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LNDC and banks urged to prioritise youths

 

Nthatuoa Koeshe

LOCAL banks and the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) must relax their stringent conditions for issuing loans to enable youths to benefit, the Mohale’s Hoek business community has said.

This is because the requirements for obtaining business loans and financing products are too strict and therefore, hinder the youth from accessing funds to start their own businesses.

These are some of the issues that came up during the LNDC’s road show aimed promoting its M410 million worth of development finance instruments for the private sector.

The road shows are meant to sensitise the public about the business financing products to cushion businesses against the negative economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Banks should loosen their requirements a bit and cater for the youth so that they can access funds to start their own businesses because finding jobs in Lesotho is already a challenge,” one of the business people said.

Home Affairs Deputy Minister Maimane Maphathe who spoke on behalf of the Minister of Trade and Industry Minister of Trade and Industry, Thabiso Molapo, said unemployment was a serious problem which must be urgently addressed.

“We have people who long graduated but are still unemployed and this is a huge challenge. Young people should start venturing into businesses because there are no jobs,” Mr Maphathe said.

Mr Maphathe also encouraged youths to venture into agriculture and help develop the economy.

“We are known for textile and apparel manufacturing but we must also venture into agriculture. It is important for the business community to increase its knowledge in agriculture investments.”

LNDC chief executive officer, Mohato Seleke said they embarked on the road shows to increase knowledge and appreciation of their policy instruments and their process flows by the local private sector and to increase awareness of existing investment opportunities.

“We came to Mohale’s Hoek to talk about investment promotion and inform people about the funds we have which they can access…,” he said.

He said they toured different districts informing business communities about agriculture investment opportunities and how the LNDC can help people venture into agriculture and make it sustainable.

The Mohale’s Hoek road show also had presentations by the LNDC’s Development Finance Unit general manager, Theko Bereng who spoke about project preparations facilities, equity finance and Covid-19 response among others. LNDC Investment and Trade Promotions General unit manager Sekete Phohlo made presentations about agriculture investment opportunities.

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