Libya’s transitional government has indicated that it intends to review a number of pan-African telecoms investments that were agreed during ousted leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s tenure in charge of the country. According to IT News Africa, the National Transition Council (NTC) has suggested that a number of investments carried out by LAP Green Network stand to be withdrawn; LAP Green is the telecoms arm of the Libya-Africa Investment Portfolio (LAP), which was incorporated by the Libyan government in 2006, with a capitalisation of USD5 billion.
Speaking at news conference held to mark the arrival of visiting Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir, NTC leader Mustafa Abdul Jalil commented: ‘We have a general view to review all investments in the Arab world, the African continent and elsewhere. There are some countries where investment will increase and others where projects will stop. There are investments that are worthy of developing and there may be investments that would be better for the Libyan people for them to be closed’.
In November 2011 Wafik Shater, chairman of the board of directors of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), revealed that, although United Nations (UN)-imposed sanctions on the LIA’s investments were eased in September, they had still not been fully removed, and the telecoms holding company was operating at a loss. Earlier that month the UK press reported that Centamon, a company controlled by British consultancy firm Levant Group, and Demco, a Greek investment firm, had acquired a 65% stake in LAP Green for USD270 million, but soon after the LIA denied that it had completed any such deal. In light of the NTC’s admission that it intends to review its telecoms portfolio, it is unclear whether the UK-based consortium is still keen to acquire a stake in LAP Green, or indeed some of its numerous assets.