MGYSRCSD launches LNYEMP collaboratively with UNDP

Maseru: The Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation, Culture and Social Development (MGYSRCSD) launched the Lesotho National Youth Entrepreneurs Mentorship Programme supported by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

August 2, 2023

Minister of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation, Culture and Social Development, honourable Pitso Lesaoana

The purpose of the programme is to solve the challenge of Youth Unemployment through youth entrepreneurship. UNDP supported the ministry to develop the e the LNYEMP strategy, data collection of youth entrepreneurs and mentors, willing to be in the programme. Mentees will then be linked with mentors to guide them in various modules of mentorship such as coaching, internship, volunteering, and fellowship programmes which are currently offered by different organisations, companies and institutions.

To achieve this goal, the ministry intends to standardize and bring uniformity across all existing mentorship programmes. Through the Department of Youth, the ministry will play a coordination role in the delivery of the aspired Lesotho Youth Entrepreneurship Mentorship Programme (LNYEMP).

Delivering his keynote address at the pre-launch, Minister of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation, Culture and Social Development, honourable Pitso Lesaoana noted that there is a need to measure the youth unemployment and be able to respond to youth needs. He further noted that the main reason of the LNYEMP is to engage everyone in fighting the high unemployment rate among the youth. 

Youth in attendance of the event noted that the challenges that they are faced with among others include, skills mismatch, limited employment opportunities and private sector constraint to support employment creation to complement the government employment opportunities.  

In her remarks, the UNDP Resident Representative, Dr. Jacqueline Olweya remarked that looking at the context of Lesotho, this programme is best suited to address the challenges faced by Lesotho youth given the expressed need “This programme is an opportunity not only to mentor the youth and move them towards being employers, being creators of opportunities but also to empower them economically to be entrepreneurs, to think out of the box and go beyond looking  for white collar jobs in government and private sector to be youth employers.”

Dr. Olweya further noted that there will be other initiatives that UNDP Lesotho will be supporting through the MGYSRACSD and other relevant ministries by adopting a multisectoral approach. 

MGYSRACSD Chief Youth Development Officer, Ms. Mambulelo Motekase explained that this programme is run under the department of youth in the ministry, and it aims to offer support to youth in surmounting challenges they face while starting or operating their businesses. “The programme will address youth needs through mentorship of but not limited to psychosocial, spiritual, emotional, business accountability and financial accountability support,” Motekase noted. 

One of the youth attendees who is also the president of Bacha Shutdown, Mr. Tumelo Moteuli expressed his satisfaction with the programme and the approach it will take to address youth needs. Moteuli noted that his expectations which is the engagement of youth in matters of youth were met with this programme since their views were taken into consideration through the consultations that were made with youth prior to establishment of this programme. 

He further noted that with this programme, young people will thrive in entrepreneurship as they will be empowered with knowledge and necessary skills that match their entrepreneurship platform.