WASHINGTON, May 18, 2023 – Libya, an oil-rich country strategically situated at the crossroads of Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, possesses abundant yet unrealized potential. The conflict in Libya has not only resulted in a significant loss of development gains for its citizens, it also has directly affected the well-being of neighboring countries, the Sahel region, and Europe. After an inconclusive transitional phase, Libya remains trapped in a political deadlock. The institutional legacy of the nation's complex history, combined with a decade of instability, has led to development indicators and institutional capacity that are not aligned with Libya's middle-income status.
Reconciliation and political stability are essential for Libya's sustainable socio-economic future. Economic discussions can serve as a valuable complement to the political process, aiding Libya's progress toward peace and a political settlement over time. Assisting Libya on its journey to peace, development, and reconstruction has positive spillover effects and can create significant economic opportunities within the regional cooperation framework.
Launched today, The Long Road to Inclusive Institutions in Libya – a Sourcebook of Challenges and Needs demonstrates how knowledge from various institutions and actors can contribute to a medium to long-term perspective in support of Libya's transition. Co-edited by Hend Irhiam, Michael Schaeffer and Kanae Watanabe, the book's twenty-one chapters utilize domestic and international experiences to outline Libya's medium to long-term socio-economic challenges across sectors and issues, drawing on available but limited data and analyses collected in recent years.
The sourcebook combines analytical work developed over the past several years by the World Bank and its partner organizations in Libya. By employing various analytical methods, such as phone surveys and nighttime data, the authors offer a distinctive contribution to the discourse on Libya's medium- to long-term challenges. The book encompasses areas where the World Bank and its partner organizations have been involved in recent years.
The sourcebook aims to supply information and insights for broader discussions on Libya, catering to the government, civil society, and academia, and is structured into five sections: State Institutions: From Legacy to Reform, Monitoring the Economy during Conflict, The Impact of Conflict on People, Services during Conflict, and Toward New Institutions.
"Strong institutions that serve the people are a critical aspect of helping Libya build a more robust and resilient economy," said Ferid Belhaj, World Bank Vice President for Middle East and North Africa. “Developing a shared medium- to long-term vision for a politically, economically, and socially inclusive nation is vital to Libya's sustainable future,” he added.
This sourcebook contributes to this goal, serving as a small steppingstone to help Libya advance towards realizing its full potential.