USAID Jump-starts Jobs for Libyans in the Private Sector

Speeches Shim

Friday, December 15, 2017

The USAID Asia and the Middle East Economic Growth Best Practices Project (AMEG) employment program recently completed a workforce development and enterprise competitiveness pilot activity. From June to August of 2017, business experts provided targeted technical training and support resources to a select group of Libyan firms in Tripoli and Sabha to enhance their competitiveness and growth capacity, and generate increased employment. The pilot project contributed to job growth in 16 private sector firms. The program also demonstrated that Libyan firms responded positively to the recommendations from Libyan business peers and that it has the potential to be scaled up and replicated in other cities.

In late 2016, the project conducted a multi-sector workforce market survey to assess which Libyan companies could drive job growth by making targeted enhancements to their competitiveness. Out of 100 companies identified, 16 were selected for the pilot program. These included agro-industry, retail, health care, media, and manufacturing firms. Local Libyan business consulting experts worked with ten firms sharing their expertise in management, cost-control, marketing and human resources – constraints that currently limit growth and jobs creation. Six firms received similar support from Tunisian business peers on a remote basis. The other six Libyan companies traveled to Tunisia to receive training and guidance on implementing the recommended changes and to explore potential trade linkages.

For example, USAID helped a Libyan radio station develop a web-based application so  its programs can be accessed from anywhere in the world, through a variety of platforms. This has allowed the station to reach a broader audience and expand its workforce, creating 16 new technical positions to manage the new programming content. USAID also worked with a Libyan retailer to develop a targeted human resource management support program and train new employees. As a result, the company hired 37 employees to staff its new sales locations.

As a result of this project, 361 jobs for engineers, administrators, and technicians have been created and filled in distribution, manufacturing, information technology, food services, and media companies, a small but significant gain at a time when everyday life has gotten increasingly difficult for the average Libyan. The vast majority of these jobs went to at-risk Libyan youth. More importantly, the project has established an expanding network of Libyan firms with viable competitiveness potential, no small task in a conflict-affected and severely constrained institutional environment. It is USAID’s hope to scale this program up over the next few years to create thousands of jobs in Libya.

Last updated: June 05, 2020

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