France and Lesotho

Bilateral relations

Historically, Lesotho has had a special relationship with France due to the presence of French Protestant missionaries from 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 limited. The Alliance française in Maseru houses the French and German honorary 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 by a member of the French Government since the country’s independence.

French cooperation with Lesotho, which is served by our Embassy in South Africa, focuses on linguistic and cultural cooperation and the fight against crime. France provides broader aid 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: 21 June 2017