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Min of Tourism partners Fokothi, DijonDesign

by Lesotho Times
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Nthatuoa Koeshe

THE Tourism, Environment and Culture Ministry yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Lerotholi Polytechnic (Fokothi) and DijonDesign to forge cooperation in the production of infrastructure items for the Lesotho National Museum and Art Gallery.

The MoU, which is renewable every three months, will see Fokothi students manufacturing exhibition ready furniture for the Lesotho National Museum and Art Gallery. The students will work closely with South African interior design company, DijonDesign, which is already working on the museum.

Lerotholi Polytechnic rector Professor Spirit Tlali told the guests at the event that the specialised nature of the museum exhibition furniture makes the MoU particularly important for involved.

“The Tourism, Environment and Culture ministry will now have a pool of local artisans skilled in the production and maintenance of this specialised furniture,” Prof Tlali said.

He said his institution will with a world-class specialised design outfit, offering learners rare skills which would have otherwise not been possible without the MoU.

“DijonDesign will leave Lesotho confident of the existence of a pool of local talent and the availability of artisans to handle future maintenance and the re-design needs of the museum.”

Tourism principal secretary (PS) Moliehi Moejane said the MoU marked the commencement of an era of partnerships in the production of infrastructure items for the museum to ensure that procurement of all locally available equipment is done in Lesotho.

“This will also ensure that skills sharing forms an integral part of the contract with companies that provide specialised services that are not immediately available in Lesotho and that skilled personnel will manage many facets of the museum once it is operational,” Ms Moejane said.

She expressed gratitude to the polytechnic’s management for agreeing to form the mutually beneficial relationship with her ministry.

“We believe that once the museum is complete, beneficiaries of this training will be skilled enough to form part of the maintenance team and can further use their acquired skills in other prospective projects that may come up in future, be it in government or in the private sector.”

DijonDesign Senior project manager Elroy Syce said the polytechnic was an ideal candidate for the partnership because of the courses it offers that are inclined to designing. The partnership will also be useful in the future for the maintenance of the museum.

“We have specialised people working at the museum and we believe that the learners will learn a lot from them for the future maintenance of the museum,” Mr Elroy said.

He said they have already started working with carpentry students and will be moving to other departments soon. Other students will also be engaged for spray painting, programme planning, project management and sketch designs.


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