Economic Analysis Of Lesotho

Introduction

Lesotho is a country that is located in the sub-Saharan part of Africa where it borders South Arica nation. Lesotho is a land-locked country that majorly relies on South Africa to get its imports from abroad. The country is one of the least developed countries in Africa. It lags behind in development primarily due to the limited resources within the borders of the nation. The highest level of the growth rate that the country has ever achieved in history is a growth rate of 4.2%. The gross domestic product of the country has however been increasing for the last one decade. Gross domestic product measures the value of goods and services that are produced in a given country over a certain period of time, mostly one year. The current value of the gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to be $7.5 billion. In the year 2002, the value of the GDP was 1 billion. It can therefore be seen that the value of the gdp has been increasing tremendously over the past ten years. That increase may be attributed to the improvements in the technological advancements and the improvements in the standards of education within that country.

The current gross income per capita of the country stands at an amount of $488 while the GDP for the country stands at an average amount of $389. History shows that Lesotho has been extremely reliant on South Africa as a nation to provide job opportunities for its youths. Since the economic power of the country has been growing at a slow rate, the country has not been able to provide enough jobs for its youths; instead it relies on its neighbour country to do so. The sectors that have played a significant role in the provision of jobs for the Lesotho youths include the mining sector and the manufacture of goods and services. Lesotho as a country is primarily agrarian with a good majority of its citizens located within the urban areas. Maseru is one of the relatively poor regions within the land of Lesotho while areas such as Basotho have its citizens relying on subsistence farming as a source of livelihood.

Lesotho is considered to be one of the poorest countries in the African continent, however, it boasts of the beautiful and attractive environments. There are a number of citizens who take advantage of the beautiful scenes that act as tourist’s attraction sites and instead earn an income from them. There is a lot of promising income returns from the chain development in sectors such as the agricultural sectors. Moreover, Lesotho attracts a number of tourists that keep visiting the nation year in year out. Therefore the tourism sector also has a very promising future for its citizens because of the foreign exchange that they earn from the business. The developments in such sectors have in the past been promoted and aided through the integration of science and technology. Lesotho boasts of en extensive highland that stretches upto three thousand metres above the sea level. Such areas are thought to be the best sites for the construction of eco-tourism sites. Moreover, there projects underway that are aimed at constructing small industries that will primarily be used to manufacture export products.

The government of Lesotho has a requirement that states that all the tendering process within the country is supposed to be conducted in a free and fair manner. The process is used for the selection of the best companies that can deliver quality services in construction. Moreover, most of the projects that are primarily funded by the government have to go through the procurement for them to be legitimized and certified. One of the requirements of the pocess is that the design document has to be filled completely by the designers before the process commences.

On the contrary, it has been noted that most of the projects that are funded by the government of Lesotho have not been complying by the requirements that are stated in the requirement documents. Most of the construction companies however, fail to comply with the requirements that are stated in the laws of the country. Most of them prefer using shortcuts and even at times offering bribes for the government’s officials in order for them to get the government tenders. In some cases, the procurement process is either done with only provisional documents or even incomplete documents. It can clearly be seen that such a move contravenes the law since they are required to issue fully completed documents before starting their projects. With the contractors issuing only half filled documents, it becomes difficult for the officers responsible to ascertain the validity of their abilities. Moreover, it becomes difficult to know the quality of construction works that can be provided by such entities. In the event that the construction works fail to meet the required standards, then it is the authorities that will bear the entire blame. At times it becomes suspicious when the officers accept to give the tendering process to those who issue half documented details of their companies.

Such cases are examples of what derails the development process of Lesotho as a nation. The reason is that such processes result in very poor quality projects that do not meet the required standards. The process can however be stopped at some points when the process is subjected for inspection by the independent investigative committees that go through such processes. The committees work in most cases is to ensure that the entire process goes through the required process without any corrupt deals undertaken in between. Moreover, the committee has to ensure that the communities surrounding the areas where the projects are undertaken also have a way of benefiting from such projects. Such a process affects the business environment in Maseru in positive ways because the business personalities can always be sure to get a fair treatment and competition chances. If no corruption is involved in the process then all the stakeholders have equal competing rights in the community. In such a case, the contractors are awarded tenders based on their competitiveness.

National development

Maseru is one of the areas in Lesotho where the leaders have a vision creating development that is in line with the national governments ambitions and objectives. One such goal is the creation of a sustainable human development so that each person is able to a good source of income. The only way of ensuring that each person gets a good income that can sustain them is through the creation of job opportunities. The area just like the national statistics had shown lacks those employment opportunities. Most of the young people from the societies prefer moving to other urban areas to seek for jobs. Those who are also so lucky to cross the border of the nation move to other nations such as South Africa where they can get good employment opportunities. The authorities In Maseru also underline the social integration factor as one of the areas of creating links within the communities as well as in the construction plans. One of the major setbacks however remains to be poverty, just as it had been mentioned before. A good majority of the residents in that area normally live below the poverty line. Such scenarios therefore make it difficult for the business investors to establish their businesses in such areas. Investors normally want to venture into areas where the economic growth is high and where they are sure that they will most likely get good returns out of their business ventures.

Moreover, since most of the learned youths in the society move to other regions to seek for employment opportunities, it becomes difficult for the investors to get human capital to work in their industries. Business in Maseru is therefore affected in negative ways thereby hindering development within that region. The same image is reflected on the national grid where the youths move to the capital city that is thought to be the epitome of employment opportunities. If that is not the case then the youths cross over to the neighbouring countries to seek for those opportunities. The country therefore suffers a huge setback because first the government does not get the taxes from those who work in foreign countries. Governments all over the world rely on the taxes that they collect from their citizens in order for them to run their economies effectively. If the government of the day fails to get such remittances then it becomes difficult for it to implement those projects due to lack of enough capital.

Another factor that results in the country’s escalating poverty is the issue of lack of enough resources for the nation. The country can never get its own resources from abroad since it is a landlocked country; it therefore has to rely on South Africa in order for it to get the resources. It therefore has to remit a lot of taxes to South Africa in order for the goods to be delivered. Additionally, there is very low productivity within Lesotho, maybe due to the limited amount of human capital. Such factors are never good news for either the internal investors or the external investors since they can never be assured of getting good returns from their business ventures. The government can also shoulder part of the blames because of its lack of provision of the guidelines and correct policies that enable its economy to take off.

The government officials therefore have a responsibility of ensuring that they come upn with the correct policies that can stop its youths from crossing into the South African nation to seek for better employment opportunities. The citizens have to feel as part of the nation for them to be able to take their roles in the development process and therefore increase their productivity. Additionally, the government has to come up with new strategies so that it can uplift the economy of the country from its current situation. Such policies should make the nation become competitive in the international frontier. The policies should for instance aim at freeing the citizens from hunger so that people can get the strength to work and become productive. Additionally, the country should change its educations curriculum and the education policies so that the new system can provide the education quality that has been lacking in the current system. The government should use all the means possible to ensure that their citizens are elevated from the ignorance category, which is a disease that is killing the nation.

Application of science and technology

For development process to be said to be taking place then there must be an inclusion of the use and application of science and technology in the entire process. The acknowledgement that technology application should be incorporated in the development process also exists in Lesotho. The only problem is that the use of science and technology has never been fully embraced by the country and specifically by Maseru. The process is considered to be a young process that is still in its childhood stage. It would therefore take a number of years before the country can become fully functional through the use of technology. Primarily, the benefits that the country stands to get as a result of the use of technology is not yet trickled down to the common citizens. One of the possible reasons as to why the country is not yet embracing the use of technology may be mainly attributed to the ignorance and lack of knowledge of the people. It becomes for the technology to launch their machinery on the ground since they know that the locals will not welcome them. The process requires that technology experts take their time to teach the citizens on te importance of technology not only to Lesotho as a country but also to the entire nation. For instance, technology has enabled the world all over to function as a single village. It is possible in the current century for someone in Maseru to converse in real time with another in the United States through the use of technology.

It is however important to note that the government of Lesotho recognizes the use technology as one of the most important factors for development to take off in that country. No country in this era can manage to prosper economically without the use of technology. The building blocks for any economy in this century are through the use of technological advancements. Maseru as one of the areas that desire to be a leader within the nation must first of all embrace the use of technology in order to make everything work to their advantage. There are numerous advantages that Lesotho can stand to get if they embrace the use of technology. For instance Lesotho can get long-term economic sustainability through the use of technology. Additionally, it is through the use of technology that they can develop new opportunities for the creation of new products that meet the market standards. Technology is also important for the country to increase their competitiveness within the international market. Moreover, they need to use technology in order for the businesses run within the country to get a competitive advantage over their rivals in the international market. Lesotho also needs to have an embracement of the use of technology for them to have an environment that creates room for a sound decision-making.

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