Bilateral relations with Lesotho
Diplomatic relations between Germany and Lesotho were established in 1966. Bilateral relations are close and based on trust, and there are frequent close consultations between the two countries in international bodies. For many years, bilateral relations with Lesotho were largely dominated by German development cooperation.
Even after the closure of the German Embassy in Maseru in 1994, Lesotho maintained its embassy in Bonn and then in Berlin. At the beginning of 2005, Germany and France opened a joint consular office in the Alliance Française building in Maseru.
On June 9, 2008, Lesotho’s Foreign Minister Tsekoa was in Berlin for political talks. A highlight in bilateral relations was the private visit to Germany by Queen Masenate from June 21 to July 2, 2008.
Germany is highly respected in Lesotho, not least on account of its development cooperation with the country.
Enlarge image High Commissioner of the Kingdom of Lesotho, Mrs. Matlotliso Lineo Ntoane and Chargé d' Affaires of the German Embassy Ingo Herbert (© GIC Pretoria) This focuses on providing aid in the priority area of decentralized rural development, which was agreed upon in 2003. Funding has been made available for the main element of development cooperation until February 2014. Its aim is to establish efficient decentralized institutions, including service providers at district level but above all local authorities, to improve services to the poor in particular and strengthen political participation by the people.
This is helping to implement the government of Lesotho’s national development strategy, complementing the projects being conducted by other European donors and the EU, with which it is coordinated.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) runs an office in Lesotho.
German trade with Lesotho is very modest in volume, which means that absolute figures are not very meaningful and may fluctuate strongly from one year to the next. According to Federal Statistical Office figures, in 2009 Lesotho imported goods worth approximately USD 8.6 million from Germany, while Germany Trade and Invest figures put the value of exports to Germany at some USD 900,000. Lesotho’s main imports from Germany are vehicles, machinery, pharmaceuticals and chemical products.
Over the past years, German musicians have occasionally given concerts in Maseru, the most recent being that by the German pianist Beatrix Klein in February 2009. In addition, in the first half of 2009, the regional Goethe Institute in Johannesburg set up a German Corner – containing books, magazines and other German media items – in the library of the Alliance Française. Recent cooperation in the area of sport has focused on promoting coaching for football and volleyball players as well as track and field athletes. In higher education, there is cooperation with the country’s only university, the National University of Lesotho, through German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) scholarships.