho (RSL). “LNDC should ensure that all enterprises issue physical incentives,” said Mr. Mokoaleli, proposing a new way of dealing with incentives to ensure they are efficient and beneficial to the growth of the economy.

He further stated that Lesotho’s investment policy and incentives framework is designed to create a dynamic and attractive investment environment. By offering competitive tax rates, financial incentives, and a streamlined regulatory process, Lesotho aims to position itself as a preferred destination for investors. “As the country continues to implement reforms and promote key sectors, the opportunities for growth and development are immense. Investors looking for a stable and promising market in Southern Africa should consider Lesotho as a gateway to success,” added Mr. Mokoaleli.

He advised all stakeholders to take extra care with data analysis and data collection reports, as these are crucial for determining progress. Mokoaleli concluded by stressing the importance of ensuring that the policy promotes sustainable development and inclusivity, particularly for marginalized groups.

Speaking at the event, the Deputy Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Business Development, Mr. Jobo Rasoko, highlighted Lesotho’s preparedness for the LIP policy. “The LIP outlines the government’s commitment to creating a favorable investment climate. It emphasizes the importance of political stability, sound macroeconomic policies, and legal frameworks that protect investors’ rights,” said Mr. Rasoko.

He added that LIP aims to promote economic growth, create jobs, and reduce poverty by identifying key sectors for investment, including agriculture, manufacturing, mining, tourism, and renewable energy.

Mr. Thabo Qhesi, CEO of the Private Sector Foundation of Lesotho, indicated that the new policy will assist the government in dealing more effectively with investors. “In the past, investors lost interest because negotiations took too long. The new policy will enhance and streamline the process, making our work much easier,” said Mr. Qhesi.

He further stated that Lesotho’s economy is primarily driven by agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and services, and the country’s strategic location, surrounded by South Africa, provides a significant advantage for trade and investment. However, he noted the need to diversify Lesotho’s economic base to achieve sustainable growth and development.

“We have rebounded from the impacts of COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war, which demonstrated Africa’s continued reliance on imported food. This has underscored the importance of self-sufficiency,” said Mr. Qhesi.

The final draft stakeholder validation meeting for the Lesotho Investment Policy and Incentives Framework marks a crucial milestone in the country’s economic development journey. By fostering a collaborative approach and addressing the concerns of various stakeholders, Lesotho is poised to create a more inviting environment for investors, ultimately driving sustainable growth and development for the nation.