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Gvt, World Bank launch five-year partnership

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

THE government, in collaboration with the World Bank Group, on Monday this week

launched the Country Partnership Framework (CPF) 2024-2028, aimed at

promoting a private sector-driven, and export-oriented economy and

supporting the public sector in line with the National Strategic Development Plan


The World Bank Country Director to Lesotho, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, said

the CPF would assist in job-creation and support an efficient and effective

business sector.

During the launch held at Maseru Avani, Ms Marie-

Nelly said the CPF would be supported through three High-Level Outcomes (HLO) namely Increased employment in the private sector (HLO1), Improved human

capital outcomes (HLO2) and Improved climate resilience (HLO3).

Promoting digitalization and gender-equality were two cross-cutting

Themes, she added.

“The Country Partnership Framework demonstrates the World Bank

Group’s Commitment to support Lesotho’s development goal for its

people. This new CPF has been developed at an opportune time. This

government is set to embark upon a new private sector-led growth model and

restore the capacity of the weakened core government functions,” Ms Marie-

Nelly said.

“There is a sense of urgency and eagerness to embark upon change, and for

deeper WBG-engagement and financing. Lesotho has been economically

stagnant with an average GDP growth around 2 percent for a decade prior to

the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.

“It took its toll with GDP falling by 5.6 percent in 2020. It recovered to 1.8

percent in 2022 and is projected at 2.6 percent this year.”

She however, noted that despite progress, poverty and inequality were high and Lesotho

remained vulnerable to climate and socio-economic shocks.

“Addressing these development challenges requires a focus on re-balancing

growth by shifting to private investment and exports for job-creation…

strengthening human capital and improving service-delivery especially in rural

areas and lagging regions and strengthening climate risk management and


“The laws, policies and institutions that are meant to support the efficient and

effective delivery of development outcomes exists but are often not well-implemented or distorted.

“The new CPF aims to consolidate previous efforts, strengthen the nature of

engagement and achieve impact scale. We will be deploying a broader range of

infrastructure and strengthening our support to project implementation.”

Ms Marie-Nelly also said the CPF programme would directly support improvement in

governance and capacity-building of the public sector.

For her part, the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Rets’elisitsoe

Matlanyane, said Lesotho’s economy had been deteriorating. He, however, said

the CPF would assist alleviate the country’s economy.

“Lesotho has been facing difficult challenges of consistent deteriorating

economic conditions. Covid-19, the war in Ukraine and resulting food and fuel

prices increase and natural disasters, have been additional pressures on

people’s livelihoods,” Dr Matlanyane said.

“The CPF is fully aligned with the government’s priorities articulated in the

NSDP II, including growth progression, social transformation, infrastructure

development, good governance and accountability.

“Key cross-cutting issues are environment and climate change, youth, gender,

digital technology and renewable energy. I welcome the innovations agreed to

in the CPF, including a territorial development approach, improving service-delivery especially in rural areas and harnessing opportunities for private-sector development.

“The CPF monitoring and evaluation dashboard will be a tool that monitors the

progress of our CPF agreement, and to flexibly adapt our interventions over

the next five years.”