News / Africa

Libya Sees Growth of Civil Society Groups, NGO’s

Women gather at Tripoli's main square during a protest against the presence of weapons in the city, Libya, (file photo).
Women gather at Tripoli's main square during a protest against the presence of weapons in the city, Libya, (file photo).

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Sami Zaptia, a Libyan economist

Peter Clottey

A Libyan economist Sami Zaptia is expressing satisfaction with the growth of civil society groups, which he says are educating citizens about their rights and responsibilities in a democracy.

Zaptia says the groups, including non-governmental organizations, have been organizing nationwide forums and seminars to empower Libyans as they prepare for elections for a new government next year.

The anticipated vote is scheduled to establish a committee to draft a constitution.

Analysts say there has been an upsurge of radio, television and newspapers publications following the overthrow and death of long-time leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Zaptia says Libyans are breathing a breath of fresh air and are increasingly becoming aware of the need to respect people’s rights.

“[They] are learning very fast and very quickly. Libyans have suddenly known how to demonstrate, because there is demonstration every other day in front of one or another government building. They are being allowed to strike,” said Zaptia. “Libyans really are learning this new so-called social contract and there is completely new relationship at play now.”

He says public education campaigns about democracy are teaching potential voters that leaders should be accountable to them, a concept that he says was not recognized during Gadhafi’s four-decade-year rule.

Zaptia also says for others, change has been difficult.

“Some Libyans are finding this bewildering; it’s all new to them as you can imagine. Many Libyans born after 1969 when Mr. Gadhafi came to power have never known anything but a one state one party one man’s rule,” continues Zaptia. “So all this sudden plethora of options and variety and plurality, they are finding confusing.”

Zaptia also says there has been a sharp increase in the participation of women during Libya’s transition.

“Let it be clear that the whole world knows the women of Libya are taking the full lion’s share of these activities. Day after day, I receive an invitation to attend one of the activities of women’s movements, [which are taking place] all over Libya,” said Zaptia. “They are full participants now in a new Libyan democracy and freedom and explaining the complexities of the new interim constitution.”

Meanwhile, Russia has renewed calls for NATO to investigate possible civilian deaths during its campaign of airstrikes in the North African country this year. Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said he will bring the issue to the Security Council on Thursday when it is set to discuss Libya.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid