Africa-Press – Lesotho. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa launched the 2017 Lesotho Country profile in collaboration with the Ministry of Development Planning through the department of Bureau of Statistics.
Speaking on behalf of the Economic Commission for Africa Sub regional office for Southern Africa, Mr Oliver Maponga said they have been publishing country profiles since 2015 in collaboration and support of National Statistical Offices in member states, ministries of finance and central banks.
He said among other important observation and recommendations, the Lesotho profile alludes to the challenges posed by highly fluctuating SACU revenues, the competition from Asian exports, the HIV /AIDS pandemic and the worsening current account deficit.
Adding that the profile observes the important role which the manufacturing sector can play in addressing gender inequality and the empowerment of women,” explained Maponga.
“It is our strong believe that the recommendations from Lesotho and other profiles will contribute to the national development discourse by offering incisive options to underpin development,” he concluded. Meanwhile United Nations System in Lesotho, Ms Mary Njoroge emphasized the importance of crafting realistic development goals and strategies.
She highly commended the efforts made by UN Economic Commission for Africa through the African Centre for strengthening the capacity of national statistical systems as this allows for the collection of accurate and timely statistics.
“For United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Lesotho, efforts are geared towards supporting Basotho by providing assistance in many areas including poverty reduction, promotion of transparent, accountable and effective governance at all levels, managing environmental changes by adopting an integrated approach to sustainable management of natural resource,” elaborated Njoroge.
She indicated that in June last year, UNDP assisted in Lesotho National Dialogue and stabilization Project (LNDSP) which was launched by Foreign Affairs Minister.
According to her the project, is seeking to facilitate consensus building and catalyze a conducive environment for the long anticipated national reforms and national reconciliation in Lesotho.
She further expressed that the project aims to amongst others enhance participation of the Lesotho public in the national dialogue and reforms through access to timely and accurate information while also women empowerment will be mainstreamed throughout the project.
She said the UNDP Global Environment Facility Small Grant Programme has assisted the Liphamola Dairy Farmers Association to establish a grazing paddock system for rehabilitation and sustainable rangeland management of about fifteen hectors of land and fodder production for the dairy cows as well as rehabilitation of the dumpsite turning it into grazing paddocks and an orchard with over than 800 fruit trees.
“Other ongoing projects include reducing vulnerability from climate change project and the Lesotho Data for Sustainable Development Project amongst others,” She underlined.
The profile also recommends strengthening the provision of health education in manufacturing zones to contain the HIV/AIDS in its incidence. “As the United Nations family in Lesotho, we are committed to providing technical support towards the attainment of national development goals.
We stand ready to work with all stakeholders in supporting development,” she concluded. Analyzing the whole presentation, Mr Ratjomose Machema from department of Economics at the National University of Lesotho said the report is different from the previous ones that UN and other agencies had which normally put more effort on economic indicators.
‘’The report has covered other key issues that include among others, social aspect in contrast of other past reports which put more effort on economic indicators,” he said.