Strengthening conditions that enable a peaceful political transition that produces a sovereign, stable, and unified Libya.
2011 - 2023
WHY USAID/OTI WAS IN LIBYA
Despite previous momentum toward electing a unified, representative government, Libya is experiencing significant obstacles as it works to end nearly a decade of recurring, violent conflict. While the nationwide ceasefire continues to hold, the indefinite postponement of national elections and the current political deadlock between rival governments undermine Libya’s potential political transition and risk increased instability. The proliferation of armed groups, violent extremists, and malign foreign actors further threaten progress. As Libyan parties develop a path toward credible, inclusive national elections, the U.S. government remains committed to helping Libya become a sovereign, stable, unified, and prosperous state.
USAID/OTI’S ROLE IN LIBYA
Since 2011, OTI’s Libya Transition Initiative partnered with government institutions, civil society organizations, and grassroots change agents to implement targeted, timely, and locally-driven projects that addressed evolving national needs in support of U.S. government foreign policy priorities. With a nationwide presence, OTI strengthened the conditions for a revived political transition in Libya through activities that:
- Maintained stability in strategic areas;
- Increased opportunities for positive political participation; and
- Reduced division and polarization.
- As part of OTI’s effort to promote alternatives to militarization, OTI supported a Tripoli-based civil society organization (CSO) to conduct an assessment on the drivers of youth recruitment and support to armed groups. The findings revealed low community awareness about risks associated with joining armed groups, and limited opportunities for positive alternatives. In response, OTI partnered with a well-established CSO viewed as a pillar of Libyan society to conduct an awareness campaign for youth on positive alternatives to militarization and the dangers of weapons proliferation. The campaign targeted 22 schools throughout Tripoli, and the CSO hosted an opening ceremony covered by three local TV channels, and a closing ceremony that showcased student artwork and videos that spread awareness of opportunities for positive civic engagement.
- Across Libya, political parties often face negative media coverage, due in part to citizen perceptions that local interests and issues are neglected in party platforms. Such low credibility has exacerbated the gap between political parties and young Libyans, diminishing the parties’ ability to consolidate a public vision. To help strengthen youth political involvement, OTI supported a Misrata-based CSO to conduct nine discussions between politically active youth and political parties to encourage peaceful dialogue and highlight the values of democracy. More than 20 political parties and 30 CSOs attended the final conference, where participants remarked that the activity created space for youth and political parties to open up communication and build trust. Through these efforts, the activity increased citizens’ access to information and ability to engage politically.
- OTI partnered with a local radio station, recognized for its national reach and positive messaging, to organize a national unity roadshow. Operating from a specially equipped bus, the mobile radio station crossed Libya’s coastal road from east to west, stopping to connect with local communities by interviewing citizens on a range of topics that highlight each city’s history, culture, and civic engagement. The tour spread the message of unity nationwide, and produced programming that will be showcased in a five-episode radio program and social media campaign. This activity helped cultivate national unity, a key element in reducing polarization and countering divisive narratives that threaten prospects for a political transition.