Africa > Southern Africa > Lesotho > IMF Mission to Lesotho

Lesotho: IMF Mission to Lesotho

2013/01/24

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Mr. Jiro Honda visited Maseru during January 10-23 to conduct the fifth review under the program supported by the Extended Credit Facility (ECF).The mission met with Finance Minister Ketso, Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) Governor Matlanyane, other senior government officials, as well representatives of the private sector and development partners.

The mission highly appreciated the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Thabane and his cabinet, and would as well like to express its gratitude to the authorities and the staff of the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Lesotho for the highly professional, productive, and open discussions.

At the end of the mission, Mr. Honda issued the following statement: "Despite the drought in 2012, Lesotho has maintained robust economic increase, mainly driven by the mining and construction sectors.

Thanks to the strong response of Lesotho's international partners, the government is able to address most immediate drought-related food costs. The fiscal balances for 2012/13 are expected to record a surplus, further reducing pressures on the external balances. International reserves reached about four months of imports at end-December 2012.

"Looking ahead, while Lesotho's economic increase prospects are robust, downside risks are significant. The major risks arise from the uncertain world and regional economic outlook that could lower Southern African Customs Union (SACU) revenues and external request for Lesotho's key export items: diamonds and textiles.

"In light of these risks and the need to safeguard the exchange rate peg, we welcome the authorities' intentions to continue their fiscal adjustments in 2013/14 with a view to rebuilding their international reserves buffer to the equivalent of five months of imports over the medium term.

We support their continued commitment to fiscal adjustments, while protecting spending for poverty reduction and priority increase-promoting infrastructure. We as well welcome ongoing efforts to improve public financial management, enhance tax government, strengthen financial sector supervision and regulation, and promote private sector development. We support the authorities' consideration for a civil service reform.

"We expect to finalize the discussions on the policy framework for 2013/14, with a view to proposing for the IMF Executive Board's consideration, the completion of the fifth review under the ECF arrangement. This will allow the disbursement of SDR 5.68 million (about US$8.7 million). The three-year, SDR 41.88 million (about US$64.4 million) ECF arrangement was approved on June 2, 2010 (see Press release No. 10/224), and the Executive Board as well approved an augmentation of the program, which has led to a total access of SDR 50.61 million (about US$77.8 million)."

Related Articles
  • Namibia Scraps Visas for Africans

    2017/11/01 Namibia has gotten the ball rolling on plans to scrap visa requirements for African passport holders next Cabinet authorised the implementation of this process - to be carried out in line with diplomatic procedures. Namibia will any minute at this time start issuing African passport holders with visas on arrival at ports of entry as a initial step towards the eventual abolition of all visa requirements for all Africans.
  • Africa: Experts Explore Infrastructure and Cooperation to Improve Lives

    2017/11/01 Addis Ababa — African economies require structural transformation to attain sustained increase that trickles down to all its peoples, an official from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) told experts gathered at the organization’s Ethiopian headquarters. Soteri Gatera, who heads the ECA’s Industrialization and Infrastructure Section, says only such “inclusive” economic increase will help resolve the “persistent social economic problems” Africa faces.
  • Africa's last international banks make their stand

    2017/10/31 On June 1, 2017, Barclays sold a 33.7% stake in its African business, Barclays Africa Group Limited (BAGL). The transaction reduced the UK lender’s stake in its African offshoot to 14.9% and permitted, in accounting terms, the deconsolidation of BAGL from its parent. Additional symbolically, it brought to an end Barclays’ operations on the continent next additional than 100 years. The rise of Africa’s home-grown financial players has led most international lenders to withdraw from the continent. However, Société Générale and Standard Chartered are not only staying put but marking territory for digital expansion. James King reports.
  • Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz Calls For New Strategy

    2017/10/19 Joseph Stiglitz has advised African nations to adopt coordinated strategy encompassing agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and service sectors to attain same success delivered by the old manufacturing export-led strategy. Prof. Stiglitz, an economist and professor at Columbia University, New York, gave the advice at the Babacar Ndiaye lecture series introduced by African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) which debuted in Washington D.C.
  • Ecobank launches mVisa across 33 African Countries

    2017/10/19 Ecobank Scan+Pay with mVisa delivers instant, fasten cashless payment for goods and services by allowing customers to scan a QR code on a smartphone or enter a incomparable merchant identifying code into either a feature phone or smartphone Ecobank (https://Ecobank.com) has partnered with Visa to launch Ecobank Scan+Pay with mVisa solutions to their consumers. The strategic tie-up signals interoperability on a cross border level – and potentially huge gains – as it affords consumers with the ability to use their mobile phone to due access the funds in their bank accounts to pay person-to-merchant (P2M) or person-to-person (P2P).