Other Infrastructure Study

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    Navigating Beyond COVID-19: Airline Recovery and Regulatory Reform Opportunities in Southern Africa
    (Washington, DC, 2022-09) World Bank
    This policy paper explores airline restructuring and regulatory reform challenges and opportunities in the Southern African region with particular focus on Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, the air transport sector in the region faced multipronged challenges, including those related to economic regulation, profitability, safety, security, and sustainable financing of critical infrastructure. Much like the rest of Africa, the region is characterized by the dominance of troubled state-owned airlines which have been unable to generate meaningful positive returns for many years due to structural inefficiencies and weak governance. They faced elevated costs and needed several bailouts and turnaround strategies, albeit unsuccessful.
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    Lesotho Digital Economy Diagnostic
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-02) World Bank
    Lesotho is a landlocked country with a population of about 2.0 million people. Lesotho’s private sector makes limited use of digital technologies. In the private sector, digital technology can change the way economies of scale are achieved, particularly through e-commerce and digital payments. The digital economy may provide the better matching of buyers and sellers in a competitive marketplace. The digital economy offers potential for enhanced service delivery in the public sector, but the Lesotho government’s efforts in this field appear fragmented and slow moving. Improved digital infrastructure can only achieve the desired transformational impact if combined with a capable public sector, investments in digital skills and literacy, increased access to digital financial services, and ramped up support for digital start-ups and existing businesses. A holistic view to developing the digital economy is required. This report will provide a diagnostic and offer recommendations on the five foundations of the digital economy in Lesotho. The report will examine, in turn, challenges concerning the policy and legal environment, digital infrastructure, public digital platforms, private digital platforms, digital financial services, digital entrepreneurship, and digital skills. This report reviews how the digital divide affects the foundations of the digital economy and provides policy options for bridging the digital divide.