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
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-
“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.”