The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programme of the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) is implemented in terms of the powers conferred upon the Board of Directors of the Bank under Section 8 of the CBL Act No.2 of 2000. In pursuit of this initiative, the Bank has developed and subsequently implemented a framework within which all its CSR activities would be implemented in the form of a CSR Policy.
The Policy particularly provides guidelines within which the Bank may extend a helping hand by means of donations and sponsorships to various qualifying social groups, organizations, and communities in line with the priority areas under it. In other words, the Policy has identified areas in which the Bank may have the greatest impact on beneficiaries thus contributing to the improvement of the lives of the poor, marginalized, vulnerable groups and communities. Furthermore, it grants the Bank with an opportunity to sponsor some of the activities undertaken by its strategic partners; all part of its drive to promote the corporate brand image and reputation. Among others, the CSR activities of the Bank are implemented as follows:
a) Philanthropic Monetary and Non-Monetary Support
This type of relationship is based upon responses to non-profit requests for donations with simple “check-writing,” rather than a deeper interaction with charitable organizations as communication between the Bank and non-profit making organizations is usually infrequent with low engagement. The basis for this implementation technique is to promote the image of the Bank in a way that stakeholders can perceive it as a compassionate and responsible institution.
b) Sponsorship Awards to Best Performing Students
Universities and colleges play a critical role in addressing today’s global challenges by preparing tomorrow’s workforce and supporting research. The Bank has a history of pioneering advances in collaboration with tertiary institutions and supporting programs that drive academic excellence across the following five national institutions of higher learning through recognition awards: National University of Lesotho (NUL); Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT); Lerotholi Polytechnic; Center for Accounting Studies; and Lesotho Institute of Public Administration and Management (LIPAM).
c) Support to Schools
While granting donations and sponsorships, the Bank usually identifies CSR priorities that are most relevant to its business and where it can make the greatest impact. One of the ways in which the Bank has and continues to make a difference is through its work with schools. The small infrastructural facilities that we have supported over the past four (4) years from classrooms, libraries, laboratories, toilets, water tanks; as well as installations of electricity and internet to the provision of desks, computers and books has and will continue to change the lives of thousands of pupils. This means, our commitment to education and economic empowerment has and continue to help young people to confront the big domestic, regional, continental and global challenges that face out country, and develop solutions that can contribute to the successful process of transforming the economy of Lesotho.
All in all, the Bank focuses mainly on areas where investments affect the lives of the poor, marginalized and vulnerable people in Lesotho while creating both short and long-term partnerships with beneficiaries.