Libya’s First Economic Think Tank

A group of the country’s ‎leading entrepreneurs and government representatives gathered together to form Libya Economic Advancement and Development Foundation (LEAD), an NGO with a mission of building ‎an entrepreneurial culture to enable a strong and vibrant jobs-creating economic recovery.

During the first official anniversary of Libya’s independence, the need for activating real change in Libya, brought together some of the country’s most successful businessmen under ‎one roof with the aim of drawing up concrete plans to grow Libya’s private sector, and foster young ‎entrepreneurs to develop a thriving high growth economy that can lead Libya forward and end ‎overdependence on oil as the only source of revenue.‎

‎"A strong entrepreneurial culture is what is most lacking here in Libya. Our people are our most valuable resource, and it's not our oil," said Dr. Monem Alyaser, member of ‎Libya's GNC and the brainchild of LEAD Foundation. "Entrepreneurs are the essential foundation for building a ‎rapid-growth economy. It's time for the government and the private sector to work together and ‎remove the obstacles that impede our young entrepreneurs. We need wide policy reforms, provide ‎access to capitol, and establish a mentoring program to help our young people achieve their dreams ‎and a better standard of living."‎

Currently, the majority of the country’s workforce is employed by the public sector. The private sector ‎remains weak providing for mostly underpaid employment. The numbers highlight an over-‎dependence on government jobs which has had a damaging effect on the country’s economic ‎situation.

The additional reliance on oil production and hydrocarbon exports has motivated LEAD to ‎strategically work on the development of businesses away from the oil sector to aid the growth of a ‎globally competitive free market economy.‎

With the current GNC elected government stretched in dealing with the issues associated with a ‎country transitioning from dictatorship to democracy, LEAD believes that the initiatives for economic ‎development should stem from civil society organizations and think-tanks.‎

‎“We Libyans are truly an innovative people. Look at our young revolutionaries during the war. They ‎were amazing! They were creative, they improvised and they adapted real fast to the art of war. We at ‎LEAD Foundation believe in investing in our people first,” said Zeyad bin Ramadan co-founder of LEAD ‎Foundation and Advisor to the Minister of ICT. ‎

‎“We have an amazing opportunity to build a bright future in Libya and our people are our greatest ‎treasure.” ‎

The foundation’s goal is to reduce the levels of unemployment, and elevate the standard of living for ‎all Libyan citizens. LEAD foundation plans to announce major initiatives that will lay the foundations ‎for a strong economic recovery. Startups in Libya are going to finally get the support the need because ‎LEAD’s strategy centers on entrepreneurs. ‎

Currently, more than 60,000 of the young men who helped in the overthrow the brutal dictator ‎remain unemployed and armed. LEAD Foundation believes with a thriving economy that provides ‎good paying jobs, the need to carry arms will become obsolete. With the support of major industrial ‎partners and the government, LEAD Foundation initiatives will surely create a huge impact on Libya in ‎a positive step forward towards an economic freedom. ‎

For more information on LEAD foundation, please visit http://www.leadlibya.org

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