Maseru – Key aid actors and various other stakeholders converged to finally push for the creation of an aid policy in Lesotho. The Lesotho National Dialogue on Aid Effectiveness and AAA Implementation involved representatives of civil society organizations, the donor community, media, academe, government and political parties. The dialogue was held last 29-30 November 2010 at Maseru Sun Cabanas emphasizing the importance of collaboration of all stakeholders to ensure the quantity and the quality of aid received and utilized by the Government of Lesotho (GoL).
The Lesotho National Dialogue, organized by the Economic Justice Network Lesotho (EJNL) in collaboration with IBON/RoA, was the first CSO-led consultation on aid effectiveness in the country. The discussions revolved around the lack of aid policy to guide the donor and GoL on ODA process. Other issues discussed during the workshop were tied aid, insufficient system on ODA and management and evaluation, corruption in the government and inclusion of CSOs in aid effectiveness discussion.
According to Mr. Africa Makakane, President of EJNL, CSOs must emerge from being reactionary and accept greater roles and responsibilities in engaging with the Basotho government and donor community to ensure that the aid being provided is used to attain development results. One of the key results of the National Dialogue was a draft action plan which addresses issues on capacity, transparency, access to information and clear roles of stakeholders, CSOs in particular.
Lesotho is a small landlocked country completely surrounded by the Republic of South Africa. It is heavily dependent on external aid with 15% of the country’s GDP coming from ODA. The Government of Lesotho is currently preparing for the process of drafting a five year National Development Plan (NDP) for Lesotho, which will cover the period 2012/13 – 2016/17.