LESOTHO LAUNCHES UNCTAD LDC REPORT
The 2016 United Nations (UN) Conference on Trade
and Development (UNCTAD) Least Developed Countries (LDC) Report was
launched by the Acting Minister of Development Planning also Minister of
Trade and Industry Mr. Joshua Setipa at the event held in Maseru on
Speaking at this occasion, Mr. Setipa said the launch of the report has
come at the right time, however, indicated that a challenge still
remains on how development agendas are domesticated.
He said every government and society need to develop so to get out of
poverty, saying that it is essential for countries to get out of the LDC
He stressed the need for national pride adding that countries should
graduate as economic vulnerability is a challenge that needs right
He said regional integration is important for Lesotho and other
countries in order to achieve economic development and move out of the
LDC category, adding that African countries should promote trade within
Mr. Setipa said Lesotho is a small country that could do better than it
is currently doing if governments including that of Lesotho could
maintain stability in order to help countries get out of the LDC
categories, saying as long as we are perceived unstable, we will not
achieve the development agenda.
The Economic Affairs Officer UNCTAD Mr. Giovanni Valensisi stated that
graduation is the time when a country gets out of the LDC category to
join the other Developed countries. He said the process emphasises
flexibility adding that key drivers of graduation include social
stability together with social and economic planing to mention a few.
He pointed out that it is estimated that by 2025 at least 16 countries
will have graduated, but economic vulnerability remains a challenge for
countries to achieve goals and proneness to natural disasters could also
affect countries from graduating.
Mr. Valensis smooth transition is essential in order to avoid disruption
into the graduation process and he recommended that stable and
development oriented intentional environment is crucial.
Speaking at the same occasion, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of
Development Planning Mr. Tlohelang Aumane indicated that the launch has
provided opportunity for discussion of pertinent issues.
He called upon the media in Lesotho to focus more on development and
create more interest in the public on how to make Lesotho a better
Mr. Aumane indicated that development partners are important for us to
achieve our goals as a country adding that they must show commitment.
Senior Economist in the Ministry of Development Planning Ms. Motulu
Molapo said there were challenges towards implementation of the Istanbul
Programme of Action (IPOA). She indicated that Lesotho is vulnerable to
natural and economic shocks adding that most Basotho still rely on
agriculture for livelihoods, stressing the need for long-term resilience
to climate change.
She further said that lack of coordination, financial resources,
environmental challenges and insufficient data were some of the
challenges in implementing the IPOA.
The LDC category was created in 1971 with the aim to target
international support for countries that need it most. According to the
UN, there are 48 countries which fall behind the rest of the World in
terms of economic development.
According to the 2016 UNCTAD LDC Report,” following several years of
apparent resilience to the international and financial crisis, economic
growth in the least developed countries has declined steeply since 2012,
reaching a low of 3.6 percent in 2015”.
'This is the lowest pace of expansion this century and far below the
target rate of at least 7 percent per annum recommended by the 2011
Programme Of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade
2011-2020 (the so-called Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA), says the
Source: LENA 14/12/2016