Old Attitudes to the Private Sector Must Change

By Padraig O'Hannelly.

Last week I had the pleasure of attending an excellent panel discussion hosted by the Legatum Institute in London.

Addressing the topic of Reforming Libya’s Financial Sector, and the Politics That Go With It, were banker Mark Dempsey, of Brehon Advisory, former Libyan Health Minster, Dr Fatima Hamroush, and Mary Fitzgerald, Foreign Affairs Correspondent for the Irish Times.

Travelling to Libya in October 2013, Mr Dempsey discovered a financial sector in total neglect, with "little genuine appetite for reform by either the Ministry of Finance or the Central Bank."

Just as shocking was the lack of appreciation of the importance of the private sector to a healthy and prosperous economy. As a result, many in the private sector believe they will never be taken seriously by the financial authorities, and this must have a stifling effect on entrepreneurial activity.

If Libya is to grow and prosper, these old attitudes must change.

I look forward to reading Mr Dempsey's paper -- Libya in Transition: Reforming the Financial Sector to Spur Economic Growth -- which will be published by the Legatum Institute in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, the panel discussion can be viewed here.

(Flag image via Shutterstock)

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