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China helps Lesotho to improve economic and social paralysis

The Chinese government is currently in a process of consulting the Lesotho government on possible ways to help the Maluti Kingdom with their social and economic dynamics.

Chinese ambassador to Lesotho, Dr Sun Xianghua said this during an exclusive interview with NF Online in Lesotho.

Ambassador Sun Xianghua, who recently resumed his ambassadorship work in Lesotho, said they plan to assist and improve the ailing situation in the country as part of the China-Africa Cooperation agreement.

The ambassador served as counsellor and deputy director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China before his deployment to Lesotho.

He said they’re in a process to consult Lesotho’s government on ways to implement the outcomes of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit held in South Africa, Johannesburg in December 2015.

Ambassador Sun Xianghua cited infrastructure, power-generation, public healthcare system and agriculture as major projects that they will be discussing with the Lesotho government.

“The Chinese Government has pledged to help African countries to improve their social and economic development. At the moment Lesotho has faced a drop in the economy and its economic growth rate is not that high. So, putting the two points together – opportunity and challenge, I think that as an ambassador from China, a country that has maintained very good relations with Lesotho, I have a huge responsibility on my shoulders to combine China’s willingness to help Lesotho with is relevant advantage,” said Ambassador Sun Xianghua.

The ambassador said he is looking forward to seeing concrete results from this consultation.

Lesotho, a landlocked country in the Southern Africa, is a very small country in dire economic conditions and Ambassador Sun Xianghua said for such a country, it is not easy to get capital or loans thus China provides them with capital to start their own businesses and explore opportunities.

Meanwhile, China has donated over $60 billion to help stimulate African countries’ self-reliance and self-development.

Ambassador Sun Xianghua said of the $60 billion, they also have $35 billion of consensual loans for African countries to develop its infrastructure and other major industries.

Of the $60 billion, according Ambassador Sun Xianghua, it is not totally for grants but said some loans will be provided to African countries to develop their own industries.

“The major part of the $60 billion is consensual loans with no or low interest. It also requires the African countries to go forward with their own projected proposals,” said the ambassador.

Ambassador Xianghua also discussed the issues of safety and security for Chinese business operating in Lesotho as well as language barriers as some of the challenges that still need to be dealt with in due processes.

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