New Libya

“It is now the time to build a new Libya and help it heal its wounds,” said Prof. Ahmed M. Shembesh, while addressing a news conference on the New Libya Forum, being organised by Deloitte and EMCS.

Prof. Shembesh, founder of the Libyan Foundation for Rehabilitation, intends to do what he can to help Libyans who suffered during the war and the 42 years of depression. He believes the people need to be reunited as the country is reconstructed.

“We must look at traumatised people, reconstruct housing, infrastructure, the roads and everything, but ultimately, we must help them to reunite and help themselves,” he said. In doing so, Malta can serve as a hub and have young Libyans trained here in psychology, health and social work, among other disciplines. His foundation is also looking at organising courses to train trainers.

He pointed out there are six million people in Libya with 50% of the population being women and 30% being children.

“These children are now playing with guns however, they need to be looked at and understood,” he said, while explaining the need for education and training locally.

Prof. Shembesh, who was born in Benghazi, lived and studied in Germany, and together with his wife, obtained a PhD degree in Liverpool, before moving to Malta, working for Lafico, in the late nineties.

On these thoughts the EMCS Consulting Group and Deloitte, a UK private company that incorporates a network of member firms, are jointly holding the New Libya Forum: Building the Future Together, on 27 and 28 February, at the Hilton, St Julian’s.

This will be an international event bringing together a number of international business delegates looking at establishing business links with Libya and who could be interested in using Malta as a platform for this. Dr John C. Grech, chairman of EMCS, said in an introductory note about the forum, that what is happening in Libya is part of the awakening wave as a reaction to the pre-existing socio-political system.

He also noted that the situation that is resulting is a people’s problem and it boils down to people with dreams and ambitions. Libya is rich in resources, yet its population is not big and the region is vast.

Although people might question whether it is too early to be holding such a conference, he believes it is timely because there are many people out there with aspirations.

Malta has been very effective in giving humanitarian support, so Dr Grech believes it is the time to organise this forum for better focus on the future of the country.

“There will definitely be more things happening and changes, as a system is still developing,” he said. “While a structure is taking place, we cannot influence them but the Libyan economy is opening up to be part of the world’s economy.”

Moreover, he continued that the people coming out of Libya would like to know how they can participate in the economy.

The forum will therefore serve as a platform to be perused by other initiatives. The organisers are also working on the idea of holding a similar forum in Tripoli and this is currently being discussed with authorities.

Deloitte Malta chairman Andrew Manduca said the company he represents, and which has offices employing tens of thousands of professionals around the world, intends to expand its significance in Libya, in an initiative spearheaded by Deloitte Middle East and supported by Deloitte Malta.

The plan is mainly to train young Libyans because they see great potential there.


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