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…In the 1960s during oil exploration deep in the southern Libyan desert, vast reservoirs of high quality water were discovered in the form of aquifers. …
…In Libya there are four major underground basins, these being the Kufra basin, the Sirt basin, the Morzuk basin and the Hamada basin, the first three of which contain combined reserves of 35,000 cubic kilometres of water. These vast reserves offer almost unlimited amounts of water for the Libyan people.....
By 1996 the Great Man-Made River Project had reached one of its final stages, the gushing forth of sweet unpolluted water to the homes and gardens of the citizens of Libya’s capital Tripoli. Louis Farrakhan, who took part in the opening ceremony of this important stage of the project, described the Great Man-Made River as “another miracle in the desert.” Speaking at the inauguration ceremony to an audience that included Libyans and many foreign guests, Col. Qadhafi said the project “was the biggest answer to America… who accuse us of being concerned with terrorism.”
Minerals and other Natural Resources
Much of North Africa is mineral rich. As you remember from Learning Activity Three [link to this page] the Western Sahara is a major phosphate producer. The region also has deposits of other minerals including iron ore, silver, zinc, copper, lead, manganese, barytine, gold, salt, limestone, gypsum, and coal (in Morocco). Petroleum and natural gas exports provide most of Libya’s revenues, but the rest of the region also contains sizeable deposits of these resources, especially Algeria and Egypt. Lastly, North Africa also produces forest products, including furniture and cabinet wood, and is a leading producer of cork. ......
Agriculture and food
Agriculture is still one of the most important sectors of the economies of North Africa, both for feeding the population and for export. The number of people employed in agriculture varies by country: about 50% in Morocco, 40% in Egypt, 25% in Algeria and probably even fewer in Libya which imports close to 75% of its food. The region depends on its fertile areas to grow crops, including oranges and other citrus fruits; grains like barley, wheat, oats and even corn; vegetables, including tomatoes that are shipped to the U.S., onions, peppers and eggplants; legumes like lentils and chickpeas; and other Mediterranean and arid produce, like nuts, olives, grapes (for eating and to produce wine), dates and figs in abundance. In the Nile Valley, Egyptians also cultivate crops that need more water, including sugarcane, cotton and even rice.
IMF to eat Belarus alive
Those were the requirements, which the IMF previously set forth as a condition to give a loan to Belarus. The National Bank of Belarus raised the refinancing rate by tow percentage points - up to 16% per annum. The bank has thus met one of the requirements of the international financial organization.
Nevertheless, the refinancing rate has been raised for the fourth time since the beginning of the year. The Belarusian ruble lost 56 percent of its value on May 24.
The IMF also wants the country to privatize large state-run enterprises and cut the budget support for agriculture. These are macroeconomic issues, and Minsk is not likely to be that agreeable here.
Minsk raised loans from the IMF in 2009-2010. Belarus received five tranches totaling $3.46 billion. The program was completed in March of 2010, when Belarus received the last tranche of $670 million. It is worthy of note that the growth of the Belarusian GDP dropped to 0.2 percent in 2009.
The theft of the Libyan soverign funds
Libya, after Washington had removed it from their list of "rogue" countries, tried to reestablish a place in the international arena by relying on "diplomacy of sovereign funds." When the United States and the European Union abolished the embargo of 2004, and the big oil companies returned to the country, Tripoli could have a trade surplus of around 30 billion dollars per year largely due to foreign investments.
The management of sovereign funds, in the hands of ministers and senior officials, however, created a new mechanism of power and corruption that probably escaped from Gaddafi's own control - as confirmed by the fact that in 2009 he proposed that the 30 billion dollars of oil dividends were to go "directly to the Libyan people." This has exacerbated the internal divisions within the Libyan government.
In in these fractures the dominant ruling circles supported ordinary Americans and Europeans who, before attacking Libya militarily to take possession of its energy wealth, appropriated the Libyan sovereign funds. This operation was favored by the representative of the Libyan Investment Authority, Mohamed Layas.