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World Travel Guide > Guides > Africa > Lesotho

Lesotho: Doing business and staying in touch

Doing Business in Lesotho

A lightweight suit, shirt and tie should be worn for business meetings. English will be spoken by most businesspeople. Usual business formalities should be observed, but expect a casual atmosphere and pace.

 

Office Hours

Mon-Fri 0800-1245 and 1400-1630.

Economy

The earnings of the estimated 150,000 Lesotho nationals working in South Africa account for a substantial proportion of the country's income. Inside the country, 86% of the workforce is engaged in agriculture.

Lesotho's vulnerability to drought means that over half the country's food must be imported from South Africa.

There are reserves of ores and minerals, including diamonds and uranium, but little exploitation has taken place.

Lesotho's government has historically relied on foreign aid, particularly for infrastructure programmes, the most important of recent years being the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. This aims to deliver water to South Africa and provide 60% of Lesotho's electricity supply.

GDP

US$2.2 billion (2016 est.)

Main exports

Clothing, furniture, wool and mohair, footwear and road vehicles.

Main imports

Food, building materials, vehicles, machinery and medicines.

Main trading partners

USA, Hong Kong, China, Belgium and Taiwan.

Keeping in Touch in Lesotho

Telephone

There is a limited internal telephone network.

Mobile Phone

Roaming agreements exist with a few international mobile phone companies. Coverage is limited to main urban areas.

Internet

There are internet cafes in Maseru.

Media

The government operates a range of media. South African radio and TV stations can also be received. Reforms in 1998 led to commercial radio stations but state-run Radio Lesotho is the only national station. Due to high printing costs, radio is the most important form of mass communication.

The private press often carries opposition views, but publications and journalists are regularly targeted by defamation lawsuits.

Post

Post offices are located throughout the country, with the main branch based in Maseru.

Post Office hours

Mon-Fri 0800-1300 and 1400-1630; Sat 0800-1200.