LESOTHO, AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK SIGN LOAN
The Government of Lesotho together with African Development Bank (AfDB)
on Friday signed a loan agreement of M151.76 million at the even held in
Speaking at this occasion, the Minister of Finance, Mr. Tlohang
Sekhamane said the loan is intended to finance Urban Distribution
Rehabilitation and Transmission Expansion Project in Lesotho, saying the
objective of the Project is to rehabilitate and refurbish electricity
power distribution network across the country with the aim to improve
availability and reliability of electricity to consumers.
He remarked that energy remains one of Lesotho's priority sectors as it
is crucial for growth and socio-economic development of the country. He
said a large area of the country especially in the rural areas is not
connected to electricity as a result this poses difficulties to the
livelihoods of the people.
He said the availability and reliability of the electricity power
distribution will be realised through upgrading the power transmission
line and rehabilitation of the distribution network from Quthing to
Mohale's Hoek, Roma to Thaba-Tseka, Maseru, Teyateyaneng, Butha-Buthe
and Lets'eng Diamond Mine in Mokhotlong.
Mr Sekhamane noted that the agreement marks an important milestone among
a number of many projects from which Lesotho has continued to benefit
through decades of partnership with the Bank. He acknowledged the Bank
Group for continued support in funding the development programmes of the
Government of Lesotho in different areas of the economy.
He said the government is fully committed to providing the necessary
counterpart contribution to all projects signed to ensure their
successful implementation, including taking over the recurrent related
activities and costs upon their completion, further promising that they
will also ensure that funds for all projects will be used effectively
and efficiently towards positive change of the lives of Basotho.
He also pledged the Lesotho Government intensions
to continue to work with the Bank in their collective development
efforts to uplift the livelihoods of Basotho
Also speaking was the the Director General, Southern African Regional
Development and Business Delivery Office, Dr Tonia Kandiero who said the
Bank has approved the loan facility to assist the Government of Lesotho
in the rehabilitation of 188kms of distribution lines and switching
stations, expansion of the transmission network through upgrade of a
substation and construction of 8km of transmission lines to support the
government's national electricity access target of 50 percent by 2020.
She said the Project is expected to create 140 jobs during construction
and make Lesotho less reliant on power imports adding that it will also
facilitate the participation of private sector players in generation of
renewable energy through the preparation of the 'Energy Resource Map and
the Cost Service Study' which will recommend a sustainable tariff
structure for the sector.
Dr Kandiero added that the intervention is complementary to the recently
completed 'Lesotho Electricity Supply Project (2014)' which supported
investment in the electricity supply infrastructure to enhance
electricity access rate, ensure improved efficiency to reduce peaking
Furthermore, she noted that the project also
compliments the Bank assistance to the 'Lesotho Electricity and Water
Authority (2015), which developed a regulatory framework to facilitate
private development of renewable energy generation.
She said the Bank is committed to working with the people and Government
of Lesotho in the successful and swift implementation of the Project as
they continue to jointly pursue other avenues to identify additional
sources of funding and technical assistance for the energy sector in
Signatory to the agreement were Mr. Sekhamane who signed on behalf of
the Government of Lesotho and Dr Kandiero signing on behalf of the
African Development Bank.
The Government of Lesotho has reportedly received financial assistance
from the AfDB since 1975 in a form of loans and grants, which financed
Lesotho's development in various development areas such as roads
infrastructure, water supply and sanitation as well as health services
to mention a few.
Source: LENA 17/02/2017