The World Bank Group Board of Executive Directors, thursday, endorsed a five-year Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Lesotho, expected to deliver US $154 million over 2016 to 2020 to projects in support of the Mountain Kingdom’s efforts to improve public sector efficiency and effectiveness and promote private sector job creation.
The World Bank Group CPF is aligned with the goals of the Lesotho Vision 2020 and the National Strategic Development Plan 2012 to 2017. The framework outlines proposed investment projects, technical assistance and analytical and advisory services that are aimed at assisting the Government of Lesotho in tackling its priority challenges in line with the World Bank Group’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity by fostering the income growth of the bottom 40% in every country.
“Through this framework, we will support the Government of Lesotho in its transition to a new growth model driven by private sector investment which will require a reduction in the size of the public sector and improved public sector effectiveness,” said Guangzhe Chen, World Bank Country Director for Lesotho.
The proposed program of engagement seeks to achieve results in two strategic focus areas. Firstly, improving efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector through support aimed at helping the Government of Lesotho to improve public sector and fiscal management; improve equity of the social protection system; improve basic education outcomes; and improve health outcomes.
Secondly, promoting private sector job creation through support aimed at improving the business environment and diversifying the economy; improving smallholder agricultural productivity; increasing transport connectivity to facilitate private sector growth; and increasing water and renewable energy supply for industry, agriculture and export opportunities.
“Our partnership with Lesotho strives to help improve the business environment for the private sector, which is critical for job creation,” said Saleem Karimjee, IFC Country Manager. “Building a dynamic and competitive private sector through a sustained effort to diversify the economy is key to private sector growth.”
The CPF was shaped by a series of consultations with key stakeholders including government, development partners and civil society organizations and the private sector. It recognizes the importance of collaborating with other development partners, and elaborates plans to continue to increase efforts to promote communication and transparency between development partners and the government.