From Lesotho to the World- Experience Elevation Lehakoe ‘Gem’

Lesotho is a land awaiting to tell its story. In telling its story, UNDP is supporting the Government of Lesotho to develop a national photobank- Lehakoe.

November 16, 2023
Katse Mountains

Katse Mountains

A land awaiting to tell stories of its heritage and beauty. Imagine and listen to the gushing streams of the Senqu river and the waterfalls in the Maluti Mountains soaked in the hoarfrost, ice crystals, snowflakes that transcend in the morning sunlight. Lesotho! The Kingdom in the sky, a landscape that captivates hearts with its breath-taking scenery of majestic mountains, lush greenery, tranquil lakes, and rivers. Experience Elevation!

Introducing Lehakoe (the Gem), a digital compendium of economic treasures and investment opportunities in Lesotho. The national photobank designed to forge new avenues for partnerships and collaborations in co-creating new tourism products and services, economic assets, promoting trade and investment leading to job creation and sustainable economic growth 

This innovative initiative was birthed by UNDP through the Accelerator Lab as a response to the negative impact of COVID-19 in Lesotho and mainly its economy and tourism sector. This is now a Government of Lesotho initiative that is being supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Lesotho Country Office, Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC), Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC), Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA), with the tourism private sector being content creators for Lesotho and Academia providing technical skills in the development of the digital portal.  

At the margins of the 78TH United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78), the Government of Lesotho with support from United Nations Development Programme held a side event themed ''Experience Elevation: Delivering on the SDGs the Lesotho way". The Government of Lesotho led by the Right Honourable the Prime Minister Samuel Matekane launched ‘Lehakoe’ which is the Lesotho national photobank that depicts the Mountain Kingdom with eye-catchy imageries. He invited investors to come to Lesotho as the investment environment is conducive and they will not only assist Lesotho towards its socio-economic development, but they will realise elevated returns on their investments. 

Additionally, he highlighted that in the remaining period to the 2030 deadline, the country commits to pursuing strategies and investments that enable the country to lift more people out of poverty and hunger, ensure equitable access to resources, promote gender equality and economic diversification working in partnership with civil society, academia, private sector, government, youth, and women groups as well as persons with disability. Accompanying the Prime Minister of Lesotho in the launch were the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Affairs- Mr. Lejone Mpotjoane, Under-Secretary-General and UNDP Associate Administrator- Mr. Haoling Xu, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Lesotho to the United Nations- Mr Matete Nena, Ministers from Malawi- Mr. Simplex Chithyola and Botswana, partners, and other esteemed guests including academia and development partners. 

The side event attracted attendance from investors in various sectors including but not limited to trade and tourism, energy, and climate actions. Other neighbouring countries to Lesotho, Botswana and Malawi attended the event to explore opportunities for trade and partnerships. Speaking at the event, the Minister of Trade, and Industries in Malawi Hon. Simplex Chithyola highlighted opportunities in Africa where investors and visitors can experience the warmth of the people, the untapped natural resources and highly skilled labour force. 

Mr. Haoling Xu, Under-Secretary-General and Associate Administrator reiterated UNDP’s continued support to the Government and people of Lesotho as it navigates through the uncertain times and acknowledged the country’s commitment towards ensuring implementation and acceleration towards the attainment of the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which serves as an inspiration to other nations. 

Speaking through a video message, His Majesty King Letsie III outlined in detailed the treasures that make Lesotho a unique country in terms of its scenery, cultures, and the great potential the country has for both tourism and investment. His Majesty the King invited the world to come visit and invest in Lesotho as there is so much the Kingdom has to offer - from its clean clear waters, exceedingly rare diamonds, great investment opportunities in the agricultural sector, not forgetting 300 days of sunlight, even during snowy winter days.  

The Lehakoe launch during the side margins of the 78th UNGA was meant to assist in exposing Lesotho to potential international markets by promoting its culture, cultural artifacts, and natural resources including water and diamond among others, while also attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). 

This photobank (Lehakoe – the Gem) is utilized by LTDC, LNDC, and the Government of Lesotho as a marketing and promotions tool that links all the efforts promoting Lesotho to the world. It is accessible on PhotoBank ( The content from Lehakoe will not only provide images but information that can assist potential investors and tourist while capacitating the content creators. The content creators will undergo a short photography and videography course which will enhance their skills and assist in ensuring uniform quality of images uploaded. Moreover, there are plans to expand the scope of the photobank and include elements of virtual reality. With virtual reality, the aim is to given potential tourists a semi-real experience of the Mountain Kingdom. There will be a fee attached to the experience, together with the downloading of images.  

Experience Elevation!