Careers, Jobs and Education Resources for: Libya


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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 Abu Minyar al-QADHAFI began to espouse his own political system, the Third Universal Theory. The system is a combination of socialism and Islam derived in part from tribal practices and is supposed to be implemented by the Libyan people themselves in a unique form of "direct democracy." QADHAFI has always seen himself as a revolutionary and visionary leader. He used oil funds during the 1970s and 1980s to promote his ideology outside Libya, supporting subversives and terrorists abroad to hasten the end of Marxism and capitalism. In addition, beginning in 1973, he engaged in military operations in northern Chad's Aozou Strip - to gain access to minerals and to use as a base of influence in Chadian politics - but was forced to retreat in 1987. UN sanctions in 1992 isolated QADHAFI politically following the downing of Pan AM Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. During the 1990s, QADHAFI began to rebuild his relationships with Europe. UN sanctions were suspended in April 1999 and finally lifted in September 2003 after Libya accepted responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing. In December 2003, Libya announced that it had agreed to reveal and end its programs to develop weapons of mass destruction and to renounce terrorism. QADHAFI has made significant strides in normalizing relations with Western nations since then. He has received various Western European leaders as well as many working-level and commercial delegations, and made his first trip to Western Europe in 15 years when he traveled to Brussels in April 2004. Libya has responded in good faith to legal cases brought against it in US courts for terrorist acts that predate its renunciation of violence. Claims for compensation in the Lockerbie bombing, LaBelle disco bombing, and UTA 772 bombing cases are ongoing. The US rescinded Libya's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism in June 2006. In late 2007, Libya was elected by the General Assembly to a nonpermanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2008-09 term. (from the CIA)
 
 

 

Economic Overview

The libyan economy depends primarily upon revenues from the oil sector, which contribute about 95% of export earnings, about one-quarter of gdp, and 60% of public sector wages. substantial revenues from the energy sector coupled with a small population give libya one of the highest per capita gdps in africa, but little of this income flows down to the lower orders of society. libyan officials in the past five years have made progress on economic reforms 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 as libya announced in december 2003 that it would abandon programs to build weapons of mass destruction. almost all us unilateral sanctions against libya were removed in april 2004, helping libya attract more foreign direct investment, mostly in the energy sector. libyan oil and gas licensing rounds continue to draw high international interest; the national oil company set a goal of nearly doubling oil production to 3 million bbl/day by 2015. libya faces a long road ahead in liberalizing the socialist-oriented economy, but initial steps - including applying for wto membership, reducing some subsidies, and announcing plans for privatization - are laying the groundwork for a transition to a more market-based economy. the non-oil manufacturing and construction sectors, which account for more than 20% of gdp, have expanded from processing mostly agricultural products to include the production of petrochemicals, iron, steel, and aluminum. climatic conditions and poor soils severely limit agricultural output, and libya imports about 75% of its food. libya's primary agricultural water source remains the great manmade river project, but significant resources are being invested in desalinization research to meet growing water demands.

Environmental Issues

Desertification; limited natural fresh water resources; the great manmade river project, the largest water development scheme in the world, is being built to bring water from large aquifers under the sahara to coastal cities

Government Type

Jamahiriya (a state of the masses) in theory, governed by the populace through local councils; in practice, an authoritarian state

Population

6,173,579 note: includes 166,510 non-nationals (july 2008 est.)

Location

Northern africa, bordering the mediterranean sea, between egypt and tunisia

Area

Total: 1,759,540 sq km land: 1,759,540 sq km water: 0 sq km

Slightly larger than alaska

Country Aliases

Conventional long form: great socialist people's libyan arab jamahiriya conventional short form: libya local long form: al jumahiriyah al arabiyah al libiyah ash shabiyah al ishtirakiyah al uzma local short form: none

Capital

Name: tripoli geographic coordinates: 32 53 n, 13 10 e time difference: utc+2 (7 hours ahead of washington, dc during standard time)

Military Service

17 years of age (2004)

International Disputes

Libya has claimed more than 32,000 sq km in southeastern algeria and about 25,000 sq km in the tommo region of niger in a currently dormant dispute; various chadian rebels from the aozou region reside in southern libya

Sources: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

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