Africa :: Libya

Introduction ::Libya

    The Italians supplanted the Ottoman Turks in the area around Tripoli in 1911 and did not relinquish their hold until 1943 when defeated in World War II. Libya then passed to UN administration and achieved independence in 1951. Following a 1969 military coup, Col. Muammar al-QADHAFI assumed leadership and began to espouse his political system at home, which was a combination of socialism and Islam. During the 1970s, QADHAFI used oil revenues to promote his ideology outside Libya, supporting subversive and terrorist activities that included the downing of two airliners - one over Scotland, another in Northern Africa - and a discotheque bombing in Berlin. UN sanctions in 1992 isolated QADHAFI politically and economically following the attacks; sanctions were lifted in 2003 following Libyan acceptance of responsibility for the bombings and agreement to claimant compensation. QADHAFI also agreed to end Libya's program to develop weapons of mass destruction, and he made significant strides in normalizing relations with Western nations. Unrest that began in several Middle Eastern and North African countries in late 2010 erupted in Libyan cities in early 2011. QADHAFI's brutal crackdown on protesters spawned a civil war that triggered UN authorization of air and naval intervention by the international community. After months of seesaw fighting between government and opposition forces, the QADHAFI regime was toppled in mid-2011 and replaced by a transitional government. Libya in 2012 formed a new parliament and elected a new prime minister.

Geography ::Libya

People and Society ::Libya

Government ::Libya

    conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Libya
    local long form: none
    local short form: Libiya
    operates under a transitional government
    name: Tripoli (Tarabulus)
    geographic coordinates: 32 53 N, 13 10 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Friday in March; ends last Friday in October
    note: on 10 November 2012, Libya changed its standard time from UTC+2 to UTC+1
    22 districts (shabiyat, singular - shabiyat); Al Butnan, Al Jabal al Akhdar, Al Jabal al Gharbi, Al Jafarah, Al Jufrah, Al Kufrah, Al Marj, Al Marqab, Al Wahat, An Nuqat al Khams, Az Zawiyah, Banghazi, Darnah, Ghat, Misratah, Murzuq, Nalut, Sabha, Surt, Tarabulus, Wadi al Hayat, Wadi ash Shati
    24 December 1951 (from UN trusteeship)
    Liberation Day, 23 October (2011)
    none; note - Libya has yet to draft a new constitution
    Libya's post-revolution legal system is in flux and driven by state and non-state entities
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    18 years of age, universal
    chief of state: President, General National Congress Nuri Abu SAHMAYN
    head of government: Prime Minister Ali ZAYDAN (since 14 October 2012); Deputy Prime Ministers Awad Ibrik Ibrahim al-BARASI, Al-Sadiq Abd al-Karim Abd al-Rahman KARIM, Abd-al-Salam Muhammad al-Mahdi al-QADI
    cabinet: new cabinet approved by the National Congress on 31 October 2012
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: prime minister and National Congress president elected by the National Congress
    election results: NA
    unicameral General National Congress (200 seats; 120 individual seats elected from 69 constituencies and 80 party list seats elected from 20 constituencies; member term NA)
    elections: first General National Congress election held on 7 July 2012 (next to be held NA)
    election results: percent of vote for party list seats only - NFA 48.7%, JCP 21.3%, other parties 30%; list and constituent seats - NFA 39, JCP 17, other 24, independents 120
    highest court(s): NA; note - government in transition
    Al-Watan (Homeland) Party
    Justice and Construction Party or JCP [Muhammad SAWAN]
    National Front (initially the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, formed in 1981 as a diaspora opposition group)
    National Forces Alliance or NFA [Mahmoud JIBRIL] (includes many political organizations, NGOs, and independents)
    Union for the Homeland [Abd al-Rahman al-SUWAYHILI]
    note: list includes some of the larger political parties and leaders
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Suleiman ABULHI
    chancery: 2600 Virginia Avenue NW, Suite 705, Washington, DC 20037
    telephone: [1] (202) 944-9601
    FAX: [1] (202) 944-9606
    chief of mission: Ambassador Deborah K. JONES
    note: on 11 September 2012, US Ambassador Christopher STEVENS and three other American diplomats were killed in an attack by heavily armed militants on a US diplomatic post in the eastern city of Benghazi
    embassy: Sidi Slim Area/Walie Al-Ahed Road, Tripoli
    mailing address: US Embassy, 8850 Tripoli Place, Washington, DC 20521-8850
    telephone: [218] (0) 91-220-3239
    three horizontal bands of red (top), black (double width), and green with a white crescent and star centered on the black stripe; the National Transitional Council reintroduced this flag design of the former Kingdom of Libya (1951-1969) on 27 February 2011; it replaced the former all-green banner promulgated by the QADHAFI regime in 1977; the colors represent the three major regions of the country: red stands for Fezzan, black symbolizes Cyrenaica, and green denotes Tripolitania; the crescent and star represent Islam, the main religion of the country
    star and crescent; hawk
    name: "Allahu Akbar" (God Is Greatest)
    lyrics/music: Mahmoud el-SHERIF/Abdalla Shams el-DIN
    note: adopted 1969; the anthem was originally a battle song for the Egyptian Army in the 1956 Suez War

Economy ::Libya

    Libya's economy is structured primarily around the nation's energy sector, which generates about 95% of export earnings, 80% of GDP, and 99% of government income. Substantial revenue from the energy sector coupled with a small population give Libya one of the highest per capita GDPs in Africa, but Tripoli largely has not used its significant financial resources to develop national infrastructure or the economy, leaving many citizens poor. In the final five years of QADHAFI''s rule, Libya made some progress on economic reform as part of a broader campaign to reintegrate the country into the international fold. This effort picked up steam after UN sanctions were lifted in September 2003 and after Libya announced in December 2003 that it would abandon programs to build weapons of mass destruction. The process of lifting US unilateral sanctions began in the spring of 2004; all sanctions were removed by June 2006, helping Libya attract greater foreign direct investment, especially in the energy and banking sectors. Libyan oil and gas licensing rounds drew high international interest, but new rounds are unlikely to be successful until Libya establishes a more permanent government and is able to offer more attractive financial terms on contracts and increase security. Libya faces a long road ahead in liberalizing its primarily socialist economy, but the revolution has unleashed previously restrained entrepreneurial activity and increased the potential for the evolution of a more market-based economy. The service and construction sectors, which account for roughly 60% of GDP, expanded over the past five years and could become a larger share of GDP if Tripoli prioritizes capital spending on development projects once political and security uncertainty subside. Climatic conditions and poor soils severely limit agricultural output, and Libya imports about 80% of its food. Libya''s primary agricultural water source is the Great Manmade River Project.
    $78.63 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    $38.45 billion (2011 est.)
    $101.4 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $81.92 billion (2012 est.)
    104.5% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    -62.1% (2011 est.)
    5% (2010 est.)
    $12,300 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    $6,100 (2011 est.)
    $15,900 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    40.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    8.2% of GDP (2011 est.)
    33.9% of GDP (2010 est.)
    household consumption: 42.9%
    government consumption: 14.2%
    investment in fixed capital: 4.7%
    investment in inventories: 0.4%
    exports of goods and services: 60.7%
    imports of goods and services: -23%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 1.6%
    industry: 43.5%
    services: 54.9% (2012 est.)
    wheat, barley, olives, dates, citrus, vegetables, peanuts, soybeans; cattle
    petroleum, petrochemicals, aluminum, iron and steel, food processing, textiles, handicrafts, cement
    117% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    1.875 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    agriculture: 17%
    industry: 23%
    services: 59% (2004 est.)
    30% (2004 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    note: about one-third of Libyans live at or below the national poverty line
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    revenues: $57.58 billion
    expenditures: $35.07 billion (2012 est.)
    70.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 3
    27.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    3.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    10.2% of GDP (2011 est.)
    calendar year
    6.1% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    15.9% (2011 est.)
    9.52% (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    3% (31 December 2009 est.)
    6% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    6% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $45.07 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    $40.88 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $42.39 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    $44.76 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $47.11 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    $38.71 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $33.32 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    $4.002 billion (2011 est.)
    $52.12 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    $15.03 billion (2011 est.)
    crude oil, refined petroleum products, natural gas, chemicals
    Italy 23.5%, Germany 12.5%, China 11.3%, France 9.7%, Spain 7.6%, UK 4.7%, US 4.5% (2012)
    $18.1 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    $11.17 billion (2011 est.)
    machinery, semi-finished goods, food, transport equipment, consumer products
    China 13.7%, Turkey 12.3%, Italy 8.7%, Tunisia 7.3%, South Korea 6.2%, Greece 5.4%, Germany 4.9% (2012)
    $117.2 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    $105 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $5.278 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    $4.882 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $16.72 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    $16.43 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $17.17 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    $16.89 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    Libyan dinars (LYD) per US dollar -
    1.262 (2012 est.)
    1.2242 (2011 est.)
    1.2668 (2010 est.)
    1.2535 (2009)
    1.2112 (2008)

Energy ::Libya

Communications ::Libya

    1 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    10 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    general assessment: telecommunications system is state-owned and service is poor, but investment is being made to upgrade; state retains monopoly in fixed-line services; mobile-cellular telephone system became operational in 1996
    domestic: multiple providers for a mobile telephone system that is growing rapidly; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity has soared
    international: country code - 218; satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat, NA Arabsat, and NA Intersputnik; submarine cable to France and Italy; microwave radio relay to Tunisia and Egypt; tropospheric scatter to Greece; participant in Medarabtel (2010)
    state-funded and private TV stations; some provinces operate local TV stations; pan-Arab satellite TV stations are available; state-funded radio (2012)
    17,926 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    353,900 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 124

Transportation ::Libya

    146 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    total: 68
    over 3,047 m: 23
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 30
    914 to 1,523 m: 7
    under 914 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 78
    over 3,047 m: 2
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
    914 to 1,523 m: 37
    under 914 m:
    20 (2013)
    2 (2013)
    condensate 882 km; gas 3,743 km; oil 7,005 km (2013)
    total: 100,024 km
    country comparison to the world: 43
    paved: 57,214 km
    unpaved: 42,810 km (2003)
    total: 23
    country comparison to the world: 91
    by type: cargo 2, chemical tanker 4, liquefied gas 3, petroleum tanker 13, roll on/roll off 1
    foreign-owned: 2 (Kuwait 1, Norway 1)
    registered in other countries: 6 (Hong Kong 1, Malta 5) (2010)
    Az Zawiyah, Marsa al Burayqah (Marsa el Brega), Ra's Lanuf, Tripoli

Military ::Libya

Transnational Issues ::Libya

    dormant disputes include Libyan claims of about 32,000 sq km still reflected on its maps of southeastern Algeria and the FLN's assertions of a claim to Chirac Pastures in southeastern Morocco; various Chadian rebels from the Aozou region reside in southern Libya
    IDPs: 74,000 (conflict between pro-Qadhafi and anti-Qadhafi forces; figure does not include displaced third-country nationals) (2012)
    current situation: Libya is a destination and transit country for men and women from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution; migrants who seek employment in Libya as laborers and domestic workers or transit Libya en route to Europe may be subject to forced labor; private employers also recruit migrants from detention centers as forced laborers on farms and construction sites; some sub-Saharan women are reportedly forced to work in Libyan brothels
    tier rating: Tier 3 - the Libyan Government does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government has failed to demonstrate significant efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenders or to protect trafficking victims; policies and practices with respect to undocumented migrant workers has resulted in Libyan authorities detaining and punishing trafficking victims for unlawful acts that were committed as a result of being trafficked; no public anti-trafficking awareness campaigns are conducted; officials receive no training on trafficking issues (2013)