28 January 2013
Will the Algeria attack delay exploration in Libya?
The recent attack on the Ain Amenas gas complex in south-east Algeria, which killed some 37 foreign workers, has raised the question of whether oil and gas exploration in neighbouring Libya may be affected.
The Ain Amenas plant is partly owned and operated by BP, which also has rights over two concessions in Libya - one offshore block in the Gulf of Sirte, and another onshore area in the Ghadames basin of western Libya, not far
10 January 2013
The State of Libya
The General National Congress (GNC) yesterday voted to rename Libya as the 'State of Libya', meaning it officially ceases to have the longest name of any country in the world.
Prior to the 2011 revolution, Libya was officially called the Great Socialist People's Arab Libyan Jamahiriya (or GSPLAJ for short). The title was adopted in March 1977 with Gaddafi's declaration of the 'state of the masses'.
The new name, which was approved unanimously by the national assembly,
07 January 2013
Five trends to watch in 2013
A brief look at five factors that will shape the Libyan business environment in 2013:
Security and safety
While the situation on the ground is arguably better than portrayed, and varies widely from place to place, worries over everyday security and crime levels discourage consumer spending and investment by private companies. Major pieces of bad news - like the death of the US ambassador in September last year - also harm Libya's image more generally, and can
20 December 2012
Afriqiyah gets a makeover
State-owned Afriqiyah Airways has unveiled its new branding, replacing its old 9.9.99 logo with a simple blue and black design.
The design was unveiled at an event at the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli on 19 December. Afriqiyah's former logo carried the date of the Sirte Declaration, signed by African heads of state on 9.9.99, which led to the creation of the African Union.
Prior to 2011 the airline flew to a large number of destinations in west
18 November 2012
All change in government
Libya’s unelected interim government, in place since late 2011, finally stepped aside last week as the new cabinet led by prime minister Ali Zeidan moves into power.
The formation of a new government took longer than expected, with the first elected prime minister, Mustafa Abu Shagour, twice failing to have his cabinet proposals approved by the General National Congress (GNC) before being removed in a vote of no-confidence.
Zeidan, a former lawyer, then won another run-off to
22 October 2012
Decentralisation and its discontents
The potential role and responsibilities of a new Benghazi office for Libya's energy authorities, the Ministry of Oil and Gas and the National Oil Corporation (NOC), has generated strong reactions in recent weeks.
The ministry had officially announced the opening of its Benghazi branch in June, but this month appeared to run into trouble when a group of NOC employees in Tripoli protested about the powers being granted to the new office. In a statement posted
15 October 2012
Cabinet formation, Round Two
Libya's new prime minister, Ali Zeidan, has two weeks to name his cabinet and submit it for approval by the national assembly.
Zeidan, a former diplomat and lawyer, secured only a narrow victory in yesterday's run-off in the General National Congress (GNC). He defeated local government minister Mohamed al-Harari by 93 votes to 85, suggesting that he does not enjoy overwhelming support within the assembly and that forming a cabinet that appeases all political and regional
08 October 2012
Government void risks further delays
The rejection of two cabinets proposed by Mustafa Abu Shagour augurs poorly for any quick progress on major economic initiatives or infrastructure projects.
Yesterday's no-confidence vote in the General National Congress (GNC) saw Abu Shagour removed as prime minister less than three weeks after the same assembly elected him through a run-off poll against Mahmoud Jibril.
Abu Shagour's first cabinet, put forward on 4 October, encountered hostile opposition from assembly members and prompted a protest by demonstrators
30 September 2012
X marks the spot
What happened to more than 27 tonnes of gold that allegedly disappeared when the Gaddafi regime fell last year?
A report in Lebanon’s Ad-Diar newspaper claims to quote Abdullah Senussi, the former head of intelligence under Muammar Gaddafi, as saying that “huge quantities” of the precious metal are buried in a secret location in the Libyan desert.
It asserts that Senussi, who was extradited from Mauritania to Libya in early September and is currently being held in
03 September 2012
Libya’s selective economic recovery
This article also appeared in the October edition of the Middle East Association's "Opportunity Middle East" magazine
It has now been almost a year since the end of the conflict in Libya, and the country’s economy remains in a state of flux. Against the backdrop of a thorny political transition and a volatile security situation, the business environment has so far thrown up a rather mixed bag of opportunities for both local and foreign companies.
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