News / Economy

    Libya Faces Economic Challenges in Post-Gadhafi Era

    Libyans waits outside a branch of the North Africa Bank to get 250 Libyan dinars ($200) at the Souk al-Djoumaa district in Tripoli, Libya, August 2011. (file photo)
    Libyans waits outside a branch of the North Africa Bank to get 250 Libyan dinars ($200) at the Souk al-Djoumaa district in Tripoli, Libya, August 2011. (file photo)

    Moammar Gadhafi is dead, but Libyans still face many difficulties now that their long time leader is gone, including how to repair a battered economy.

    Before the uprisings, Libya produced roughly 1.6 million barrels of light, sweet crude oil per day. Today, the country's oil production is barely one fourth of that.

    And yet, despite the country's historic dependence on oil exports, Middle East expert Anthony Cordesman said oil is not the key to Libya's future.

    "There's a debate over how long it will take to bring its existing production on line, whether it can go back to what it was producing before this started; in a matter of months? A year? A year and a half? But no matter what happens, that doesn't bring national wealth," said Cordesman. "It has to create an economic structure that has many other ways of providing money, or its people are not going to have the stability, the careers, the income they want."

    With nearly one in three Libyans out of work and a poverty rate above 30 percent, Cordesman said what the country needs most is cash.  Cordesman said some of that will come from unlocking billions of dollars Gadhafi stashed away during his 42-year reign.

    "At this point in time, Libya can draw on the fact that Gadhafi built up a vast amount of international reserves. Many of them are not liquid. It does not have the capability or the governance to spend the money quickly and wisely, and that amount of money will go very quickly if it's wasted simply on empty jobs and big projects that don't produce any real development," he said.

    The U.S. government has promised about $40 million to help Libya secure and destroy its dangerous weapons stockpiles. But aside from playing a guiding role in Libya's transition to democracy, Cordesman said there's little the U.S. can or should do in Libya.

    "We need to be very careful to help the Libyans help themselves as much as we can. We don't want instability in North Africa, we don't want an oil power to be permanently tied up in internal conflict, we don't want Islamic extremism to take over, but we really have to be honest about our own capabilities and particularly our own politics now."

    Officials from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund say they are working to help Libya assess its battered economy and improve its public finances. The IMF announced recognition last month for Libya's transitional government, paving the way for future financial assistance.

     

    You May Like

    Beijing Warns Critics Over South China Sea Dispute

    Official warns critics that the more they challenge China's position regarding disputed territories in one of world’s busiest waterways, the more it will push back

    Will New Russian Force Be 'Putin’s Personal Army'?

    With broad powers to control riots, suppress dissent, National Guard may be aimed at sending a message to West as much as keeping peace at home

    Foreign Media in Pyongyang Barred From North Korean Party Congress

    Hundreds of international journalists invited to cover historic party meeting barred from entering actual event

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020i
    X
    Ramon Taylor
    May 05, 2016 10:05 PM
    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020

    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Child Labor in Afghanistan Remains a Problem

    With war still raging in Afghanistan, the country also faces the problem of child labor as families put their school-age children to work to help make ends meet. But, thanks to VOA's Afghan Service, two families whose children had been working in a brick-making factory - to earn their livings and pay off family debts - now have a new lease on life. Zabihullah Ghazi reports.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.8742
    JPY
    USD
    107.09
    GBP
    USD
    0.6893
    CAD
    USD
    1.2820
    INR
    USD
    66.504

    Rates may not be current.