The discovery of major petroleum deposits in both Tripolitania and Cyrenaica assured the country of income on a vast scale. The 1950s in Libya were characterized by great poverty; minimal economic development was made possible only by the payments and loans received from various Western nations. Oil was discovered in the impoverished country in 1958 and eventually transformed its economy. Qaddafi's government committed to a more equitable distribution of Libya's enormous oil income, and billions of dollars were spent on roads, schools, housing, hospitals and agriculture. Libya changed abruptly from a pauper state, dependent on international aid and the rent from U.S. and British air bases, to an oil-rich monarchy in 1959. And by the early 1960s Libya was taking in growing revenues from the exploitation of that resource.Soon after the discovery of oil there was an enormous expansion of all government services and also of construction projects, and a corresponding rise in the economic standard and the cost of living.Libya's centrally planned economy depends primarily upon revenues from the petroleum sector, which contributes practically all export earnings and over half of GDP. These oil revenues and a small population give Libya one of the highest per capita GDPs in Africa. Since 2000, Libya has recorded favorable growth rates. In 2009 GDP of the country was approximately 91.1 billion $.“Libyan government is currently undertaking a major development plan in the country's infrastructure and construction in general. This year the government plans to invest about 100 billion of LYD in different projects throughout the country".
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