Document Type

SAMP Special Reports

Publication Date



Balsillie School of International Affairs


This study explored policies and programmes aimed at facilitating remittances inflows through formal channels and leveraging remittances for development in Lesotho. The study also looked into regulations and laws on remittances. In order to answer key questions of this study, semi‐structured questionnaires were administered to 29 institutions, including commercial banks, an asset manager, insurance companies, telecommunication companies, government ministries, parastatals, a research institution, a retailer, a savings and credit cooperative and non-governmental organizations. The gaps revealed by this study can be summarised as: the Deferred Pay Act is the only policy driving officially recorded remittance inflows to Lesotho and which facilitated the creation of remittances‐linked savings product by the banking sector; there are restrictions on remittance outflows for immigrants working in the country, though planned to be eliminated; most of remittances transfer products offered by various institutions suit regular income earners with bank accounts, the adoption of mobile‐phone based transfers adoption is low and the mobile‐phone based transfer products cannot be used to make international transfers; there is lack of adoption of remittances‐linked financial products by financial intermediaries and relevant government ministries; the benefits packaged with the remittances‐ linked savings accounts are less attractive; and most of the remittances services providers are concentrated in urban centres. These findings show there is a need to develop policies and programmes for harnessing remittances for development. This study concluded by suggesting policy options for facilitating remittances inflows through regular channels and promoting positive impact of remittances on development.


© 2012 ACP Observatory on Migration. Reprinted with permission.