MASERU – The government has received a loan and grant to the tune of UA 7.22 million (M 105. 08 million) from the African Development Fund towards the implementation of the Economic Diversification Support Project.
The Economic Diversification Support Project (EDSP) aims to support the revamping of Lesotho’s economy by focusing on the private sector development pillar and building public sector capacity in policy planning, implementation and results monitoring leading to sustained reforms.
The project focuses on selected sectors critical for economic diversification and promoting enterprise development through supporting Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) to develop entrepreneurial skills, create linkages with large scale firms through mentorship programs, improve their access to the services of financial institutions and enhance their access to markets.
The main beneficiaries are SMMEs and the youth who will be supported in business startups and those who wish to expand their business operations.
Government intends to apply part of the agreed amount for this loan to payments under contract for Business Incubation and Acceleration Services for the government.
“The aim of the project is to improve Basotho Enterprise Development Corporation (BEDCO)’s operational efficiencies and its effectiveness in delivering services to MSMEs through the improvement of its business processes and the use of technology,”
“The projects will provide incubation services to 50 identified MSMEs, to assist BEDCO to develop a business acceleration programme and provide acceleration services to 50 identified MSMEs.
It also seeks to assist BEDCO in the establishment of a textile and technology incubation facility,” the African Development Bank Group has said.
A consultancy firm will be engaged to assist BEDCO to enhance its Business Incubation and Acceleration Services to the 50 identified MSMEs.
The scope of the consultancy services includes the development of an inception report detailing how the scope of work is going to be carried out as well as provide incubation services to the identified MSMEs.
Furthermore, the project will develop and implement business acceleration for the 50 MSMEs as well as establish and provide requisite equipment for a textile incubation facility.
It will also carry out a diagnosis of the type of technology incubation facilities required in Lesotho in line with the National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP II) priority sectors as well as establish and provide requisite equipment for the technology incubation facility in line with identified requirements including transfer of skills to BEDCO staff.