How Le­sotho ben­e­fited from MCA

Lesotho Times - - Opin­ion -

the new land act was not im­mune from crit­i­cism and it went through a rig­or­ous par­lia­men­tary process but it nev­er­the­less went through.

the dis­cern­able im­pact of this law has been a to­tal over­haul of the land ten­ure sys­tem in le­sotho.

the re­cent os­ten­si­ble up­surge in the hous­ing and real es­tate or prop­erty de­vel­op­ment es­pe­cially in the district of Maseru and other towns is a di­rect im­pact of the new land ten­ure sys­tem.

No­tably, this has been the most per­va­sive lib­er­al­i­sa­tion of the real es­tate or prop­erty mar­ket since le­sotho’s in­de­pen­dence which was made pos­si­ble by the Mca’s in­ter­ven­tion, which in turn is a true re­flec­tion of lib­eral poli­cies in ac­tion.

the most fas­ci­nat­ing seg­ment of the pri­vate sec­tor de­vel­op­ment was the na­tional iden­tity doc­u­ment project which was mired by a lot of con­tro­versy which led to the gov­ern­ment of le­sotho opt­ing to fi­nance the project from its cof­fers, the ex­er­cise which has in the long run proved to be costly with­out bud­getary sup­port of grant money.

How­ever, there has been a no­table de­sire and will to im­ple­ment the project thus far.

the other com­po­nent of the pri­vate sec­tor de­vel­op­ment project was the civil le­gal re­form which aimed at fast-track­ing the res­o­lu­tion of com­mer­cial and other civil dis­putes which were tak­ing a long time to re­solve in the courts.

the tar­get was there­fore to im­prove the in­sti­tu­tional ca­pac­ity of the ju­di­ciary.

the le­sotho Post Bank be­came another part­ner in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the pri­vate sec­tor de­vel­op­ment project by man­ag­ing of the debit/smart card project which ac­cord­ing to the then MCALe­sotho of­fi­cial doc­u­ments was aimed at “ex­pand­ing the fi­nan­cial ser­vices to the un­der-banked and un-banked pop­u­la­tion in the ru­ral ar­eas of le­sotho”.

the MCA de­vel­op­men­tal as­sis­tance model is ar­guably one of the best gov­erned for­eign aid schemes that had en­tered the fray of for­eign aid busi­ness in the past 15 years.

there are a lot of lessons that can be picked from the way it is de­signed, the for­mu­la­tion of project ob­jec­tives, im­ple­men­ta­tion as well as mon­i­tor­ing and eval­u­a­tion of the projects.

How­ever, one should re­mem­ber that there is noth­ing as free rid­ing in pol­i­tics of for­eign aid, hence the re­quire­ment for MCA el­i­gi­ble coun­tries to meet the cri­te­ria set by the Mil­len­nium Chal­lenge Cor­po­ra­tion for se­lec­tion into the pool of coun­tries that can be given aid.

the other no­table el­e­ment of the MCA model is the re­ward­ing of coun­tries which ac­tu­ally don’t have any bear­ing on the tra­di­tional United States geo strate­gic con­cerns of se­cu­rity by only

award­ing coun­tries with de­vel­op­ment aid only if they are ea­ger to un­dergo eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal re­forms, which is ac­tu­ally in line with what for­mer pres­i­dent Bush out­lined when he said: “the United States will use this mo­ment of op­por­tu­nity to ex­tend the ben­e­fits of free­dom across the globe.

“We will ac­tu­ally work to bring the hope of democ­racy, de­vel­op­ment, free mar­kets and free trade to ev­ery cor­ner of the globe”.

it is with­out a doubt that le­sotho has ben­e­fited and reaped tremen­dously from these “ben­e­fits of free­dom” and the proper im­ple­men­ta­tion of com­pact 1 of MCA made it qual­ify for se­lec­tion into the sec­ond round of fund­ing thus mak­ing it el­i­gi­ble for the sec­ond com­pact. it re­mains to be seen if the sec­ond com­pact will see the light of the day.

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