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The 2014 was the year in which most Southern African countries held elections that varied in terms of organisation, competition and management. It is within this period, the African continent attempted to focus on key development issues such as the fight against hunger by committing to strengthen agriculture production. The Africans continue to experience structural exclusion from governance processes and policy dialogue space, thus hindering the expected outcome that Africans can excel in the fight against poverty, HIV and AIDS and corruption. However, the civil society has demanded to participate in the policy development, and this is evidenced by the call for the civil society participation in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) processes, Deepening Decentralisation Programme Steering Committee, just to mention a few.

Lesotho has experienced many development challenges, which had effects on her status in the human development index. She has a life expectancy of 48.2 as per the Human Development Index (HDI) with high poverty prevalence and child mortality rates

Access to education continues to be a gross challenge in the SADC region. In Lesotho, education is fully subsidised by the government at primary level. According to HDI the adult literacy rate for Lesotho was estimated at 75.8% in 2014 and public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP is said to be 12.4%, a sign that Lesotho stands a good chance to improve the lives of her citizens.

The HIV and AIDS national prevalence rate of 23% which puts the country as the second-highest undermines efforts to promote development in all sectors as it reduces the supply of a skilled workforce in the public and the private sectors. In addition to this challenge, the Lesotho Census 2009 DHS revealed that maternal mortality rate is about 1155 per 100,000 live at births. It is further indicated that the rate for infant mortality stands at 91 per 1,000, a decline from 103 per 1,000 live births (1976-1996). Lesotho like any other African countries is challenged by perpetual infant mortality rate, which had also put herself off-track on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The current unemployment rate for Lesotho is at 24% and 60% of them are said to be faced by the abject poverty. The high unemployment rate is seen as a contributing factor to the widening inequality gap in the country.

There is relative stability in Lesotho, though the country is facing many challenges, ranging from the high level of intolerance between state institutions evidenced by the protracted tension between security formations, lack of trust between the coalition government partners and unstable civil service. Though all these are happening in the ambit of constitutional frame works, these rendered a country in a state of fear that can grow to the level of political decay. While the Coalition Government enjoyed a sizable acceptance in the beginning, it is now facing more challenges imposed by the lack of political tolerance and united efforts in addressing key governance and development issues. Although the fight against corruption is on the government’s top agenda, it seems that institutions mandated to carry out the task, lack the capacity to finalise investigation to successful litigation.

It is for this reason that NGO Week is needed as platform for civil society to voice the concerns of the citizens for social change. NGO Week provides the platform for greater participation by citizens and government officials. The theme “Constitutionalism and Democratization in the Context of Coalition Politics and Regional Integration The rationale behind the theme is to ensure continuous engagement of local Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and for CSO to remain relevant to the current development challenges of the people they are serving. The theme also demonstrates the strong commitment by LCN to lead the way under environment of limited consultations and accountability by the local authorities, executive and legislature.
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