Lesotho Competitiveness and Financial Inclusion Project (WB-P175783)

  • Lesotho
Geographic location where the impacts of the investment may be experienced.
Financial Institutions
  • World Bank (WB)
International, regional and national development finance institutions. Many of these banks have a public interest mission, such as poverty reduction.
Project Status
Stage of the project cycle. Stages vary by development bank and can include: pending, approval, implementation, and closed or completed.
Bank Risk Rating
Environmental and social categorization assessed by the development bank as a measure of the planned project’s environmental and social impacts. A higher risk rating may require more due diligence to limit or avoid harm to people and the environment. For example, "A" or "B" are risk categories where "A" represents the highest amount of risk. Results will include projects that specifically recorded a rating, all other projects are marked ‘U’ for "Undisclosed."
Voting Date
Jun 15, 2022
Date when project documentation and funding is reviewed by the Board for consideration and approval. Some development banks will state a "board date" or "decision date." When funding approval is obtained, the legal documents are accepted and signed, the implementation phase begins.
Government of Lesotho
A public entity (government or state-owned) provided with funds or financial support to manage and/or implement a project.
Investment Type(s)
The categories of the bank investment: loan, grant, guarantee, technical assistance, advisory services, equity and fund.
Investment Amount (USD)
$ 45.00 million
Value listed on project documents at time of disclosure. If necessary, this amount is converted to USD ($) on the date of disclosure. Please review updated project documents for more information.
Project Cost (USD)
$ 52.75 million
Value listed on project documents at time of disclosure. If necessary, this amount is converted to USD ($) on the date of disclosure. Please review updated project documents for more information.
Primary Source

Original disclosure @ WB website

Updated in EWS Jun 23, 2022

Disclosed by Bank Feb 15, 2021

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Project Description
If provided by the financial institution, the Early Warning System Team writes a short summary describing the purported development objective of the project and project components. Review the complete project documentation for a detailed description.

According to bank documents, the project objective is to increase access to business support services and financial products targeted at MSMEs and entrepreneurs, especially women and youth.

  1. Component 1: Enhancing financial inclusion and resilience of MSMEs ($20.25 million). Component 1 will enhance financial inclusion through strengthening the delivery of efficient and reliable government-to-business (G2B) digital services to facilitate the establishment and operation of new businesses and reduce the time and cost of regulatory compliance which in turn will enhance access to finance and the competitiveness of MSMEs. It will also provide support for firms to be more resilient to shocks from climate, pandemic, and other natural disasters. The component will include activities that support (i) optimizing the outcomes of investments in G2B digital systems and processes made under the PSCED2 project, to strengthen inter-operability, efficiency, and impactful service delivery for businesses, particularly those receiving support under Component 2, (ii) improving financial access through upgrading the security and reliability of credit infrastructure and expanding access to digital financial services, and (iii) instruments to expand financial resilience for businesses to cope with disasters and other shocks to the economy. These instruments will be particularly beneficial to the private sector. The component will finance technical assistance, goods, training and capacity building programs, and recurrent expenditures, including operating costs.

  2. Component 2: Scaling support for entrepreneurship and MSMEs ($29.5 million). Component 2 aims to strengthen the nascent entrepreneurial ecosystem and access to early-stage finance for startups and youth owned businesses, support the digitization of MSMEs, and facilitate private investment in high-potential value-chains including encourage upgrading of skills and adoption of sustainable production practices by businesses to enhance productivity and green growth. The component will include activities that support (i) establishing an Entrepreneurship Hub and Seed Financing Facility to increase the quality and scope of integrated startup business support services and increase access to earlystage financing, (ii) scaling the current Lesotho Enterprise Assistance Program (LEAP) focusing on supporting MSMEs to adopt digital technologies that allow them to transact in the digital economy and upgrade their capabilities, and (iii) facilitating investment into productive value chains that are linked to local MSMEs. The component will finance technical assistance, goods, training, recurring expenditures including operating costs, grants, and investments in a “seed financing facility.”

  3. Component 3: Overall project management and implementation support to the government ($3 million) 35. Component 3 will provide support for the management and implementation of project-associated activities. Activities to be financed include salaries of project management unit (PMU) staff/consultants in areas of project management, project coordination, fiduciary specialists (e.g., procurement, financial management), monitoring and evaluation (M&E) specialist, a dedicated environment, and social safeguards (E&S) specialist, project communication, and citizen engagement. This component will also cover modest office equipment and independent audits and learning/training for the PMU and beneficiary agencies, through the official closing date of the project. It is expected that all consultant terms of reference (TORs) will clearly stipulate knowledge transfer and hands on training to ministry staff. Special attention will be devoted to promoting equal participation of women in all decision-making bodies under the project and contributing to tackling barriers in recruitment, retention, and promotion. This component will also support capacity building of the PMDU (Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit under the Cabinet Subcommittee on Trade and Investment), given the importance of the PMDU to delivering on the goals of the NSDP II and the related objectives of this project.

Investment Description
Here you can find a list of individual development financial institutions that finance the project.

Contact Information
This section aims to support the local communities and local CSO to get to know which stakeholders are involved in a project with their roles and responsibilities. If available, there may be a complaint office for the respective bank which operates independently to receive and determine violations in policy and practice. Independent Accountability Mechanisms receive and respond to complaints. Most Independent Accountability Mechanisms offer two functions for addressing complaints: dispute resolution and compliance review.

World Bank:
Ganesh Rasagam
Lead Private Sector Development Specialist

Michael Ehst
Senior Private Sector Specialist

Ministry of Development Planning
Mr. Sello Tsukulu
Principal Secretary, Ministry of Development Planning

Ministry of Finance

Implementing Agencies:
Ministry of Trade and Industry
Chaba Mokuku
Project Coordinator

Mr. Tlhopheho Sefali
Principal Secretary, Ministry of Trade and Industry


To submit an information request for project information, you will have to create an account to access the Access to Information request form. You can learn more about this process at: https://www.worldbank.org/en/access-to-information/request-submission 


The World Bank Inspection Panel is the independent complaint mechanism and fact-finding body for people who believe they are likely to be, or have been, adversely affected by a World Bank-financed project. If you submit a complaint to the Inspection Panel, they may investigate to assess whether the World Bank is following its own policies and procedures for preventing harm to people or the environment. You can contact the Inspection Panel or submit a complaint by emailing ipanel@worldbank.org. Information on how to file a complaint and a complaint request form are available at: https://www.inspectionpanel.org/how-to-file-complaint 

How it works

How it works