Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can help accelerate progress towards every single one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This Minister of Communications, Science and Technology (MCST), Chief Thesele Maseribane noted when closing a five-day ICT training programme by Palestinian International Cooperation Agency to Government of Lesotho (GOL) ICT professionals, in Maseru on Friday November 01, 2019.

He observed that the training will help Lesotho in achieving SDG 9 in particular, which is on building a resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation.

“Government recognizes that our country needs to invest and grow our ICT human capital in order to reach the capabilities of other developing countries”, he said.

He added that, the high expectations are premised on the fact that currently ICT sector is driving innovation in the manner in which public services are being delivered.

Outlining that, in order to accelerate adoption of ICT in a workforce, GOL through Lesotho e-Government Infrastructure Project (E-Gov) Project, Phase I, has completed among others, Video Conference Centre and National Data Centre, the latter based in Mohale`s Hoek district (in the south).

The ICT sector is very dynamic and cuts across all others (sectors), reason GOL has started working on legal frameworks that will govern this challenging sector, he reported.

“All these highlighted efforts are providing a suitable platform for us to contribute to national development and assist in formulating home grown ICT solutions to be used in our daily livelihood”, Chief Maseribane stressed.

He asserted, his dream as the Minister of Communications, Science and Technology is to see Lesotho shifting from being a net consumer of ICT products to a net producer of ICT products and services in this era of big data, internet of things, artificial intelligence and robotics.

On the same token, the Palestinian International Cooperation Agency (PICA) Head of delegation, Consular Hassona Aldramly stated that the cardinal objective of their coming to Lesotho was to consolidate and enhance cooperation with Lesotho through transfer of the Palestinian know-how and expertise in areas that partner countries are in need of.

“I truly hope this marks the beginning of the consolidation of friendship and partnership with Lesotho, and hopefully we will in the near future partner in other areas outside of ICT”, he said

He lamented that the people of Palestine are suffering under the imperialist government of Israel which subjects them to sub-human treatment. He said it is through the collaborative efforts that they hope Lesotho and many other countries of the world will stand with the people of Palestine to attain their freedom.

Coordinator of the training programme and ICT Director in the Ministry of Communications, Science & Technology (MCST), Mr Khiba Masiu explained that ICT is a very dynamic sector and that the practitioners have to keep abreast with the latest developments and trends, to avoid being left behind.

“There is an endemic need to train the ICT professionals in the government, but the scarcity of resources particularly finances is a hindering block. This training by PICA came at the right time because it has afforded us an opportunity to train some of them”, Masiu highlighted.

Continuing that, the trainees have expressed satisfaction with the training as well. Adding that the process has been interactive, which allowed them to ask pertinent questions that would help them address challenges as they arise at different work stations.

He said they have identified the gaps and are now in a position to determine the directions, as Government is to launch e-services soon, to (the services) be driven by the personnel trained in this programme.

PICA in cooperation with Embassy of the State of Palestine to Lesotho (based in South Africa) and in partnership with the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology of Lesotho implemented a capacity building programme to 80 technicians from 26 different Government Ministries in the field of Network Security, Domain Name Services (DNS) and 365 Exchange.


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