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Libyan contracts expected to revive

Libya’s transitional government is expected to honour contracts made with the former Gaddafi regime, the AJ has learned

Last week’s liberation of Tripoli raised hopes that business relations could be resurrected just seven months after revolution threw hundreds of schemes into jeopardy and forced architects to down tools and flee.

However, investigations into alleged corruption directed at the sovereign wealth fund could still see some contracts nullified.

Among the architects working in Libya before the revolution were AECOM, BDP, Dexter Moren, Feilden Clegg Bradley, Foster + Partners, RMJM and the Metropolitan Workshop.

RMJM chief executive Peter Morrison, said he was ‘very keen’ to re-establish connections with Libya and confirmed that his company had approached the rebel-led National Transitional Council (NTC) to ask for a meeting.

The company’s 82-hectare Zliten Al-Asmariya University and Bani Walid University schemes (pictured) are among the hundreds of projects that could be revived following the NTC’s victory over Colonel Gaddafi.

Morrison said: ‘We are exploring how we can take forward projects that will benefit the new vision and approach in Libya and we currently have a team preparing to visit.’

UK Trade & Investment plans to provide support to companies interested in assisting the oil-rich nation’s reconstruction ‘as soon as the situation on the ground allows’.

‘We would encourage people to work with us to explore the possibilities that are arising with the new government structures,’ a spokesperson said.

Further comment

 

Neil Deely, Metropolitan Workshop director

Libya never lacked the ambition to do things just the ability to deliver them, but in the short to medium term providing the country with fundamental infrastructure and facilities should take precedence over the prestige projects that were on the drawing board.

Roddy Langmuir, Edward Cullinan Architects

We have heard that our partners and clients are well; one has tried to bring independent broadcasts into Tripoli from his base in Cairo, a second has been holed up in Misrata for a long time, and a third has been running logistics to the front line from Benghazi. While it’s fascinating to see events in Libya progress, it is also of course totally unpredictable. There is obviously a primary need for some kind of political settlement to be found, before new governing institutions can be formed that can focus on the future. There are also all the repairs to reinstate lost or damaged infrastructure before attention will be turned onto the acute housing shortage and a massive lack of real jobs. I’m sure the State will continue to be a major employer and I hope that the message of projects like ours to build effective neighbourhoods based on local climate, culture, and topography, is not drowned out by the big-scale, quick-fix solutions promised by overseas contractors and developers.

 

 

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