LESOTHO’S Constitutional and Legislative reforms were at the top of Prime Minister Sam Matekane’s speech at the US-Africa Leaders Summit held in United States of America on December 15.
Dec. 16, 2022
3 min read
Matekane trades reforms in trying to court US investors
Prime Minister Sam Matekane addressing US-Africa Leaders Summit
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“Lesotho has embarked on a comprehensive constitutional and legislative reforms process in order to achieve ‘The Lesotho We Want’. Reforms, while not being a one stop solution for all problems, nevertheless, provide hope that peoples’ lives will improve due to a new order of public resources management, checks and balances, political stability and a focus on the development agenda,” Mr Matekane said.
Mr Matekane explained the reforms process as a demonstration of how Lesotho, in its efforts to strengthen democracy and build strong economy, is going to eventually achieve peace and stability.
He said the next stage of implementing reforms would require more resources, more partners and better coordination of the whole process. “It is at this crucial stage that we look forward to close cooperation with the United States,” he said.
Mr Matekane said it was reassuring to have the United States government pledge to enhance its partnership with Africa, and to work with governments across the continent to address shared priorities. In this regard, he said, “we commend President Biden administration for the recently adopted US Strategy Towards Sub-Saharan Africa as a means to connect and engage with Africa.”
He praised the first ever US-Africa Leaders Summit whose theme is Partnering on Agenda 1963 as an appropriate and commendable forum, because it provided an opportunity for the United States, other development partners and business, to explore ways to support the realization of the aspirations of the people of Africa. He said this was as spelled out in the African Union Agenda 2063 which was adopted as a blue print and a deliberate mission for ‘the Africa we want’ whose goal is to outline a road map towards achieving an inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development for Africa over a 50-year period.
Prime Minister Sam Matekane with President Joe Biden and his wife during the US-Africa Leaders Summit
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Prime Minister Matekane (right) with president of Rwanda, Paul Kakame, during the US-Africa Leaders Summit
In order to realise this dream, he said “we must make sure that we have independent and democratic institutions that respect fundamental human rights, including affording equal rights and opportunities to women and the youth.”
According to Mr Matekane, the focus on democracy should not only be on the electoral process, but on building strong institutions to support the rule of law and democratic governance. “More support should be directed towards young democracies to help them deliver on peoples’ expectations. Failure of democracy to do so is a recipe for political instability, as we have seen in a number of African countries,” he added.
He observed: “At the same time, we realise that strong democracies will continue to elude us unless we have strong economies. Indeed a strong economy is a prerequisite to peace and stability. As such, we should partner together to develop the African economies in order to have strong democracies, peace and stability.”
There is also a need according to Mr Matekane to strengthen the oversight institutions and focus on the following areas:
. Strong and independent anti-corruption systems;
. Economic management and strong regulatory frameworks;
. Transparent and accountable management of natural resources;
. Public accountability;
. Private sector accountability;
. Diversity management;
. Strong human rights protection institutions and systems.
Mr Matekane appreciated and thanked the United States of America government “for the sterling support they continue to provide, in our pursuit for development, through various government to government links and programmes such as PEPFAIR, PEACE CORPS, MCC, AGOA, among others.”