Lesotho Science & Technology Policy

Foreword

Fellow Basotho, w e are living in the information age. It ¡s a period of unprecedented change, driven by science and technology (S&T). Whether we accept or not, Lesotho is part of this global phenomenon and this means that every citizen and resident needs to be part of our global search for development, durable peace and a progressive as well as sustainable economy. The information age and information highway or what w e commonly refer to as the 'Internet' provides us with a common vehicle to advance our pace and prospects. The major challenge facing us is how to engage science and technology productively to generate the goods, services and revenue we need, using first our local resources, talents and skills.

For us in Lesotho, science and technology must be more than just buzzwords in our daily vocabulary. They must take us beyond today's consumption, providing jobs and a good income stream. S&T must underpin our plans, programmes and activities, as individuals and entrepreneurs. This applies whether w e manage or operate small, medium and large enterprises or work for others. S&T must help us to improve the living conditions of every citizen, irrespective of gender, age, colour or where they choose to live. This S&T policy is the best key to empower ourselves with the relevant skills, knowledge, competencies, know-how and attitudes. It must give us new capacities to create, innovate, add value, and to develop and produce competitive goods and services while generating meaningful jobs and job opportunities for all our people, in all the districts and regions.

Our nation expects nothing less. In this regard, government has shown its clear intent to engage science and technology seriously. Government is committed to provide resources to facilitate the operations of core S&T institutions, and to assist our citizens - young and old, men and women, rural and urban - to acquire, adapt, integrate and apply appropriate science and technology. This will enable them to harness our natural resources and other endowments and make Lesotho a better place to live in, work and to derive a decent standard of living from the collective wealth of our nation. Science and technology must impact on our actions and attitudes. Through this S&T policy, we hope to boost citizens' respect for the fragile environment, our national institutions, and Lesotho's rich biodiversity and culture. It must help us understand, promote and protect our traditions and community knowledge systems. Pursued in this light, this Policy will be a great stimulus to all citizens, industry and government. It will help us to be creative and grow mentally, industrially and socially.

As the custodian of this science and technology policy, my Ministry would like to assure all stakeholders that w e will make every effort to support and work alongside S&T implementing agencies, and with our partner institutions in the public and private sectors. W e will broaden cross-sectoral consultations, and fully involve the private sector in all our decision-making systems. In turn, let me implore all stakeholders to use this S&T policy as the tool and key to build up their competencies and competitiveness; and to assist the nation in achieving the highest level of added value, efficiency, quality, and of productivity in what we produce, factor in and service. Finally, it is m y fervent hope that every Mosotho will benefit from this S&T policy. It is also m y hope that each citizen will be empowered, equipped and confident to use and share the benefits of our natural, cultural and human resources and to fully utilize the physical infrastructure and public investments to help move the economy forward. Let us resolve today to make this S&T policy work for all of us.

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