Lesotho is surrounded by the Republic of South Africa with a population of 2.089 million (Census 2016) of which more than 50% of resides in the rural areas. Agriculture remains the main source of livelihoods with around 80% of the population identifying it as the main source of income, despite its declining contribution to GDP.
In pursuit of the National Vision 2020 which outlines the overall national development framework, the Government of Lesotho in 2012, approved the National Strategic Development Plan 2012/13 -2016/17 (NSDP) extended to 201/18 as a main strategic guidance plan to attain the vision 2020 goals which emphasizes on poverty reduction and sustainable development. The NSDP is structured into different thematic goals particularly supporting the development of the Micro, Small, Medium and Medium (MSMEs) enterprises which; when implemented, will result in broad based economic growth and employment creation.
In response, the different sectors within the economy have developed their strategies to implement their strategic goals. In the same manner, the Financial Sector Development Strategy was developed as an overarching strategy to guide the development of the financial sector. The strategy is organized into two segments focusing on both the supply and the demand sides through implementation of several interventions/projects and policy actions including effective financial sector legal and regulatory reforms. Financial inclusion forms a critical and core chapter in this strategy and to enhance its implementation, a Financial Inclusion strategy has thus been developed to quickly turnaround and reengineer national quality financial sector infrastructure to enhance delivery of diverse and affordable financial services to the different sectors of the economy particularly the rural poor, MSMEs and agricultural credit to facilitate for participation in the formal economy.
The Government of Lesotho through the Ministry of Finance recognizes the importance of access to financial services by all as an important strategy to reduce poverty. As a result, the government has solicited and received financial support from the United Nations Development Programme to support the development of a national financial inclusion policy which is intended to provide a government and the financial sector , with a national vision for inclusive finance in Lesotho. The policy document is intended to support the government’s five years’ strategy (2017 -2021) and Monitoring and Evaluation framework as well as other financial sector strategies and subsequent strategies thereof.
Duties and Responsibilities
The specific tasks of the assignment are:
Review documentation and Conduct an analysis of Lesotho’s inclusive finance landscape to understand the demand and supply of financial services to establish national context and identify key facets for policy framework:
- Conduct a desk review of existing national plans (NSDP) and sector strategies (FSDS, Inclusive Finance Strategy) and ongoing projects documentation to understand the Lesotho financial sector landscape.
- Review related sector strategies, policies and legal frameworks, including private sector development, financial education and MSME policies for policy harmonisation,
Develop a policy framework for financial inclusion policy in Lesotho:
- Undertake consultations with financial sector players and other relevant stakeholders to identify their challenges and opportunities in provision of financial inclusion services. Solicit their inputs into financial inclusion policy development.
- Based on international best practices and the national context, advice the government on best practices of the differing roles of the government, regulator, the private sector financial players and other structures in the development and implementation of financial inclusion policy.
In consultation with the Ministry of Finance and related stakeholders, draft a policy framework for financial inclusion in Lesotho,
Develop the Policy implementation plan:
- Review the 2017 – 2021 Inclusive Finance Strategy and develop a corresponding costed implementation plan
- Reflecting 4.1 above, engage the sector to unpack the proposed interventions the Inclusive Finance Strategy, and identify the role and contribution of each player.
- Advice the government on an appropriate incentive package for the private sector to facilitate for enhanced participation on provision of affordable and innovative financial services.
- Provide recommendations for a resource mobilisation strategy and funding models for different elements of the strategy, including financial education.
Prepare and present a report to stakeholders for validation for all deliverables.
- Excellent communication, reporting and presentation skills;
- Demonstrate a high competency for integration of gender attributes into the assignment;
- Good analytical skills, with the ability to come up with solutions to complex and interconnected development challenges
- Good computer skills (knowledge of common MS Office packages).
Required Skills and Experience
- A Master’s Degree in Economics, Banking, Development Studies or any other relevant field.
- The consultant should demonstrate proficiency in African sphere particularly in dealing with the development of financial inclusion policies with demonstrable experience of at least of 5 – 10 years.
- Proven Experience in Research for Development
- Sound knowledge of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Agenda 2016 and related principles for inclusion and poverty eradication livelihood development is an added advantage.
- Knowledge of the Lesotho Financial and private sector will be an added advantage;
- Should have previously conducted similar engagement in at-least two countries within the Sub-Saharan region with contactable references over the past 5 years.
- Fluent in English.
Submit the following:
- Confirmation of Interest and Availability – Template available in the below link;
- P11 – Template available in the below link;
- Methodology – approach to work.