Digital Ecosystem Country Assessment (DECA) Report

Publication Date: November 9, 2022

The Libya Digital Ecosystem Country Assessment (DECA) report outlines the key aspects of Libya’s digital ecosystem and provides 14 recommendations for creating a more inclusive, safe, and enabling environment.

Libya’s digital ecosystem developed well before 2011, and the effects of the Gaddafi era are still in evidence. Historians have traced Libya’s current fragmentation to the personalization of the state and society under Gaddafi, along with longstanding underinvestment in public institutions. Libya’s legislature has found it very difficult to update the legal basis for the digital economy, creating regulatory confusion and an atmosphere of mistrust.

There are grounds for optimism. Despite the challenges facing it, Libya’s digital economy has grown dramatically. Companies have tailored their offerings for a local audience and found innovative workarounds to regulatory gridlock. Even as social media platforms face concerns about disinformation and foreign manipulation, they are also home to a new generation of independent online journalists, activists, and political commentators. There is no shortage of allies working for positive change.

The Libya DECA took place between March and August 2021. It encompassed desk research, consultations with USAID/Libya, and about eight weeks of virtual key informant interviews with 58 stakeholders from civil society, academia, the private and public sectors, international development organizations, and USAID/ Libya offices. It is important to note that some key government agencies (particularly the Libyan Post Telecommunication and Information Technology Company) have experienced leadership changes since interviews were completed in August 2021.

Pillar 1: Digital Infrastructure and Adoption

  • Conflict and political instability have disrupted regular legislative processes, delaying much-needed updates to laws (including the Telecommunications Act) since 2011.
  • Connectivity infrastructure is fairly well developed in coastal urban areas, but lags in Libya’s sparsely populated southern region.
  • COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of digital tools and services across sectors; however Libyans are reluctant to adopt new tools due to unfamiliarity with specific platforms, lack of trust, lack of digital literacy, or when they feel these tools and services are unnecessary.
  • Many Libyan internet users are “Facebook literate,” but are less familiar with more advanced digital tools such as online payments.

Pillar 2: Digital Society, Rights, and Governance

  • Libya’s decade-long conflict and instability have limited the HoR’s ability to clarify roles, and responsibilities, and to pass new legislation. Laws from the previous regime are still technically in force.
  • Government digital initiatives are often siloed in separate Ministries. Recent events have shown greater openness to multi stakeholder engagement, particularly around e-payments and promotion of Libya’s ICT industry.
  • The government is prioritizing digitalization; however, there are significant barriers to execution. These are tied to inadequate digital infrastructure, a piecemeal approach rather than an overall strategy, and insufficient legal and regulatory frameworks.
  • Facebook dominates Libya’s information and media landscape to a greater extent than in most countries. It is the primary news source for many Libyans and can allow for conversations between citizens and CSOs or municipal governments. However, the platform also creates risks such as widespread mis-, dis-, and malinformation and online harassment of activists, journalists, and marginalized groups.

Pillar 3: Digital Economy

  • Libya lacks fundamental legal enablers such as e-signature and intellectual property laws.
  • The Central Bank of Libya (CBL) plays a critical role in the enabling environment and has faced a number of financial, monetary, and leadership crises that have affected Libya’s banking system and eroded consumer trust.
  • The current payments infrastructure is fragmented in both banking and e-wallet markets, preventing a seamless payment experience and inhibiting uptake.
  • The formal education system and ICT training provided by international donor agencies are largely outdated and do not meet current industry needs
  • Libya’s private sector is demonstrating its ability to innovate with workaround solutions to market limitations.

mAccess Indicators & Rankings

The information below is part of the mAccess Diagnostic Tool and is intended to help assess foundational components of Libya’s digital ecosystem using indicators on internet availability, affordability, access, and use. Click here to explore the full tool.

Country Snapshot – Libya

  • 2G Coverage:


  • 3G Coverage:


  • Cost per SMS in USD for 10,000 bulk SMS:


  • EIU Rank:


  • ITU IDI Rank:


  • Number of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs):


  • Living 2G Coverage ( in million ):


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  • No of MBBC:


  • Not using Mobile Internet 2G Coverage:


  • Number of active mobile money agents:


  • Number of active mobile money users:


  • Smartphones 3G Coverage:


  • WEF Rank:


Access – Libya

  • Land-lines per 100 inhabitants:


  • Mobile broadband connections per 100 inhabitants:


  • Mobile internet users per 100 inhabitants:


  • Active SIM cards per 100 inhabitants:


Affordability – Libya

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  • Moblie Prepaid 1GB basket – largest operator:


  • Mobile prepaid voice basket – largest operator:


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  • Mobile prepaid voice basket:


Competition – Libya

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Infrastructure – Libya

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  • Country level investment per subscriber:


Usage – Libya

  • Average revenue per user (Blended ARPU):


  • Facebook users per 100 inhabitants:


  • Mobile Data traffic per active SIM:


  • M2M connections per 100 inhabitants:


  • Minutes of Use per active SIM:


Digital Ecosystem Evidence Map

The information below is part of the Digital Ecosystem Evidence Map (DEEM) and displays up-to-date resources on digital development interventions and the digital ecosystem for Libya. Click here to explore the full tool.

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