December 2015 \ Interviews \ Diplomatic Interview
"We deeply value our relations with India"

His Excellency Mr Bothata Tsikoane High Commissioner of the Kingdom of Lesotho

What are the tourism opportunities in Lesotho that you can let our readers know about?

Lesotho is a very beautiful country. It is referred to as the Switzerland of Africa because of its high altitude. The lowest point of Lesotho is 1400 meters above the sea level and highest point is 3482 meters above the sea level. Due to the high altitude, Lesotho is full of mountains and in amongst the few countries in Africa which experience snowfall every winter and this makes skiing one of the major tourist attraction. Unlike the other countries in Africa, we do not have wild life but we have the natural beauty. Our major natural resource is water, tourists can engage in a lot of water sport activities. The world considers Africa, a future frontier because of its untapped potential, so we ask India to come and seize the opportunities while they last.

How do you view the contribution of the 1,300 Indian community in Lesotho?

Our relationship with India and Africa goes long back. We remember Mahatma Gandhi was in South Africa, where he played an important role in the fight of the freedom for South Africa. He was based in Kwazulu Natal Province which is very close to Lesotho. Few Indians who were sent to South Africa as slaves over the years moved to Lesotho. They were very popular because of their trade. This trade was affected by the presence of Chinese in Africa however Indians continue to be part of us as some of them were born and grew up in Africa. Our relationship is that of brothers and sisters. You will also be aware that my predecessor is of Indian origin which suggests that they are part of us.

Please outline for us the presence of Lesotho’s companies in India, and Indian companies in Lesotho…

We have a lot of pharmaceutical companies doing trade in Lesotho, there are about 10 of them. There are few other companies in other sectors such as energy and IT to name but a few. This is not good at all and we need to improve on this.