A survey carried out in Libya by market research company Know Libya which ended on March 1 indicates that Libyans are increasingly confident about the future.
The survey, completed by 550 respondents, highlights key trends and provides interesting insights into key areas of concern for people in Libya across the four main themes of security, economy, politics and transparency.
The findings of the survey have been passed on to both Libya’s National Transitional Council and the interim government so that they may be better informed about public sentiments and concerns. The design, management and analysis of this survey was initiated and funded by Know Libya (www.knowlibya.net).
The survey reveals that Libyans expect to be increasingly confident about all four subject areas over time. While approximately 20 percent of respondents were confident or very confident at present, this rises to over 60 percent when asked about the next12 months.
Levels of confidence in the longer term of 12 months were highest in regard to the economy and security. Only 25 percent of respondents were unsure about their confidence levels over the long term of 12 months, with respondents most unsure about transparency and politics.
Respondents are most confident about the economy long term, compared with the other areas, with over 70 percent stating they were confident or very confident. The proportion that is unsure decreases over time. The economy also shows the biggest increase in confidence levels over time (from 25 percent to 70 percent).
‘This probably reflects the fact that Libya has a great deal of economic potential which it has so far been unable to use to its full potential such as oil revenues, frozen assets, foreign investments and tourism. So, many Libyans are confident that given time the economic situation will improve’, commented Yolanda Zaptia Know Libya’s analyst.
The main issues of economic concern that were revealed by the survey were related to prices, finance and salaries, whereas longer term the main concern of 40 percent of respondents was economic policy.
Interestingly, with regards to security, the numbers of respondents describing themselves as confident or very confident rises from around 30 percent at present to nearly 60 percent for the long term.
‘The rising levels of confidence suggests that respondents believe that once Libya moves out of its current post-conflict stage and weapons are taken off the streets, militias are integrated into the army and police, that security will improve’, added Zaptia.
The main issues of concern borne out by the survey were weapons, ineffective government and militia clashes. Two-thirds of respondents were concerned about weapons currently, and although this drops to a third long-term, this is still represents a significant proportion of those who remain concerned about weapons in the future.
Respondents were least confident on the themes of politics with only 17 percent of respondents selecting confident or very confident currently, increasing to less than 50 percent long-term.
‘This overall lack of confidence in comparison with the other themes can perhaps be explained by the fact that Libyans have far less experience with issues of politics as over the past 40 years they have had little involvement as citizens in such matters,” Yolanda Zaptia said. ‘For this reason the long term outcomes of these issues leave a lot to be seen, and many are not sure if and how these new political systems will be applied to the Libyan state.’
In terms of political issues, elections and government capabilities were the greatest concern for over 40 percent of respondents over all three time periods.
With regards to the issue of transparency, less than 20 percent of respondents reported that they currently felt confident or very confident, although this increased to around 40 percent over 12 months. Over 40 percent of respondents were most concerned about issues of financial accountability and governance, now and in the future.
The full version of the survey is available for sale from firstname.lastname@example.org