By Nada Badawi
Libya’s upcoming investment projects will help sustain the country’s double-digit growth in 2013, said Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Awad El-Barasi at the launch of Libya Projects 2013.
El-Barasi cited figures from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which forecast Libya’s economic growth to be 16.5% in 2013.
Libya’s plans to invest $314m on building stadiums this year to prepare to host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations international football competition have resulted in a massive budget of LYD 400m for the construction of infrastructure for the event, he said.
“Just like Nelson Mandela unified South Africa, we hope to unify Libya under this cup,” he told Reuters last Thursday, referring to the Africa Cup of Nations held in South Africa in 1996, the country’s first major sporting event after the fall of apartheid.
El-Barasi awarded efforts made by key industries in Libya such as infrastructure, oil and gas, petrochemicals and government entities like the General Electricity Company of Libya, the Housing and Infrastructure Board, and the National Oil Corporation.
“Stability and economic diversification are high on the government’s agenda and we are laying the groundwork for this initiative to move forward starting with the election of the new members of the General National Congress,” he said.
Last month, Libya said it would use all its resources to ensure that it retained the right to host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
El-Barasi stated that by using Libya’s petrodollars reserves, the country will have the means to fund the programme, “making it a huge possibility in the foreseeable future”.
The development of the projects will be discussed thoroughly in a conference scheduled to be held in June in Libya’s capital Tripoli, where El-Barasi will discuss the country’s economic outlook and growth strategies.
The conference will dedicate a number of sessions on funding, procurement and project management to help participants come up with approaches to Libya’s projects market.