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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8143
JPY
USD
119.23
GBP
USD
0.6390
CAD
USD
1.1596
INR
USD
63.304

Rates may not be current.