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HomeCountriesCentral Africa › Libra

Libra Country AET Profile

About Libra

When Libya attained independence, about 90% of its population was illiterate, and there were few university graduates. Since then, the government has invested heavily in education, which is free at all levels. In 1985, the number of years of compulsory schooling was increased from 6 to 9 years. Projected illiteracy rates for the year 2000 stand at 20.2% (males, 9.1%; females, 32.4%).

The University of Libya at Tripoli was renamed Al-Fatah University in 1976. It had about 24,000 students in 1986. The University of Libya at Banghazi was renamed the University of Garyounis in 1976. Student enrollment (including an agricultural campus at Al-Bayda) totaled about 1,000 students. The Bright Star University of Technology at Marsa al-Brega was founded in 1981. There were also two higher institutes of technology and one of mechanical and electrical engineering. Total enrollment at all higher-level institutions was 72,899 in 1992. Approximately 46% of post-secondary students are female, up from 25% in 1980.

Only about 1.2% of the country is cultivated. As of 1998, irrigation covered about 470,000 ha (1,161,000 acres) of the cultivated land.

Agriculture is the only economic sector in which private ownership is still important. Cereals are grown in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica; agriculture in the Fezzan is concentrated in the oases. Virtually all crops are grown for domestic consumption. Nevertheless, most agricultural products must be imported; the cost, in 2001, was $790 million. Estimated agricultural output in 1999, in tons, included potatoes, 209,000; onions, 180,000; tomatoes, 240,000; wheat, 168,000; and barley, 75,000. The 1999 production of fruits, in tons, included watermelons, 212,000; oranges, 42,000; dates, 132,000; and olives, 190,000.

Institutions in Libra

Reports on Libra
Libra - Current Student Enrolment and Academic Staffing



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