Monday, January 22, 2007

Surviving the flu

I'm recovering, but now it's just settled into a persistent cough. The kind that leaves you winded and gives you a headache. The recent deaths in Egypt due to Avian Flu kind of has me worried. They're only next door and I think there are more Egyptians living in Libya than there are Libyans.... Do they have antiviral drugs stockpiled here? hmmm... not that any of the doctors I've spoken to have heard about...

Anyway, as I said, I'm recovering. I have had some time to read the news (looking for interesting articles about bird flu). I've been reading other news too. The latest is that a huge portion of Libya's workforce is being laid off - but with the choice of full salary for three years or a loan of 50 thousand dinars. I wonder how many will opt for the loan - they'd have to pay that back, wouldn't they? Most of these public sector employees had the kind of empty jobs where they were being paid just to sit and do nothing. Like the scores of substitute teachers on the payroll who never get a chance to teach because there are so many of them.

Other recent news is the figures for the annual budget were released. Thirty-one billion dinars or about 40 billion dollars. Actually that news really wasn't very interesting, the figures caught my attention because I was reading some old news from last week that said that Libya was planning to invest 23 billion dollars in the West African country Benin. Plans are to help improve their tourism and oil sector as well as support the country's agriculture - specifically their rice producing capabilities.

Ok.... now can someone please tell me why Libya is going to give Benin that much money? That's more than half of Libya's budget for 2007! - Can't we invest that money on something local?


  1. I am glad to see you are up and around!! You had us all worried.

    I was wondering why Libya doesn't invest in their own tourism industry.... And if people are being paid to do nothing... at least Idris had people working... why don't they use that money to create an industry of some kind?

  2. You say why Libya is going to give Benin that much money?
    It's because our government is nothing but a whore type of government and inside the government body you will find a lot of whores and pimps --- whores, pimps and Gaddafi oh my

  3. anonymous... that's not nice! Constructive criticism, comments and ideas please!

  4. We all know that this 23 Billion Dollars should be invested to improve tourism, oil sector, agriculture and the infrastructure of LIBYA.
    many years ago Libya helped build a mobile phone network in an African country when Libya had none.
    anyway most of this money will go to crooks in Benin as it always does and Libya will suffer.
    What a shame??

  5. Good to have you back dear !

    My Goodness what a topic, Tajura here we come !
    They say it's nice and quiet but no internet LOL.

  6. Aaahhh Trabilisia! Rest.... quiet.... will they feed me? No cooking? No listening to my kids fight and argue? (remember they're on a 15 day break from school) - maybe I'm losing my mind... fever from the


  7. Salamat Sis Khadija. Glad to see you are bogging as usual. Some times we do miss your interesting blog subjects that creates a lot of discussions and controversy . I found it is quite difficult to understand the release of 200,000 public sector employees in the presence of this huge population of Egyptian and African workforce in the Libyan market!. Regarding the Libyan investment in Benin or other African countries, I don’t think this published figures are currect. You should re-check your sources, there must be a mistake like the one you have done here when you convert 31 billion Libyan Dinar to 40 billion US$. Actuall, the correct figure will be 24 billion US$. Thank you for this interesting subjects

  8. To imbarek
    for you information 31 Libyan dinars equal 25.3 US billion dollars. A billion & a third of a billion dollars is a lot of money to forget about. Unless you use the Libyan style of guessing instead of a calculator. LOL

  9. Dr I. - isn't the exchange rate about 1.3 these days? If It's 24 billion than the amount would equal the annal budget.... wow! Giving away enough money to run a country! simply amazing!

    I linked to the article about Benin in my post.

  10. The math in the original article is off, by a factor of about 100.

    The article says "Libya plans to invest more than 120 billion CFA francs ($23bn)".

    The XOF trades at about 500 to a dollar these days - so 120B F CFA would be about 240 Million USD.

    Still a whole lot. But not anything close to 23B (120,000,000,000 div by 5, not 500, I think they did).

  11. To imbarek
    for your information 31 Libyan billion dinars equal 25.3 US billion dollars. A billion & a third of a billion dollars is a lot of money to forget about. Unless you use the Libyan style of guessing instead of a calculator. LOL

  12. Dear Khadija ---
    you mis-typed the word annual

  13. Annual, annual, annual.... yes - I had missed out on the 'u'.

    240 Million USD is a lot of money too... imagine what could be done with that much money.... wow.

  14. Hi Khadija and anonymous:
    Thanks for the corrections and comming down to $240M instead of $23B. I agree that this is a substintial investment in a small country like Benin. But that isn't too much for a Libyan investment, if we assume that Libya will invest in other countries (say 10 countries), that means a sum of $2.4M which is less than 10% of this year is budget. Keeping in mind that the said investment isn't for one year (usually planned over a number of years ..). This means the Libyan investment abroad is marginal compared to other countries. Take just the Arab gulf countries like Kwuait, Qatar, UAE, .. not to mention European countries ..etc.
    I want to say that this shouldn't justify any miss use of the concept of investment and any lak of the investment inside Libya.

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  17. Assalamo Aliekoum
    Hi Madam Khadija,I am one of your fans ' new blogger"; I hope you feel better now. I pray for you to overcome the flu..
    Regarding Libyan money, this is an interesting topic and we should talk about it. I cry every day, and I even start fear to check the news, 'cause I'm afraid to see our money thrown every where with no care..
    In fact, there are thousands and thousands of questions need to be answered, Why they don't invest our money in our country, why these people don't care about Libya's children and youths whom are in deseprate need to good schools, education, good health system, libraries, homes , safe rouds, farms, and et cetera et cetera...
    Why they don't make from Libya a great industrial country? we have the space, we have the nice weather, the greatest position on the Map, we have the great people who all they need just someone encourage them and take their hands...why why why waaaaaaaaaaaak waaaaak My heart is tearing, my brain is gonna blow out when I see this money is blown away..
    Anyway, Thank you Khadija for opening this topic. You are daring more than us. Wish you 'll be fine
    Sincerely yours

  18. dr. Imbarek,

    I think you mean 2.4 Billion Dollars?

    As for keepsmile5 :

    Usually countries invest their money in places that reap more rewards, and given the state of Libya I think it would be wiser to invest abroad, at least if we end up like Iraq we won't lose our investments? or we can claim them after we stand back on our feets?
    Of course the investment here is of the surplus.

  19. it is the order of the man to invest either money or war, i prefer money over war.

  20. Yes it is 2.4 Billion Dollars. sorry for the typing error.


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