Lesotho govt launches "Vision 2020" report

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Misanet.com / Mopheme, 15 June - A report of the national dialogue on the development of a national vision for Lesotho was launched on tuesday with great satisfaction and a sense of exuberance at the Lesotho National Convention Centre in Maseru.

The occasion marked a benchmark for Lesotho's development and lasting growth for the coming generations. It was witnessed by a handful of delegates from various organisations. Representatives were drawn from governmental organisations, NGOs, institutions of higher learning, media and the private sector.

Deliberating on the issues emerging in the report, some people were of the view that a target has not been defined in terms of which the document is intended. It was observed that our society is constituted of various groups of people whose contribution could have been sought. The representatives agreed that there was strong need for poverty eradication rather than reduction., adding that a strategy be developed in that line.

It was established that this policy known as Vision 2020 should also involve Basotho including those with impairments. It was observed that the visually impaired persons were ignored as they have a special form of reading, which is Braille. They recommended that the report be written in various forms, including the Braille to enable the people with visual impairments to have access to it.

The Sesotho version of the report is due to be released to enable those people who cannot read and write English. It will then be made available to the public.

An Agricultural and Rural practitioner, Joseph Kotsokoane, who was concerned about the representation of the consultative groups selected, wondered if they did represent the views of those they purported to represent. He urged for a transparent representation.

"I am only concerned about the way the consultative group was made. do they really represent, the views of those they represent. This is akin to the question of youth, are they youth in the real sense of youth?" he asked. Kotsokoane expressed concern over Lesotho's proximity with South Africa, saying the latter is more economically strong. He asked how the country was benefiting from its being completely surrounded by South Africa.

The Government Secretary, Mohlabi Tsekoa acknowledged that Lesotho's close proximity could pose some shoddy results, but said this could be looked into in terms of positive benefits that the country reap. He said during that country's president's official visit to Lesotho, agreements with the prime minister of Lesotho were drawn that would address the economic relations between the two states.

"True, our proximity with our neighbour south Africa, may affect us in one way or the other, but if I remember well, the prime minister met with that country's president and they shared views on issues pertaining to your area of concern," he explained. He said Lesotho's future lied in the hands of its nationals.

A steering committee has been approved by cabinet. He said this committee would be constituted of the persons drawn from government organisations, private sector, youth organisations, Christian organisations, the Senate and the National Assembly.

The Christian Council of Lesotho opinion on the vision, featured on the need to harness the vision to address the needs and expectations of Basotho. It was found that it would be irrelevant if it was not people-centred as society is composed of poor, margi-nalized, and oppressed as well as the vulnerable. 

By Mzimkhulu Sithetho, Mopheme

Mopheme (Maseru, Lesotho).

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