The most urgent challenge is socio-economic development. In that respect, I would say the greatest challenge facing us in Lesotho and in this region is HIV-Aids. It is the greatest threat to our survival as a nation. It is a problem that we have to join hands with the other SADC countries to solve. To that extent, we are going to host here, jointly with the World Bank, an SADC summit of heads of state in May to discuss the issue of Aids. We are a small country, we have only 2 million people, and unless we stand up and do something about Aids, we will be in serious trouble. Our current infection rate is very high, estimated at 31% of the population.Good to hear. Probably Lesotho's top two enemies right now. AIDS and poverty. I, however, would tend to put them the other way round: poverty and AIDS. Poverty can easily lead to AIDS contraction, but AIDS doesn't easily lead to being poor. I think poverty reduction is who we should train our sights on first. And we must get the big guns out for this one, because if we succeed with poverty reduction, our other endeavours will be that much easier.
The other major challenge is poverty reduction. We have to put in place programmes to improve the lives of our people. Thankfully, water is a major national resource and we've started developing and harnessing this resource. We now sell water to South Africa, the revenue from which is now going into our poverty reduction programmes. Over and above that, we have to use our water resources for agriculture and irrigation. We cannot depend on food aid as we've been doing all along.
I'm happy to see that among Lesotho's mentioned "nicknames" the author has omitted The Switzerland of Africa. We are not "the Switzerland of Africa", unless, of course, somebody starts referring to Switzerland as The Lesotho of Europe. If you want to use a descriptive nickname to write or speak about Lesotho, please use "The Mountain Kingdom," or "The Roof of Africa," or "The Kingdom in the Sky," which we all are.