10-day B2B pairing trip to the Kingdom of Lesotho 2018-08-24T13:16:30+00:00

Project Description

Visit the kingdom of Lesotho during the high altitude marathon

November 28th – December 7th 2018 (running is an option)

Visit Lesotho with us from November 28 to December 7 2018. In Lesotho, November is summer with temperatures ranging between 17 – 24 degrees centigrade which makes it a fantastic time to visit. The mountains are breathtaking and the people will warmly welcome you. This trip is arranged so there is a good balance between travelling, sightseeing and skill transfer days. There will be an English-speaking guide with you at all times making the time spent enjoyable and informative. A tentative itinerary is described below, however, note that the trip will be customized for every participant depending on whether they choose to ran and the skill of each participant.

For Runners

The course takes the runners through picturesque villages and amazing mountain views, is done on flat asphalt and gravel roads. It is marked by steep ascents and descents. Runners have the option to choose from 5km, 10km, half marathon or a full marathon.  The roads do not require special footwear. There will be a drink station approximately every 5 kilometres serving bottled water. Electrolyte drinks and bananas will be served at selected drink stations. For runners with other nutritional requirements, personal provisions can be placed at selected drink stations. A team of specialised medical doctors and officials will be in attendance for the duration of the marathon. The selected team will have undisputed authority to exclude runners who, according to their judgement, should not continue running.

The well-prepared runners should be able to complete the Marathon in 3 hours and this requires careful planning as every part of the course requires a different strategy because of the topography. It is recommended to wear light/light-colored running gear during the race.

Let us know if you are interested in participating in any of the 4 running categories on your application form below.

Where is Lesotho?

Lesotho is a high altitude landlocked kingdom surrounded by South Africa separated from it by the forbidding Drakensberg mountain ranges. Like only two other counties in the world (Vatican City and Republic of San Marino), Lesotho is completely surrounded by another country on which it must depend for access to the outside world.

Lesotho has a population of 2.2 million, its capital and largest city, Maseru, has a population of 253,000. Mokhotlong district, where this trip will spend majority of the time, has a population of 98,000. The capital of the district is also known as Mokhotlong. The name (Mokhotlong) of this region in Sesotho (the language of the people of Lesotho) means “place of the bald ibis”. Mokhotlong among many other things which you will discover on this trip is known for the Tlaeeng Pass, the highest road in Africa at 3275m. This pass is sometimes referred to as “The Roof of Africa”

Priority sectors

The trip will serve as an opportunity for participants to get hands-on experience and exposure to Lesotho’s cultural norms, business regulatory framework, political climate and the socio-economic challenges and opportunities. The 10-day visit is a mixture of tourism activities and face to face purposely arranged meetings with local businesses and governmental offices.

Participants will have an opportunity to;

  • Explore business ventures in Lesotho
  • Establish business partnerships with existing enterprises in Lesotho
  • Invest in market-based solutions that address Lesotho’s priority areas (identified in Lesotho’s 2018 Budget Speech)

We will align business interests in (Agribusiness, Tourism and creative Arts, Textile, innovation, IT and Fintech) with local corporate organizations and people in the Kingdom of Lesotho.

Meat, hides, mohair and related products

Lesotho’s climate is ideal for meat, hides, wool and mohair productions. The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Ministry of Forestry and Land Reclamation, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Small Business Development and the Ministry of Cooperatives are working collectively with private sector to stimulate investments in meat production, hides and related products, wool and mohair, chicken broiler, egg production and fruit tree production. 

Medical Grade Cannabis

Lesotho became the first country in Africa to legalize and start the exploration of medical grade cannabis. Lesotho grows a unique Sativa cannabis, Doug’s Varin, which has high levels of THC. This strain is used by practitioners to treat ADD/ADHD, fatigue, inflammation, pain, panic attacks and Parkinson’s. It has been argued that cannabis grown at high altitude is more potent than that grown at sea level. Lesotho is the only country in the world the lies entirely above 1,000 meters above sea level which makes it ideal for those interested in exploring cannabis growth at high altitudes. 

Deciduous Fruits

The government has identified areas suitable for deciduous fruit production and will support the expansion of orchards and the development of deciduous fruit industry to stimulate employment. Government ministries are open to work with banks, buyers and investors interested in developing its fruit orchards. Large fruit growers interested in exploring opportunities to invest in Lesotho’s fruit industry are welcome. The government is also looking into scaling up honey production and commercializing organic peaches.

Tourism is Lesotho’s government’s top priority for stimulating local jobs. This is an emerging sector as Lesotho begins to be recognized as a tourist destination. Lesotho shares only 2% of Africa’s 58 million annual visitors with nearly all of them coming from South Africa. There are several road constructions underway which once realized, will see Lesotho as a tourist hotspot. The government is looking for investors in the hospitality industry. There are brownfield investments in some areas in Lesotho (Katse and Mohale Dams). The Government is committed to working with potential investors to help large investments. For greenfield hospitality investments in property development in select areas, the government will consider and negotiate transitional tax holidays.

Lesotho is home to several artists and musicians keen to engage in collaborative projects to promote their art. There are painters, photographers, visual and graphic artists, singers, songwriters, poets, rappers and all other artists that need to get more attention and recognition. UNESCO has an open studio project that promotes and connects local artist. Artists looking for collaborative projects, inspiration or just curious about how Lesotho culture translates into art will gain a great insight.

The Textile and Apparel industry employs 47,000 people in Lesotho, 82% of them are women. Lesotho has a successful track record working with established apparel manufacturing industry servicing brands such as Levis, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Gap and Timberland. It has market access to US (3rd country fabrics) through the AGOA agreement, and EU countries (3rd country fabrics) through the EPA agreement. It has a competitive tax incentive, young English-speaking labour force with a tradition of manual deftness which makes it an ideal market for companies to outsource their production activities.

The government is establishing a science and technology innovation hub to stimulate needs-based innovation of commodities/items consumed by local people. The hub will encourage local entrepreneurial efforts and work in collaboration with several local universities. The hub will seek to promote innovation activities currently taking place such as the Egg-Chic incubator, electric fruit drier and others that can be scaled-up.

The Ministry of communication, science and Technology is exploring e-government platform that integrates government systems such as civil registry, human resource, payroll, pension system, visa, residency and work permits.

Ha Belo Industrial Estate is a new development in Butha Buthe heavily promoted by the government. The industrial site is expected to accommodate 52 factory shells owned by the government through the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC). The other 38 factory shells will be developed by private sector. This is a suitable location for logistical hub as it ideally located close to the Durban port and South Africa/Lesotho border post, Monontša. When complete, the industrial zone will employ 14,000 people. Interested investors will work in collaboration with LNDC to establish synergies.

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