MPHO Mahula, the chairperson of the Proudly Mosotho Buy Local campaign says they are strengthening economic development by educating consumers about the importance of local procurement and job creation.
Mr Mahula was speaking in Mafeteng District this week at an event that also marked the launch of the campaign in the southern region of the country which includes Qacha’s Nek, Mohale’s Hoek and Quthing.
He said this is being done in order to support and enable big businesses and cooperatives to have meaningful participation in the economic activities of the country.
Mr Mahula said this is part of “an ongoing range of activities in the districts that will include forums, networking forums, conferences, exhibitions, partnership formations”.
“We will continue to use marketing and public relations platforms to promote, support and publicise local products and services to harness the message to support local procurement around Lesotho,” Mr Mahula said.
He also said it is important to provide access to information that entrepreneurs require to further their objectives.
This campaign is aimed at promoting Basotho products and services through on going activities including business forums, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) forums, networking forums, exhibitions, partnership formations and other activities.
Some of the activities of the campaign include a buy-seller conference on 7 – 8 June 2018 in Mafeteng, as well as a three-day workshop on exhibition skills for the exhibitors from 4 – 6 June at BEDCO Hall. The activities are organised by Splash Events, Jit Brands, Sports 24/7 Lesotho, under the auspices of the of the Ministry of Small Businesses.
The organisers have also partnered with BEDCO to ensure the success of the campaign which seeks to bring together different stakeholders to raise awareness about the need to support local industries.
“Creating public awareness about business development and economic participation in other districts outside Maseru is important to the overall economic development of the country. Every district should be provided with a market that allows their businesses to grow.
“We gathering data on each district so that we know the products that each district can produce and work with the business communities to harness and expose them to the necessary market,” Mr Mahula said.
For his part, Principal Secretary for Ministry of Small Businesses Development, Cooperatives and Marketing Lerata Pekane said the ministry fully supports the initiative.
“It is time we have pride in what our country has to offer. We have to be self-sufficient. It is time to put the ideas of locals at the forefront and implement them for the world to see.
“The only way the economy of this country can change is if we capitalise on the skills that Basotho have and ensure that they have a market.
“We need to support local business until they can stand alongside companies around the world and we can stop importing basic necessities that can be produced at home,” Mr Pekane said.