Libya’s Digital Strategy
Libya is a country in North Africa. One of the largest countries in Africa, Libya has many deserts and is rich in culture and natural resources. There is a greater requirement for a digital lifestyle in today’s culture. The expanding digitalization in Libya is now undergoing exploitation effectively for the country’s benefit. Beginning on February 15, 2022, in New York, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Libya will concentrate on a new digital strategy to help communities and countries use digital technology as a tool to help combat and expand economic opportunity, promote diversity and reduce inequality. UNDP intends to keep up with the constantly evolving digital landscape and advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with its daring new Digital Strategy 2022–2025.

Implementation

According to UNDP Libya, the strategy provides a three-pronged strategy for how UNDP would help countries profit from digital technology. First, UNDP will integrate digital into its work, experiment with new methods and technologies, scale up effective solutions and use foresight to comprehend potential futures in order to amplify development outcomes. Second, it will ensure that everyone is included in digital technology by making building more “inclusive digital ecosystems.” Third, UNDP will keep evolving and setting the bar high in order to satisfy present and foreseeable technical needs. To promote cooperation around the ethical and sustainable use of technology, UNDP will also interact with business entrepreneurs, academics, researchers, students and policymakers.

The Reason the Digital Strategy is Necessary

Libya has grappled with the problem of conflict since April 2019. Unfortunately, this has negatively affected Libya’s services such as electricity. According to a Human Rights Watch article, “The United Nations-recognized and Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) has been embroiled in an armed conflict with the rival Interim Government based in eastern Libya.” As a result, violence impeded the delivery of essential services, including power and health care. Armed groups on all sides persisted in carrying out illegal killings and indiscriminate shelling that killed civilians and destroyed crucial infrastructure.

In addition, when Libya’s provisional unity government formed in March 2021, internet freedom declined significantly. The population became less able to have access to the internet. The population grew adamant about better living conditions and less corruption in 2020 and as a result, local authorities throttled cell service. Libya has endured technological issues and the plan will guide UNDP’s efforts to address the new issues that the new digital environment brought on. There is also a large digital gap that UNDP is trying to diminish. There is a digital gap of about 2.9 billion people in developing countries and this consists mainly of women and children. Digital technology has the potential to amplify biases and further inequities if it is not used responsibly.

A Promising Future

Libya’s digital strategy has a strong potential for success. It will help Libya to benefit from a more digitized economy. According to UNDP Libya, “the strategy complements the U.N.’s global efforts to expand access to affordable broadband and enhance the digital capacity of key groups including women and people with disabilities – ultimately creating new opportunities like jobs while boosting human development.” Libya’s Digital Strategy is helping lessen the burden on the less fortunate by ensuring that everyone has access to digital futures, which can improve job opportunities and education.

– Frema Mensah
Photo: Flickr