Lesotho, officially the Kingdom of Lesotho whose capital lies in Maseru, is an enclaved country surrounded by South Africa. It is a mountainous country situated in the Maloti Mountains and contains the highest mountains in Southern Africa. Lesotho has an area of just over 30,000 km.

Lesotho’s Head of State is  King Letsie III  from 1996 and Sam Matekane is presently the Prime Minister of Lesotho and has served the government of Lesotho in ministerial capacities in the fields of planning and finance (2013-2020).

The current population of Lesotho is 2,193,062 as of Monday, July 3, 2023, based on Worldometer elaboration of the latest United Nations data.

In recent years, Lesotho’s economic performance has remained slow, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Agriculture has been the only key sector to have registered positive growth in the three quarters of 2021 due to favorable weather, government subsidies, and import substitution measures.

 The other key sectors of manufacturing, particularly textiles, mining, construction, and services have contracted due to the adverse effects of the pandemic and associated restrictions on economic activity, weak external demand, and supply chain disruptions, exacerbating pre-existing structural competitiveness problems.

The economy of Lesotho is inseparably linked with that of its much bigger and more developed neighbor, South Africa.  A large number of Basotho work in South Africa and most of the government’s income comes from Southern African Customs Union import tariffs. Economic swings in South Africa are the biggest single influence on Lesotho’s economy.

Nearly one-third of Lesotho’s population is between the age of 10 and 24. Every week, 28 adolescent girls (aged 10-19) and 7 adolescent boys are newly infected with HIV.

National Strategic Development Plan II (NSDP II) 2018/19 to 2022/23 aims to transform Lesotho from a consumer-based economy to a producer and export-driven economy. It will implement the SDGs and the African Union Agenda 2063 Goals.

Business opportunities in Lesotho

Lesotho’s key investment opportunities sectors are manufacturing, tourism, textiles and apparel, services, mining, high-value agriculture, and small/medium and micro enterprises. There are also investment opportunities in the following emerging sectors: Knitted Fabric Mill, Accessories and Packaging, Leather and Footwear, Assembly of consumer electrical and electronic appliances, Food Processing, Water Bottling, Plastic Products, Resources-based Projects ….

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