Lesotho is richly endowed in mineral resources such as diamonds and has abundant water reserves. Lesotho is branded as “The Kingdom in the Sky” owing to its beautiful sceneries, especially in winter when it has snowed, or in spring when the alpine flora of Lesotho blossom.

Lesotho is a high-altitude country, landlocked by the Republic of South Africa and criss-crossed by a network of rivers and mountain ranges. Lesotho covers an area of 30 355 square kilometres and has a population of just over two-million. The vast majority of the population is Basotho (Lesotho natives) with a small group of Europeans and Asians. The official languages of Lesotho are English and Sesotho. The country’s GDP growth rate in 2016 is estimated at 3.1%.

The country is actively seeking new investments into a wide variety of sectors to boost the economy and provide employment for its people.

The Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) is the main parastatal of the Government of Lesotho charged with the implementation of the country’s trade and industrial development policies.

The role of the Corporation is to promote Lesotho as an attractive investment location for both foreign and indigenous investors. The LNDC is the first point of contact for investors who intend to set up projects in the manufacturing and processing industries in Lesotho. In 2016, the LNDC received a best IPA (Investment Promotion Agency) Award from UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) at the 14th UNCTAD Conference.

Lesotho has progressed in moving from a predominantly subsistence-oriented economy to an economy exporting natural resources (diamonds and water) and manufactured goods (excelling in textiles and apparel). This has been driven by the country’s duty-free quota-free market access to major international markets and an improving investment climate.

Priority sectors for investment include:

  • Agriculture and agri-processing
  • Manufacturing
  • Renewable energy
  • Infrastructure and construction
  • Services
  • Tourism
  • Selected projects

Agri-processing

Basotho Fruit and Vegetable Canners is a manufacturing company that processes raw materials to produce consumer products, canned baked beans, organic peaches and asparagus, fruit juice and tomatoes. It was operating as an export-oriented company with success in exporting its products to South Africa and other international markets (EU). The existing plant is currently not in operation.

A joint venture investment partner is sought to operate Basotho Canners on a management contract basis. The objective is to resuscitate and expand the current facilities.

  • Project size/cost: US$30-million
  • Proposed procurement process: Joint Venture – Management Contract
  • Financing status, amount and structure required: US$30-million in equity
  • Government guarantee or involvement: Policy sponsorship, land allocation, infrastructure, energy and water supply, visa facilitation for scarce skills.

Learn more about the opportunity / contact the LNDC


Manufacturing and hospitality

Makeka Mollometsi is a multi-pronged business concern, geared towards the large-scale quality beneficiation of aloe and agave lifestyle products. An investor is sought to inject capital to develop the world’s highest altitude eco-distillery for the production of spirits from agave.

Mollometsi (mollo – fire; metsi – water) is an alcoholic beverage product. Historical and modern techniques are used to produce and bottle a range of premium and entry-level “Firewaters” from the agave plant. The core business will be a Lesotho-based bottling and distillation plant and packaging, distribution and sales of Mollometsi.

The business is also looking to establish a four-star boutique hotel at a demonstration farm in Botha Bothe, which will also have a spa and mud baths; conferencing facility for groups of up to 100 people; a restaurant and spirit bar for tasting and sales; a chapel; staff housing; a library and the potential of a nine-hole golf course. The tourism success of nearby AfriSki Mountain Resort provides a basis for good occupancy rates.

  • Project size/cost: US$25-million
  • Proposed procurement process: Joint Venture – Management Contract
  • Financing status, amount and structure required: US$25-million in equity
  • Government guarantee or involvement: Policy sponsorship, land allocation, infrastructure, energy and water supply, visa facilitation for scarce skills.

Learn more about the opportunity / contact the LNDC


ICT services

The establishment of a Lesotho Call Centre: call centre outsourcing is a big business opportunity for developing countries with a qualified workforce and high unemployment rates. A country like India has proven this point. Hosting call centres for foreign organisations creates job opportunities and grows the economy.

  • Project size/cost: Unknown
  • Proposed procurement process: Joint Venture – Technical Partner
  • Financing status, amount and structure required: Equity
  • Government guarantee or involvement: Policy sponsorship, visa facilitation for scarce skills.

Learn more about the opportunity / contact the LNDC


ICT Infrastructure

National Broadband Network (NBN) Initiative: for the establishment of the Lesotho Shared Telecommunications Infrastructure Company, a telecommunications infrastructure investor – a strategic partner – is sought to partner with the LNDC (anchor investor) and the Lesotho Telecommunications service providers.

The scope of the NBN is to consolidate available telecoms infrastructure, expand the consolidated base and make it available on an open-access, non-discriminatory and uniform pricing basis to a large number of service providers. To ensure international communication price efficiency, it is proposed to consolidate multiple international capacity links into the NBN.

The NBN will also deploy additional ICT infrastructure to stimulate bandwidth demand in the form of an e-government program, inclusive of data centre and call centre infrastructure.

Capital required by the NBN will be raised against the shareholder balance sheets as well as long term off-take agreements for use of infrastructure by existing operators.

  • Project size/cost: US$150-million
  • Proposed procurement process: Joint Venture –Technical Partner
  • Financing status, amount and structure required: US$150-million in equity
  • Government guarantee or involvement: Policy sponsorship, visa facilitation for scarce skills.

Learn more about the opportunity / contact the LNDC


See also:

Incentives and services offered to investors in Lesotho
Maseru, capital city of Lesotho
Contact the LNDC