The Prime Minister, Dr Moeketsi Majoro on Thursday launched the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) new Strategic Plan 2018-2023 which institute the creation of the Development Finance strategic business worth 410 million.

The ceremony, which was attended by o of the Cabinet Minister, Senior government officials, LNDC Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mohato Seleke and staff, private sector as well as public servants was held at Manthabiseng Convention Centre.

The Strategic Plan is mandated to develop a portfolio of financing solutions to support private Sector led industrial development and economic diversification.

Speaking during launch, Dr Majoro said the newly Investment Promotion Committee is mandated to support private investment by facilitating and removing roadblocks to Lesotho’s investment process and job creation agenda.

He said the committee comprises of the Ministers of Agriculture and Food Security, Trade and Industry, Development planning, Small Business Development, marketing and Cooperation, Mining, Communications, Science and Technology, Tourism, Environment and Culture as well as of Forestry, and Land Reclamation.

The Prime Minister stressed that the main purpose of the strategic plan is to create jobs, noting the committee is expected to meet weekly to monitor the report.

Also speaking, LNDC CEO, Mr. Mohato Seleke noted that the plan includes Quasi Equity, Equity Finance, and Project Preparation Facility.

He said Quasi Equity instrument will provide innovative finance to fast growing local companies which promise high development effects, mostly in agriculture and manufacturing, noting that this product will be offered as a standardized profit-sharing arrangement with up to 2 years of moratorium.

Describing the Project Preparation Fund, he said it is designed following a trust fund model where the Government of Lesotho and LNDC contribute funding together with external partners, saying LNDC acts as the administrator.

“A broad range of feasibility studies and other related activities will be supported to prepare private sector projects to bankability, mostly those that go through the Lesotho Economic Labs program, he said, noting that applications for both the quasi equity and project preparation funding can be applied for online on the LNDC’s website. No in-person or hard copy applications will be accepted.

In conclusion, Mr. Seleke said the Equity Finance is currently only available to support strategic plan, and the product will be made available to private sector in due course depending on resource availability, however saying private sector entities are free to approach the corporation with project proposals where they deem fit.

In an interview with the Chairperson of the Investment Committee, also Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Mr. Tefo Mapesela said 50 percent of the investment is going to be used to help farmers to produce, saying agriculture plays a vital role in the economic growth in the country.

LNDC is mandated though an act of parliament to initiate, promote and facilitate the development of manufacturing and processing industries, mining and trade in a manner calculated to raise the level of income and employment in Lesotho.

By Staff Reporter: Maphoka Likotsi

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