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Lesotho and USA pen $5.78 million deal

The Kingdom of Lesotho and the United States of America (USA) recently signed a $5.78 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MMC) Compact Development Grant Agreement.

The agreement was penned by Lesotho’s Minister of Finance, Dr Moeketsi Mojoro and USA Ambassador to Lesotho, Rebecca Gonzales.

During the signing ceremony, Dr Majoro expressed appreciation on the support extended by the USA government highlighting that the grant would assist his government to implement programmes aimed towards the development of the private sector.

He said adding that the grants would be further utilised towards addressing the rampant unemployment conditions in country

“We will be particularly focusing on the youth and other four key sectors that include tourism, manufacturing, Information Technology and commercial agriculture.”

Ambassador Gonzales said the grant was one of several activities on the way to the finish line of finally signing the second MCC compact with Lesotho in the future. She pointed out that there was potential for delay or derailment if Lesotho does not continue purposefully on the path of reforms and political stability.

“It is vital to understand that we still have a lot of hard work to do before we actually sign a compact between Lesotho and United States. If we stray from that path, it will be even more difficult to find our way again,” she said.

The Ambassador expressed hope that Lesotho government would work hard to ensure that the critical issues of corruption and police brutality are addressed.

In its first compact with Lesotho, which was completed in 2013, the MCC invested $362.5 million to increase economic growth and reduce poverty by improving water supply, increasing access to essential health services and removing barriers to private sector investment.

The compact resulted in over 140 rehabilitated clinics and outpatient departments, 2300 household water connections and construction of Metolong Water Treatment Plant and independent or joint land titles for over 17000 women.

The second compact is set to work towards the same goals through improved planning and delivery of public goods and services to enable private investment. Lesotho government has contributed $500,000 in funds towards compact development to date.

© Bur-JHB – B.M / N.N – African Daily Voice (ADV)

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