Sod Turning Ceremony for New Tourism Information and Crafts Centre- 18th April 2019
• His Majesty, King Letsie III,
• The President of the Senate,
• The Speaker of the National Assembly,
• The Chief Justice,
• The Deputy Prime Minister
• Honourable Ministers,
• Senior Government Officials
• Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Some 9 years ago, our iconic tourism information centre which was popularly known as “the Basotho Shield” was completely destroyed by fire. We have since been without a central tourism information facility in Maseru. Today’s event, therefore, marks a significant milestone towards reconstruction of the facility. It is indeed an great honour and privilege for me to deliver a keynote address at this auspicious event.Challenges facing the Lesotho Ladies and gentlemen, is serious economic and social signarc challenges including, among others; poverty rates of 57%; high rate of unemployment estimated at 29%; unacceptable gap between the rich and the poor; sharp decline in SACU revenues which has led to constriction in the country’s fiscal space. In 2018/2019 our economy registered estimated growth of only 2%. Meanwhile, the government’s wage bill is among the highest in the world. These economic challenges are further compounded by a scourge of HIV and AIDS which in the last 18 years has reduced average life expectancy in Lesotho from 60 years to 49 years.
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