Lesotho – Important Facts

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Lesotho is a small, landlocked, and mountainous country. It is an enclave entirely surrounded by South Africa. The government system is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy; the chief of state is the king, and the head of government is the prime minister. Lesotho has a marketThe commercial activity of buying and selling goods and serv... based economyThe management of money, currency and trade of a nation. The..., but the tradition of direct government involvement in economic activity limits private sectorThe part of a country's economy which is owned and run for p... development. Lesotho is a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Lesotho has taken advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to become the largest exporter of garments to the US from sub-Saharan Africa. American Brands and retailers sourcing from Lesotho include: Foot Locker, Gap, Gloria Vanderbilt, JCPenny, Levi Strauss, Saks, Sears, Timberland and Wal-Mart. In mid-2004 its employment reached over 50,000 mainly female workers, marking the first time that manufacturing sector workers outnumbered government employees. In 2008 it exported 487 million dollars mainly to the U.S.A. Since 2004 employment in the sector was somehow reduced to about 45,000, in mid-2011, due to intense international competition in the garment sector. It was the largest formal sector employerA person, business, organisation, etc., that pays for the se... in Lesotho in 2011. The sector initiated a major program to fight HIV/AIDS called Apparel Lesotho Alliance to Fight AIDS (ALAFA). It is an industry-wide program providing prevention and treatment for the workers.

Lesotho’s progress in moving from a predominantly subsistence-oriented economyThe management of money, currency and trade of a nation. The... to a lower middle income, diversified economyThe management of money, currency and trade of a nation. The... exporting natural resources and manufacturing goods has brought higher, more secure incomes to a significant portion of the population. The percentage of the population living below USD PPP US$1.25/day fell from 48 percent to 44 percent between 1995 and 2003. The country is still among the “Low Human Development” countries (rank 155 of 192) as classified by the UNDP, with 42.3 years of life expectancy at birth. However, adult literacy is very high – 82% and children under weight aged under 5 is only 20%.

Important Details

  • Country ISO3 : LSO
  • Country Code : 426
  • Income Group : Lower Middle Income
  • Lending Category : IDA
  • Region : Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Currency Unit: Lesotho Loti
  • WTO Member : Yes
  • TradeThe buying and selling or exchange of goods and services. Th... organisations : WTO, SACU, SADC
  • world rank : 152
  • Regional Ranking : 38th in Sub-Saharan Africa