News Detail

Mantletse July 28, 2021

The Operationalisation of the Lesotho of the Lesotho Standards Institution (LSI)

OFFICIAL ADDRESS BY THE MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY HONOURABLE DR. THABISO MOLAPO AT THE OPERATIONALISATION OF THE LESOTHO STANDARDS INSTITUTION (LSI)

AT
MINISTRY OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY
PREMISES

Wednesday, 16th September 2020
Let me pay my respects to:
• His Majesty, King Letsie III;
• The Right Honourable the Prime Minister, Dr. Moeketsi Majoro;
• Honourable Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Mathibeli Mokhothu;
• The President of the Senate;
• The Speaker of the National Assembly;
• The Chief Justice;
• Honourable Ministers;
• Senior Government Officials;
• Representatives of Media Houses;
• Distinguished Guests;
• Ladies and Gentlemen.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Representatives of Media Houses,

On behalf of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and indeed on my behalf, it gives me great pleasure to finally announce operationalisation of the Lesotho Standards Institution (LSI). LSI is the national standards body of Lesotho which is mandated to:
• develop and publish national standards;
• carry out testing activities;
• certification and inspection services;
• conduct training to capacitate our industry; and
• indeed, support public policy and regulation to protect our society.
Countries around the world have taken different approaches in shaping their national standards bodies. Our story is shaped by rigorous studies and consultations; leading us to a model that is unique and best suited for our economy. We deliberately used a mix of the modern world, benchmarking against the likes of Sweden and Iceland in Europe; while at the same time putting it in context by studying models used by our counterparts in the SADC region – Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mauritius.
It is my strongest believe, therefore that LSI has assumed the best model, to purposely respond swiftly to the needs of private sector.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Representatives of Media Houses,

The establishment of LSI marks one of my Ministries greatest milestones. For some of you who have shared and followed our story, you will agree with me that it has indeed been an arduous journey. The LSI Act was published in 2014. I was duly informed that thereafter, several attempts were made to make LSI operational.
You will agree with me that 2020 presented challenges that stretched our economy to the limit; with dire consequences on livelihoods of many. The Ministry of Trade and Industry, together with its partners and stakeholders have been working tirelessly to assist Government to implement its plan of creating jobs mainly through private sector-led initiatives. To begin with; our Ministry has secured markets for our products, to mention but a few, under
• Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)
• Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA)
• And the newly implemented Continental Africa Free Trade Area
It is paramount therefore that we use LSI to its fullest extent possible so as to secure our share in the vast African market and beyond.
This move is in line with priorities stipulated in the 2020/21 budget speech aimed at growing the economy by increasing production of high value products for export. The National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP II) purposely sets a new outlook for Lesotho’s economy, putting more emphasis on developing export led trade. For this reason, creation of the LSI is much more important, now more than ever before.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Representatives of Media Houses,

It goes without saying that LSI is long overdue; as you can attest that many Basotho are making significant strides in manufacturing. With LSI in place, we expect to significantly reduce compliance costs, which are especially burdensome for small producers. There are a number of products in agro-processing such as dried fruits and vegetables, wines, soups, juices, dairy products, and other products such as bottled water, leather products, handicrafts, garments and many more. Furthermore, in the service sector; services such as testing, banking and consultancies offered by Basotho owned businesses; also need support from LSI.
Let me conclude by pledging my support and most importantly our Government’s support towards ensuring that LSI will deliver on its mandate. I would also like to thank my predecessors for laying the groundwork for LSI’s success.

KHOTSO!!! PULA!!! NALA!!!

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