The general situation in Libya remains highly volatile despite peace efforts by world bodies.
However, amidst the chaos, political uncertainties, and instability that still rocks the country, the youths are charting a new path for themselves by deviating from the norm and engaging in technological innovations to find solutions to issues that affect them.
Without wanting to be left behind in a technologically evolving society, Libyan youths are taking their destinies into their hands and are getting more involved in finding ways to address some of the country’s social issues through technology.
In doing this, the youths are shifting focus from public sector-oriented jobs to own technologically creative initiatives aimed at supporting themselves while at the same time impacting society.
In the light of this awakening, over the past decade, many young and promising techpreneurs have sprung up in Libya thus giving the youths an edge in the pursuit of reshaping their environs and the country at large.
Though the Libyan tech start-up ecosystem is still in its early stages and with issues such as lack of funding and lack of a conducive environment, the young Libyan techpreneurs are engaging their passion and struggling hard to make it viable and have meaningful impacts across the board.
With the increased access to internet accessibility and connectivity, many of the youths that have the tech knowledge and passion are leveraging it so much that new technopreneurs are springing up in different fields and aspects of life and making life easier through their ingenuity which seeks to find solutions to everyday problems faced by Libyans.
Having chosen the path of using technology for their development, various platforms have sprung up to train and retrain many that are interested in the tech path.
One of such training platforms taking the initiative of tutoring aspiring techpreneurs in Libya is Elham Education which teaches teenagers digital skills and other training in technological development like website and game development preparing them for their youthful ages when they can thread the paths of technovations.
There is also BYTE (Benghazi Youth for Technology & Entrepreneurship), which promotes technology leadership and innovation for young ones in Libya and aids them in getting started in the tech industry, same goes for the Tatweer Entrepreneurship Campus which organizes boot camps where participants are tutored on coding, web development, and apps.
There are other local and international organizations and platforms that embark on mentorship of young ones and also support start-up funding for their tech- enterprises.
From these training platforms and many others from across the world, as well as personal development, Libyan youths are now making waves across their country with technovations.
One other motivating factor that has encouraged the growth of these techpreneurs in Libya is the availability of technology hubs and co-working spaces which have served as platforms for young techpreneurs to find their footing, get convenient working spaces, and also get mentoring from more knowledgeable people in their field of specialization.
Assisting in all of these is the government, which has been supportive of the youths embracing technology for innovations. It has come up with initiatives like competitions and events like the Libya Start-up Expo, which has created avenues for more tech start-ups to be recognized as well as different entrepreneur boot camps to impact technological knowledge on the youths.
Another factor contributing to the growth of technopreneurs in Libya is the access to Funds by most start-ups.
Over time, one major problem that confronts most youths in doing business is the availability of funds, and to address this in Libya, the Tatweer Entrepreneurship Campus and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have formed an alliance that supports start-ups with funds among other things.
It is however worth mentioning that with or without little support most times and driven by their challenges and passion for change, Libyan techpreneurs are making impacts in their various fields.
In the food industry is Guffa, a multi-vendor online application that trades on food, clothing, cosmetics, and electronics.
Guffa which is a Libyan term that refers to the traditional basket made of palm leaves and used to carry food was launched in 2020 at the peak of COVID-19 lockdowns. The restrictions during the period gave the platform the leverage to grow as people needed food and groceries even as they were indoors.
There also exists Yummy, an app that connects home-based cooks with customers who want delicious, fresh homemade food delivered to their door.
Yummy’s food delivery service started in Sebha, in the southwest of Libya, but has since expanded north to Benghazi and Tripoli.
Moving on to other areas, “She codes” exists as a women-led and -focused start-up that teaches coding to Libyan women and children so also Fablab Libya, a non-profit organization that focuses on delivering training to young children and women on various aspects of technology.
Presto founded in 2020 as well uses technology to bridge the gaps in the country’s underpenetrated logistics sector.
With different services under its platform, from food and grocery delivery, and e-commerce to last-mile delivery, Presto has 250,000 thousand registered users and claims to have 98,000 active users in Tripoli.
Presto was created to address the dire need for a tech-based and well-structured solution that could eradicate the constraints encountered by small e-commerce stores and help them connect with their customers more efficiently.
Libya is also home to the Techneon Group which is a game development company in Libya. The Tripoli-based company was founded in 2017 and seeks to incorporate the Libyan culture into its games. Its flagship game is Nitro Bus.
On its part, GAPS strives to use edutainment technology to create innovative solutions to tackle the problems that young people face globally. GAPS’ first product is a hybrid board game and application called Sinbad.
The game was developed to teach young people the essence of entrepreneurship, finance, and emotional intelligence.
In the health sector, there is Ematec Health while Lisan also exists to cater for those with hearing disorders by translating elements of signs into speech and making customer relations better with them.
The list is numerous as new tech-based businesses keep springing up every day across the country tailored to address specific needs.
While some of these new tech services are profit-oriented and others non-profit making, they provide comfort, efficiency, ease of access, and facilitate easy life for residents in the various areas in which they are located across the country.
Like every other nation in the world, the youths in Libya are using tech initiatives to create a space for progress and globalisation and rather than just being users, they are at the forefront of coming up with their innovations.
Although the impact of the tech innovations achieved so far is being felt by all in the country, especially in the area of job creation, it has not been an easy ride for the technopreneurs.
For the journey ahead in technovations to be more fruitful and impactful for the country, both the government and the private sector have pertinent roles to play in ensuring that the conducive environment, as well as the needed infrastructure, are available and easily accessible for the millennials and Gen Z generations striving to rewrite their stories through technology.