Mr. Hannes Hanso, a member of the Advisory Committee of the President of Estonia, a Member of Estonian Parliament and the Chairman of the National Defence Committee, continued his visit to the Southern African region with a stay in the Kingdom of Lesotho on 24-26 January 2019.
The delegation, including Mr. Hanso, Mr. Margus Kolga, Ambassador-at-Large for the United Nations issues and an Estonian diplomat Mrs. Kaisa Mitt-Alvarez, met in Maseru with Lesotho’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations Mr. Lesego Makgothi and the Director General for ICT, Mr. Lira Moeti. The delegation also held a meeting with the Head of the EU delegation in Lesotho, Mr. Christian Manahl.
Estonia and Lesotho established diplomatic relations in 2012, after which the contacts between the countries have mainly taken place during different international multilateral meetings. In September 2018, during the high-level week of the UN General Assembly in New York, Estonia’s President Mrs. Kersti Kaljulaid met with the Prime Minister of Lesotho, Mr. Thomas Motsoahae Thabane and discussed Estonia’s relations with African countries and possibilities for enhancing cooperation and strengthening bilateral relations.
Same topics were discussed during Mr. Hannes Hanso’s meeting with Lesotho’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations Mr. Lesego Makgothi on 25th of January. Lesotho is supportive of Estonia’s UNSC campaign messages and values in particular Estonia’s focus on conflict prevention and increasing transparency in the UN Security Council. It is beneficial for all small countries when a small state is elected to the UN Security Council, as there is a member of the Council that talks on behalf of the small states and stands for their interests.
Lesotho is interested in enhancing bilateral cooperation with Estonia in the areas of e-governance and e-services, as it attaches great importance to the development of the IT sector and establishing e-state services. A lot has been done in Lesotho regarding establishing the necessary infrastructure and now Lesotho is ready to use the improved technological opportunities in order to boost state services.
Hannes Hanso: “At present, Lesotho is facing some challenges, which are familiar to Estonia. For instance, too much of the budget is spent on upholding the relatively large public sector. Different e-services and applications could help optimise the available resources and the savings could be funnelled to other areas in order to benefit the society. Estonia can assist our African friends through partnerships and through sharing our experiences.”