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Stop relying on the public sector – BEDCO

Bereng Mpaki

LESOTHO must strive for a sustainable economic development where the private sector is the key driver of the economy.

This was highlighted by the Basotho Enterprises Development Corporation (BEDCO) acting chief executive officer, Pesha Shale on Thursday.

Mr Shale said this during the Bacha Entrepreneurship Project (BEP) 2019 cohort awards ceremony in Maseru.

The project, which is initiated by BEDCO, Standard Lesotho Bank (SLB) and the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) tackles unemployment among the youth by capacitating them with seed capital and entrepreneurship skills. It targets prospective entrepreneurs 18 to 35 years with an interest in operating their own businesses.

This year’s installment of the awards saw four prospective entrepreneurs sharing seed fund amounting to M708 000.

The winning enterprises were chilli pepper producer, Brace Manufacturing (M150 000); vodka producer, House of Linford (M200 000); Motsemocha High School project walked away with M178 000 while Inventors World won M180 000 seed funding.

Addressing guests at the event, Mr Shale said Lesotho’s economy must be overhauled and give prominence to the private sector.

He said the BEP initiative was one way in which BEDCO is trying to ensure sustainable economic development by developing the private sector.

“About 65 percent of Lesotho’s gross domestic project (GDP) is attributed to government activities but we must change that situation and ensure that the private sector contributes at least 70 towards the GDP,” Mr Shale said.

For his part, acting LRA Commissioner General, Mosuoe Mapetla, said they were committed to supporting youths to participate in economic development.

“We believe that we can only succeed if we collaborate and join hands with others hence our continued stay in this union. Given the great unemployment challenge that we are grappling with, the contribution we are making may seem inadequate but we are optimistic that in the long run it will make a difference,” Mr Mapetla said.

For his part, acting SLB chief executive officer, Thabiso Tšenki said by supporting BEP, the bank was enhancing the growth of the country’s commerce and industry.

“Today we are marking the beginning of a journey to wealth, prosperity and the economic emancipation of our country with these young and ambitious entrepreneurs… The future starts with these young men and women that we have seen today,” Mr Tšenki said.








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