LESOTHO’S businesses must focus on building a self-sustainable economy which is not prone to global economic shocks like the one induced by the Covid-19 pandemic, The Entrepreneurs Network (TEN) Lesotho has said.
In the event of shocks, the proposed model should help Lesotho avoid shutting down factories because of disruption of destination markets.
TEN chairperson, Stephen Monyamane Jr, said this on the sidelines of the ongoing Entrepreneurship Expo 2021 which is currently running at the Maseru Mall. The week-long expo is also running some activities online.
The annual expo returned this year after a Covid-19 induced one-year hiatus. This year’s edition is running under the theme “Rebuilding the economy”.
It typically involves panel discussions by distinguished speakers as well as exhibition of a range of local products which are displayed on stalls at Maseru Mall.
The topics being discussed during the expo this year include cannabis, the pharmaceutical industry, agriculture, manufacturing, access to finance and investment among others.
Partners for this year’s edition include the Lesotho Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Buy Lesotho, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Standard Lesotho Bank, FNB Lesotho, Nedbank and Lesotho PostBank, Alliance Insurance, Vodacom Lesotho, Econet Telecom Lesotho, Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) and the Wool and Mohair Promotion Project (WAMPP).
“This year’s theme is ‘Rebuilding the economy’ because Covid-19 has decimated the economy,” Mr Monyamane said.
“We therefore, have an opportunity to re-build differently during and post the pandemic so that when the global economy is shaken, we will not have to shut down factories because we have one market.”
Discussions on different topics therefore seek to influence policy change for improvement of entrepreneurship.
“More than anything, what we hope to achieve is influencing policy change. Every year whatever topics we have are meant to influence policy change and eventually create a more conducive entrepreneurial space.
“This year is all about inclusivity and sustainability towards building local capacity. Everything is about strengthening our roots as a country since Covid-19 has decimated our economy,” Mr Monyamane said.
He said it was imperative for legislators to focus on crafting laws that enable the local economy to thrive.
“Imagine if we could speed up the development of cannabis laws so that we have Basotho participating in its value chain.”
He said fostering the spirit of collaboration among entrepreneurs was also one of their goals.
Mr Monyamane said non medicinal marijuana is one of the readily available resources that must form the basis for the country’s economic resilience and recovery.