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Vodacom encourages small businesses to embrace technology

Lesotho Times

Lesotho's widely read newspaper, published every Thursday and distributed throughout the country and in some parts of South Africa. Contact us today: News: [email protected] Advertising: [email protected] Telephone: +266 2231 5356

Moroke Sekoboto

TELECOMMUNICATIONS giant, Vodacom Lesotho, has urged micro, small, and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) to adapt to the innovative use of technologies in order to make their businesses sustainable in these trying times.

The Executive Head of Vodacom Business, Lisemelo Ramafikeng, said MSMEs had suffered immensely due to COVID19 but lauded those which had adapted, innovated and survived.

She said the pandemic had highlighted the importance of technology as an enabler for MSME growth and transformation, allowing MSMEs to access new markets, streamline operations, and enhance their competitiveness.

Ms Ramafikeng spoke at a weekend event for local MSMEs at the Thetsane industrial area in Maseru. This was in line with the United Nations calendar which designates every 27 June as MSME day.

The United Nations General Assembly designated every 27 June as MSME Day in 2017 to raise awareness of the tremendous contributions of MSMEs to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The day was designated to discuss policies that strengthen, capacitate and support MSME development and entrepreneurship, particularly for women and youth.

It seeks solutions to remove barriers for the growth of women and youth owned businesses, thereby contributing to the full achievement of the SDGs.

Ms Ramafikeng emphasized the importance of embracing technology as a key player in rebuilding and growing the MSME sector.

“Embracing technology has become more critical than ever before. However, we must also acknowledge the digital divide that exists, with some MSMEs lacking access to technology and digital skills,” Ms Ramafikeng said.

“It is imperative to bridge the gap and ensure inclusivity in the technological advancements of the MSME sector……

“We must invest in capacity-building programs, provide training and support, and create an enabling environment for MSMEs to leverage technology effectively. As Vodacom Business we are well positioned to support digitization of MSMEs across their value chains to enable them to achieve operational efficiencies.

“We continue to build cost efficient products that will ensure that every business advances their digital agenda. As we rebuild from the challenges of the past, let us embrace technology as an enabler for MSME growth, ensuring that all entrepreneurs have equal opportunities to thrive. Together, we can create a vibrant and sustainable MSME sector that will propel Lesotho towards a prosperous future.”

She said the past 18 months had been challenging for MSMEs worldwide, including here in Lesotho. This because of the COVID-19 pandemic which had presented unprecedented obstacles, forcing businesses to adapt and innovate i to survive.

“Many MSMEs experienced disruptions in their operations, supply chains, and cash flows. Jobs were at stake, livelihoods were affected, and the path to recovery seemed uncertain.

“This annual event thus allows us to recognize and celebrate the remarkable contributions of MSMEs to our nation’s economy and development. Yet, in the face of adversity, our MSMEs demonstrated remarkable resilience. They stood tall, determined to wither the storm and contribute to the rebuilding of our economy. This resilience is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit deeply ingrained within our nation. It is a testament to the unwavering commitment and perseverance of our small business owners and their employees,” Ms Ramafikeng said.