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How startups are contributing to Libya’s economic recovery

Digital business in the war-torn country is slowly starting to take seed.
This aerial photograph shows high-rise buildings in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, on Sept. 16, 2022.

Almost 11 years after the start of the revolution, Libya is still scrapping itself for parts to build its worn-out economy back to health — and the country’s baby startup ecosystem is playing a painstaking role in the effort.

When Ammar Hamid moved back to Libya in 2017 after over eight years of studying and living in the UK, he met an entirely different country from the one he left. The uprising had come and gone, but the remnants of its dark cloud still loomed over the oil-rich Maghreb country. Hamid said he met a pitifully fragmented state filled with monuments of half-bombed buildings and institutions. From Tripoli, the country’s capital city, to Benghazi, the country’s second most important city that hosts its largest industries and government ministries, apartments through which winter cold and summer heat easily slip in through the many bullet holes in their walls laced the street. People were helplessly living in fear, and the nation’s oil-relying economy had almost completely lost its bearing. According to the World Bank, Libya's gross domestic product per capita declined from an unmatched comfort of $12,000 in 2010 to $3,700 in 2022, recording a 70% drop in just a decade.

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