Bilateral relations

Historically, Lesotho has had a special relationship with France due to the presence of French Protestant missionaries since 1820. In 1868, these missionaries advised King Moshoeshoe, whose kingdom was threatened by the expansion by the Boers, to call on Great Britain to place it under its protection, thus sparing Lesotho from apartheid.

Political relations with France, however, remain underdeveloped. King Moshoeshoe II travelled to France in November 1995. The Alliance française in Maseru houses the honorary French and German consulates. Lesotho has no embassy in Paris (Ambassador-in-residence in Berlin). On 11 September 2007, the Minister of State for Cooperation and Francophonie, Jean-Marie Bockel, made the first official visit to Lesotho of a member of the French Government since the country’s independence.

French cooperation with Lesotho, which comes under our Embassy in South Africa, is based on linguistic and cultural cooperation and the fight against crime. France is providing broader help to Lesotho via multilateral assistance, including the 11th European Development Fund (€142 million granted to Lesotho for 2014-2020, to which France is contributing 17.81%), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which is providing $93.2 million to Lesotho between 2014 and 2016, to which France is contributing $11 million, and UNITAID.

Updated: 9 March 2017