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Perched on the Caledon River on the Lesotho-South Africa border, Maseru is the capital of Lesotho, a landlocked country totally wrapped around by South Africa. A border post at the Maseru Bridge, which crosses the Mohokare River, connects the 2 countries. It's snuggled into a shallow valley at the foot of the Hlabeng-Sa-Likhama foothills of the Maloti Mountains. Originally established as a police camp, it wasn't until the country became a British protectorate in 1869 that it became the capital city until 1871 when it was transferred to the Cape Colony. In 1966 when Lesotho gained its independence, Maseru regained its title as "capital". The city enjoys a subtropical highland climate of warm and rainy summers with cool to cold dry winters. There are about 330,760 residents in Maseru with a large number of female entrepreneurs involved in the "Lionesses of Africa" community group supporting and inspiring other inventive souls at networking events and in coworking venues.
Maseru's commercial hub is concentrated in 2 neighboring business districts with the western business district swamped in large office buildings, department stores and quite a few banks, whilst the eastern business district has a plethora of small businesses, markets and street vendors. Its economy is rapidly growing especially in terms of foreign investment and tourism since it gained independence from Britain. Some colonial buildings can be found in the city's heart, but most of its traditional thatched-roof mud-brick houses "rondavels" have been replaced with modern housing. The nation's iconic symbol is the conical mountain of Qiloane that gave birth to the cone-shaped "Basotho" hat.
Home to the fastest growing network of women entrepreneurs on the African continent, "Lionesses of Africa"; it has more than 730,000 women in its community that covers 54 African countries. Its founder and CEO, Melanie Hawken, speaks at numerous events about the ways that Lesotho's women can access support resources, tools and platforms through the association that include newsletters, digital magazines, podcasts, mentoring programs and the list goes on. Coworking venues opening up in the streets of Maseru are giving not just the females somewhere to hang out, but the innovative males as well.
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