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By Neo Kolane
The United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) launched the National Human Development Report under the theme ‘Exploiting the benefits of technology and innovation for Lesotho’s human development,’ yesterday in Maseru.
This is the fourth Lesotho national development report. The reports are aimed at contributing to the body of knowledge, to provide an evidence basis to inform problem strategies prioritisation as well as financing decisions to ensure equitable inclusive and sustainable development.
So far Lesotho has developed three national development reports published in 1998, 2006 as well as 2015.
The Resident Representative of UNDP Betty Wabunoha said the launch of the report marks the start of a conversation that was initiated two years ago for the National Human Development Report.
Wabunoha said the discussions that are aimed for UNDP to evaluate human development in the context of Lesotho, and to have continued advocacy as well as discussions around how to intergrade the discussion of human development into our national development processes.
She said the dialogue is part of the three-week programme to kick-start stakeholder consultations and engagements for the development of the Lesotho National Human Development Report which we have up to today paint technology and innovations for achieving sustainable development in Lesotho.
“The process for the development of the National Human Development Report was launched in 2021 and was rescheduled due to various reasons including financial resources also prioritisation of other national activities that overtook this.
“We are now back on track, and on the process of putting that on track; that is the start of the progress of the discussions we have ongoing today.
“We may not underestimate the link between technology and economic development and the speed of global economic development and transformation becomes imaginable, a lot which has to do with technology and innovations being used around human development globally,” Wabunoha said.
She explained that Africa is lagging behind in the digital world and it may be difficult to capture unless certain capabilities and skills are developed.
“The situation becomes dimmer for developing countries which Lesotho is part of. We have compounded limitation of resources, technology and infrastructure while other countries are leading in internet.
“While countries like Lesotho are still trying to make attempts to acquire platforms and functionalities that could allow its people to go online and be able to do quite a lot much more like they are already doing on system,” she said.
In her remarks, the director of policy and strategic in the ministry of development planning Mahlape Ramoseme said although Lesotho’s ranking has moved slightly since 1990, the human development ranking and index have always been the radar for social development goals.
Ramoseme said over the years, numerous human development reports have deliberated on critical development issues that would positively impact human development, also introducing new elements balanced by human wellbeing, freedom and choices.
She disclosed that these reports always awaken stakeholders to the importance of human capabilities and development.