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It pays to bank with Standard Bank!

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MASERU– IT pays to bank with Standard Lesotho Bank. Two local schools, Butha-Buthe High School and Maseru’s Seventh Day Adventist Primary, discovered this truth this week after they each walked away M20 000 richer for banking with Standard Lesotho Bank.

The reward is part of the bank’s Public Sector Campaign, which is meant to give back to both public and private schools that have opened accounts with it since January this year.

The two schools were selected from those that have had transactions in their accounts since January.
Under this arrangement, once a school deposits money in its Standard Lesotho Bank held account, it automatically stands a chance to be selected for the reward.

Standard Lesotho Bank CEO, Mpho Vumbukani, said as a bank they understand that in order to have a functional and productive education sector schools and institutions of higher learning require cash flow management and liquidity solutions that are specific to their needs.
“This is why our priority is to provide them with the right banking solutions so that in the final analysis we have administrators that are able to focus on what is more important, which is nurturing and developing our future leaders whilst we take care of the financial needs of their schools,” Vumbukani said.

Vumbukani gave a glimpse into the Human Development Report issued by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) that ranks Lesotho number one in Africa and number five in the world on the list of countries that invest more in public needs.
“Over the years we have provided flagship payments and collections solutions to make paying fees a seamless exercise for parents and schools,” Vumbukani said.

The campaign hopes to see four more schools walk away with M20 000 each before the end of the year.
The principal for the Seventh Day Adventist Primary, Lucy Moyo, said she did not have enough words to express how happy she was for her school.
“When at first we asked parents to pay school fees at the bank it was such a hustle for parents to understand why we wanted them to go and pay at banks when all along they would bring the money to school,” Moyo said.
“All we were trying to avoid was having cash in our hands,” she said.

Moyo said however they didn’t know that in the long run having an account with the bank would yield such good fruitage.
“Every day the school is growing. When we first started in 1984 we only had 20 students and now we have 844 students,” Moyo said.
“With such numbers we need all the assistance we can to make the school environment enjoyable,” she said.
Thinyane Makoti, the Butha-Buthe High School principal, said they were not aware that Standard Lesotho Bank was running a campaign of this kind.
“It is very unusual to win a competition without competing,” Makoti said.

Makoti said he understood that they were selected “because we have many students, who were attracted to this school because of the best results that the school is producing”.

He also said it is because teachers are working hard.  “It is only if there is stability within a school that there will be good results,” Makoti said.
“So all of the successes we have today is a result of the collective effort of everyone involved in the school directly or indirectly,” he said.

Rose Moremoholo

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King launches Lesotho Nation Brand

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KING Letsie III launched the Lesotho Nation Brand yesterday which he says has identified four main pillars which form the foundation of the national vision for a prosperous and thriving Lesotho.

These pillars are investment, trade, tourism, development of local products, and patriotism.

“They will be the cornerstones upon which we will build a brighter future for our children and grandchildren,” the King said.

“In investment we recognise the vital role that it plays in driving economic growth and creating opportunities for our people,” he said.

“By fostering a conducive environment for investment, we will attract both domestic and foreign capital, fuelling innovation, job creation, and accelerated growth across all sectors of our economy.”

The king said trade, in this increasingly interconnected world, serves as a catalyst for progress and prosperity.

He said through strategic partnerships and trade agreements, we will expand our market reach, promote our unique offerings, and ensure that Lesotho-made goods and services are attractive, competitive and sought after in global markets.

He said Basotho will continue to harness their God-given natural resources to drive economic growth and social transformation, and where appropriate, utilise those natural resources to create industries and businesses that can expand export offerings.

“We have always believed that our country is blessed with an array of breath-taking landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and a people whose hearts are warm and hospitable,” he said.

The King said all of these qualities and attributes are valuable ingredients for building a prosperous tourism industry.

Under this pillar, he said, Basotho will endeavour to showcase the beauty and diversity of Lesotho with the aim of attracting visitors from far and wide.

He said this will undoubtedly generate growth in Lesotho’s tourism industry and will create much needed economic opportunities for local communities.

“I am very much aware that we take immense pride in the craftsmanship and ingenuity of our people,” he said.

“This pride has to be supported and matched by a strong commitment to champion local products and industries in order to empower Basotho entrepreneurs, promote sustainable livelihoods and preserve our heritage for generations to come.”

Speaking at the launch, Prime Minister Sam Matekane said for Lesotho to truly prosper as a serious contender on the world stage, “we need all Basotho to stand united behind Lesotho Nation Brand”.

The Lesotho Nation Brand was spearheaded by the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LDNC), which is mandated to promote trade and industry for Basotho.

Staff Reporter

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Powering dreams!

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STANDARD Lesotho Bank, Basotho Enterprise Development Corporation (BEDCO), and the Revenue Services Lesotho will provide M1.4 million for this year’s Bacha Entrepreneurship Project.

This was announced by the BEDCO CEO, Lemphane Lesoli, at the 2024 BEP launch in Maseru on Tuesday. The fund will be distributed among five aspiring businesses that will benefit from the project this year.

“This is to indicate significant opportunity for individuals to show innovative ideas and turn their dreams into reality,” Lesoli said.

BEP is a joint venture between Standard Lesotho Bank, Revenue Services Lesotho (RSL) and BEDCO. It was introduced in 2014 to bring a positive change and create opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Lesoli said with an investment of M8.8 million, they have supported the dreams and ambitions of over 28 businesses while at the same time providing employment to over 103 young individuals.

The call for proposals was opened to all industries until June 28, 2024.

All the industries countrywide are invited to submit their proposals.

“Whether you are passionate about agriculture, tourism or any other sector, we invite you to submit your innovative ideas,” Lesoli said.

“This is your chance to turn your vision into reality to ensure your creativity and contribute to the economy of this country,” he said.

“Your ideas have the power to shape our future and create positive change within our community. Let’s redouble our efforts to empower our aspiring entrepreneurs.”

Manager of Public Relations at the RSL, Tšepang Mncina, said the proposals will be taken for screening to select those who qualify and those who do not.

Then the panel of adjudicators will assign those proposals to shortlist 50 people.

The 50 people will have to draw their proposal because some people know nothing about their ideas and who their markets will be.

After that they will be trained so that they can be good at writing effective business proposals.

The proposals will be back to the adjudicators to adjust the top 15 that will go through pitching and psychologic tests to see if they are real entrepreneurs.

The top five will be selected and awarded a sum of M1.4 million.

Relebohile Tšepe

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The road to recovery

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THE Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Business Development, Thabo Moleko, says cohesion among key stakeholders is critical to the revival of the textile sector.
Moleko was speaking at two consultative meetings held this week as part of the Expanding Enterprises Participation in Textile and Clothing Global Value Chain project.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Trade Centre (ITC), the technical partners in the project, coordinated meetings.

The consultations are a critical step towards addressing the concerns and priorities of employers and workers in Lesotho’s textile industry.

Held on Tuesday, the first meeting brought together employers in the sector.

Trade unions met on Wednesday. A joint meeting of businesses and unions will be held today. The textile project is a subcomponent of the Competitiveness and Financial Inclusion (CAFI), a government and World Bank-funded project that seeks to build a vibrant and sustainable private sector that delivers shared economic growth.

Moleko told both meetings that the consultations are critical to the successful implementation of the Enterprises Participation in Textile and Clothing Global Value Chain project which seeks to revive the textile industry.

He said Lesotho’s textile sector is currently in the doldrums as it struggles to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, wars across the globe, supply chain problems, economic challenges, declining consumer confidence and rising inflation.

In addition, Lesotho faces stiff competition from countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, Mauritius and Madagascar which have vibrant textile sectors.

Moleko said the growing power of global apparel-producing giants like China, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam has made the prospects of Lesotho’s textile industry bleaker.

He said the project is meant to reposition the sector so it can compete in the global market. The dialogue, he said, creates the platform for Lesotho to “take advantage of new opportunities emerging from the reorganization of GVCs (Global Value Chains).”

The ultimate goal, he noted, is to expand business opportunities to “reach out to new markets, improve enterprise-level productivity and employment conditions”.

His sentiments were echoed by the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Palesa Matobako, who spoke at the same meetings.

Matobako said the meetings were meant to ensure that the project achieves its objectives of enhancing productivity, improving employment conditions and enhancing the sector’s overall competitiveness.

“The ultimate goal of this initiative (the project) is to expand enterprise participation in the global textile and clothing value chains,” Matobako.

The project will focus on workplace collaboration, total quality management, resource efficiency and cleaner production, occupational safety and health and better workforce management.

Staff Reporter

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