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Minister, Limkokwing seal deal



MASERU-THE Minister of Small Businesses and Limkokwing University of Creative Technology yesterday inked a deal to develop, promote and enhance the small business sector.
The memorandum of understanding is based on supporting and developing micro, small and medium enterprises, incubating enterprises and providing mentorship programmes.

It also includes training, capacity building and skills development for SMMEs, formalising the informal sector for sustainable growth and to provide internship and apprenticeship programmes and design, branding and promotion of local products through the ‘Buy Local Campaign’.

Limkokwing University will provide expertise in the innovative and technical areas of the project while the ministry will be responsible for identification of products, materials, and equipment that the university will need.
Marcia Mangadi, the university’s Regional Director of Marketing and Recruitment, said this collaboration is a combination of the university’s continuous effort in linking all the industries to ensure that its graduates will be able to create jobs.

“As the university we believe that we should be preparing our students to be employers not employees,’’ Mangadi said.

She said this collaboration will expose their students to starting up businesses in Lesotho.
Mangadi said as the university they have noted the importance of linking the academia with the small and medium enterprises to provide a platform to share knowledge that will offer innovative skills.
She said the machine which the minister has offered to the university that makes tooth picks will operate as soon as the school reopens together with the packaging of those tooth picks.
“The students will be offered an internship to learn how to operate the machine,’’ she said.

The Registrar of the university, Moroka Hoohlo, said the university is keen to enhance Lesotho’s economy through small businesses.
He said the event is a milestone for the university as they continuously seek to collaborate with the government and industry as part of the community and stakeholder engagement.
He said the university needs the Ministry of Small Businesses in order to achieve their objective of developing and promoting young empowered entrepreneurs, which is the core of their curriculum.

“We saw it fit to enter into a formal platform with the Minister of Small Businesses for the betterment of lives in Lesotho and beyond,’’ he said.
He said issues relating to innovation and creativity, quality education as well as economic and entrepreneurial growth are the very core business of the university’s approach to transforming Lesotho’s future generation.
“It is our priority as the kingdom’s resource, to work hand in hand with the government and relevant organisations to drive the agenda of entrepreneurial and economic growth in Lesotho,’’ he said.
“Empowering our youths through courses tailored for the 21st century, we also empower the nation which will in turn strengthen the country’s economy and create a global empowered nation,’’ he said.

The Minister of Small Businesses Chalane Phori said the deal took a long time to be sealed. He said similar deals have already been signed with Lesotho Post Bank and the economic adviser to the Prime Minister.
He said they have collaborated with Lesotho Post Bank to make it easy for entrepreneurs to access loans.
He said a machine that manufactures tooth picks has been brought from China and will operate at Limkokwing University.

“With the skills of the students, the operation of the machine can continue,’’ he said.
“We have come to work with the university because the vibrant minds can bring about something huge,’’ he said.
He said he wants unity between educated people and uneducated ones.
“Most of the rich people are people who are not educated, so with your skills you can approach and unite with them to establish businesses,’’ he said.
He said Lesotho is importing chicken and pork worth millions of maloti when there are farmers in the country who are producing those meats.

“I am challenging you to start poultry and piggery businesses,’’ he said.
He urged Basotho to engage in agricultural production and stop undermining themselves.
“After this signing, I am going to work with all my power to ensure that the police and soldiers’ uniforms are manufactured in Lesotho by Basotho,’’ he said.

Refiloe Mpobole

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