Ending Libya’s political impasse could unleash limitless economic potential

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Libya's economy has been teetering on the edge of a precipice since the ousting and killing of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, as part of the protests that marked the Arab Spring. Once a progressive economy now a war-torn country, a playground for foreign powers rushing to satisfy their own interests, has left ordinary Libyan citizens to bear the brunt of a cycle of conflicts and civil wars, stagnating economic growth for a decade. The conflict birthed an unmatched refugee crisis, with thousands crossing the Mediterranean to seek greener pastures in Europe. Today's Libya remains in electoral limbo as the political stalemate persists. Prospects for elections fade daily.

The situation in the country remains extremely volatile, rife with political uncertainty as to when a national government will be formed, and the formulation of a constitution thereof. Both presidential and parliamentary elections, slated to be held this year have been postponed several times with no exact date set.

The country awash with violent non-state actors where different militia groups vie for political power are being backed by foreign entities in a bid to control the country’s oil and gas sector. As the first anniversary of the postponed elections draws nigh, there is no clear end in sight. The UN Special Representative Abdoulaye Bathily, warned against prolonging the interim period as Libya could become even more vulnerable to political, economic and security instability, as well as risk of partition.

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