Rapid E-Trade Readiness Assessment of Lesotho

Lesotho has experienced impressive economic growth over the past decade, with the country growing at a 4.6 percent annual rate since 2007, with its real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita increased by almost 50 percent, much faster than the average in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nevertheless, challenges remain: the country’s growth model is driven by government expenditure and a few sectors, such as mining, quarrying, textiles and apparel.
In this context, e-commerce can have the potential to boost the country’s economic performance, improving accessibility to customers, markets and trade information, all of which play a key role in development and graduation.

What We Found

Whilst the country has identified e-commerce as a way to lift its population out of poverty, it has failed to create a stand-alone policy and strategy tackling this area. Similarly, key policy papers also fail to address e-commerce directly, although they address related areas, such as e-governance. In this context, the private sector needs to be more carefully consulted in the form of public-private sector dialogues. There is only limited use of e-commerce platforms by small firms; the main channels appear to be social media. Despite its economic and geo-location challenges, Lesotho has started to visualize some of the benefits that e-commerce can bring to its population, with some companies starting to rely more and more on on-line based platforms in order to conduct their businesses. Nevertheless, the aforementioned challenges should be addressed if the country wants to take advantage of the true potential that e-commerce offers.

Our Strategy and Impact

A four-step approach was used for the Rapid eTrade Readiness Assessment of Lesotho, to ensure a high level of participation and engagement of key stakeholders in the consultative process: Stakeholder engagement and literature review; Online survey customization and dissemination; Semi-structured in-country interviews and local validation; Report writing and finalization with UNCTAD. The key recommendations were to engage in a national e-commerce strategy development process; identify a champion to ensure that the domestic e-commerce challenges are regularly and effectively addressed; create a public-private dialogue to ensure that the barriers faced by the private sector are removed and expand the capacity of the Bureau of Statistics (BoS) and Lesotho Communications Authority (LAC) statistics department, amongst others.

Our Core Solutions

E-Commerce and digital trade are an increasingly important way for businesses to transact with customers, creating immense opportunities, facilitate innovation, enhance competitiveness, and improve access in local and global markets. International Economics Consulting provides advice and solutions on some of the latest emerging trends in e-commerce and digital trade. Learn More.

Project Areas

International Business Strategy

E-Commerce and Digital Trade

Policy and Negotiations

Risk Management

Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning

How Can we help you?

Get in touch with us or find an office closest to you.