Rebuilding from a civil war and international attention following the Benghazi attacks, Libya's transitional government is beginning the road to economic recovery. Civil society groups in the country are looking for ways to strengthen a democratic base, and business groups are seeking ways to update and finance new industry and commerce.
World Council of Credit Unions representatives traveled to Libya last week to discuss credit union development with central bank authorities, civil society groups and local business councils.
Brian Branch, World Council president and CEO, traveled to Libya with Steven Stapp, San Francisco Federal Credit Union president and CEO. Also with the group were Lara Thomas and Allaeddin Ghadyi from The MILLA Project, an international human rights organization working to bring democratic financial institutions to Libya. Thomas is a member and 2012 scholarship winner of World Council's Global Women's Leadership Network.
"We were approached to explain the credit union model," Stapp said. "As the country reconstructs, it is an opportunity for credit unions to participate in rebuilding the economy."
The group met with representatives from the Central Bank of Libya; the Libyan Business Council; a business group from the northwestern coastal town of Misrata; and a civic and human rights group called the Libyan Liberal Forum for Democracy.