Lesotho, a mountain kingdom in southern Africa, is known for its hard-working population and challenging geography. Although it is not a wealthy country, the government has worked steadily to develop its own solutions to resource constraints and the increased demand by its citizens for infrastructure and services. One of the government’s guiding principles is to harness private sector capital and expertise to meet its national strategic goals.

Because Lesotho’s people had especially pressing needs in the health sector, the government and IFC’s Advisory Services in Public-Private Partnerships started working together in 2006. The government was committed to providing virtually universal health coverage to all citizens. Together, government officials and IFC worked together to design a public-private partnership (PPP) that would replace the aging national hospital and feeder clinics with a new health network in the capital city, Maseru.

In 2010, a network of three refurbished and expanded clinics opened and provided hundreds of thousands of patients with advanced services in the first year of operations. In 2011, the state-of-the-art Queen Mamohato Memorial Hospital opened and the full health network became operational.

But this was just the beginning of Lesotho’s successful experience with PPPs, as the hospital partnership evolved to serve as a model for others. Lesotho’s officials have continued to design health PPPs, completing a second PPP for healthcare waste management. PPP projects are also underway in facilities management and information technology for clinics, as well as a variant, results-based financing, for primary care in rural areas.

Significantly, PPP principles are being applied to many sectors, with additional projects in preparation for wind energy and tourism. Lesotho’s government has continued its work with the World Bank Group to expand capac­ity building for contract management and to complete the National PPP Framework, with plans underway for the full legal and regulatory framework for PPPs in 2014.

Lesotho’s government and the World Bank Group are working together in a variety of sectors, such as:

  • health
  • tourism
  • power
  • legislative/regulatory

A PPP health network

Learn more about the results from Lesotho’s health sector PPP experience in this video.

To better provide more effective public services… governments everywhere are increasingly turning to some form of public-private partnership.