This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

CAFI – Private Sector finally gets attention it deserves from Government

LCCI (Lesotho Chamber of Commerce) – Fako Hakane

“For the longest time in Lesotho, the Private Sector has not been given the attention and the recognition it deserves, as our efforts to bring government to the table never succeeded until recently when there appeared to be a paradigm shift which we fully embrace.  We intend to tighten the grip lest we find ourselves back to that unfortunate era where there was no communication between government and the private sector.” These were the words echoed by the secretary general of Lesotho Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr Fako Hakane.

Mr. Hakane indicated the private sector “waited long for intervention that would build a sustainable entrepreneurship ecosystem from the time of Pathway out of poverty to the NSDP II. The notion that the private sector was perceived as the main source of tax revenue and employment and yet there has been limited public investment towards building a conducive business environment.”

He further alluded that “Lesotho has talented entrepreneurs who can be players in the global value chains. CAFI through the entrepreneurship hub and seed financing gives our start-ups an opportunity to aim high enough to be global players.  The absence of development bank in Lesotho has not done us any favors as you all know that commercial banks do not have much interest in start-ups.”

LCCI feels that its counterparts and competitors from other jurisdictions are more successful due to the support they receive from their respective governments.  This is the reason why the public service employees in those countries are easily absorbed in their economies, post-working age. Private sector led economic growth can only be achieved through a deliberate and concerted effort to build a strong and competitive business sector by the government

With the planned Horticulture Incubation, he said this will ensure that they realize a dream of having successful privately owned farms in Lesotho which shall lessen their dependency on the neighbor, the Republic of South Africa.    NSDP II has Agriculture, Technology, Manufacturing and Tourism as key priority sectors which should get financial injection from both government and private sector especially when CAFI is built on these four sectors. 

On the textile industry he said that it was built on the opportunity provided by bot Africa Growth and Opportunity Act and the multi-fiber agreement.  However, he said they have not realized participation of Basotho industrialists in the development of the sector and associated value chains.  “It is no secret that the foreign investors are the beneficiaries of AGOA and the multi fibre agreement, exploiting our human resources by paying the not so acceptable wages.”

“The Textile Industry is the biggest employer in Lesotho today, however, it has the weakest linkages with the domestic economy.  The skills transfer space is not adequately addressed.  Lesotho needs to resuscitate the economy Post Covid-19 pandemic.  CAFI was designed based on what shareholders agreed as a critical path to take the economy to recover from the emergency.”

Mr. Hakane alluded that many businesses closed shop during the COVID-19 pandemic, where they were caught completely ill prepared as an economy.  Lesotho embarked on trial and error in introduction of measures to contain the spread of the virus.  CAFI comes with a very important instrument of helping MSME’s in the event of future emergencies.

“There is market access through several bilateral and multilateral arrangements. However, to fully participate in the global trading system we need government support. There are examples that could be cited just to show that government does not want to relinquish some basic activities that have to be in the hands of the private sector, like ‘Rules of Origin’ which in most countries is left to the private sector.

Failure to support enterprise to adapt to the ever-changing business environment brought by globalization and technological advancements have turned many entrepreneurs into consumers. This is an era of Fourth Industrial Revolution, digital transformation, artificial intelligence etc”

In his last remarks he said LCCI therefore, appeals to the government to open doors for dialogue with the private sector.  “Regular and open dialogue will help the private sector to play an active role in the development agenda of Lesotho. CAFI is definitely a way to go for Lesotho to realize its economic freedom by entrusting its economy in its citizens.”

Post navigation