Lesotho Times

‘Invisible barbed wire’ hedging the partial guarantee fund

THE M50 million partial guarantee fund is currently the talk of town.
It has probably been “used” as a tool to make Basotho forget about the controversial decision to freeze new posts within the public sector which has over the years been the main employer.
The M50 million fund has generated a buzz among Basotho.
This has been particularly true among the youths who dream of one day owning business enterprises.
But the youths are also wondering as to how they can access these funds.
I am quite certain that this emotion of uncertainty is common amongst most us, although at this point in time we would all like to turn a blind eye to this view.
The very same group of people who administered the allegedly unaccounted block farming funds are now once again overseeing the M50 million entrepreneurial funds.
What are the chances that this time around there will be a smooth execution?
The most shocking attitude has been the sheepish co-operation of banks, who have once again partnered with the very same institution that squandered the farmer’s moneys.
The banks have agreed to be liable or to share the risk in cases of genuine business failures.
It’s very annoying as to how we are going on about the generosity of our government to just give away M50 million to its youth to follow their dreams.
This just further proves the naivety of those in leadership in this country who never learn how the so-called democracy of this country functions.
There is a general conception that if you are not well connected and have a proper “surname” you can kiss your chances of securing a scholarship to study abroad good-bye.
I find it quite peculiar as to why in this particular case people seem to be so optimistic, maybe because the general elections are just around the corner.
Even the lack of detail or maybe the lack of criteria in this credit fund raises suspicions.
As per the budget speech it has been stated that this initiative is directed especially to the young people and women of this country.
It’s surprising because it’s not everyone who is interested in entrepreneurship, has business acumen, has creativity or even has an academic business background.
But the youth of this country are all being “forced” to engage in entrepreneurship.
Is the government really asking a pastoral care and counseling or theology degree holder to find his or her way to get to grips with entrepreneurial passion?
This step towards attempting to build a sustainable private sector is just not feasible.
Our government seems to be desperately battling to improve the private sector but it’s their methodologies that need to be revisited.
It would have sounded promising if priority was given to people who are already in the path of business.
But this they could not do because the issue of frozen posts is does not discriminate, that is everyone regardless of their career paths has been affected
All I am really attempting to reflect is that the prospect of us getting hold of these resources is very bleak because even “them” the initiators of this idea are very much aware of the programme’s shortcomings.
The nation must keep its ears to the ground and watch the space with regard to the partial credit guarantee scheme.
If by any chance you happen to have an uncle who is a block farmer, check with him for his opinion with regard to the implementation of this project.
I am quite certain he would know better.
It is unfortunate as to how entrepreneurial development prospects in the country seem so shattered particularly with talks regarding the initiation of a free trade among 26 states.
Talks commenced two weeks ago in South Africa.
The economic bloc seeks to join together Southern African Development Cooperation, East African countries and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.
This therefore implies an expanded market for anyone of the member countries.
Local entrepreneurs are more likely to become regional powerhouses as has been reflected in the seminar.

Lesotho Times

Lesotho's widely read newspaper, published every Thursday and distributed throughout the country and in some parts of South Africa.

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