None of the fundamental pillars for a healthy nation -- a functioning economy, political system and security -- is in place in Libya, which leads one expert to conclude little has changed from her pessimistic analysis of a year ago.
Federica Saini Fasanotti, a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institute, has been tracking what is happening with the Libyan economy since the 2011 fall of Col. Muammar Gaddafi. It is not a pretty picture, Saini Fasanotti concludes, and is unlikely to improve without major, fundamental and systematic changes.
"In the last year, things have not changed in Libya," Saini Fasanotti told Maghreb News Wire. "Because none of the three fundamental pillars for an healthy nation have been tackled."
The analyst, a fellow with the institute's Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, added, "Economy is one of these, but also politics and security."
She said the two political bodies -- the western Government of National Accord and eastern House of Representatives -- are "too focused in their survival more than in changing really the country." There is little difference in the economies in the two areas, both are in bad shape.
"In both, it is difficult to have cash, to have electricity -- in some case also water -- to walk outside without the fear to be kidnapped, to have good internet and a good job," the analyst said. "So the economy is still far away from any substantial improvement: inflation has grown, like the black market, and unemployment."
The production and sale of oil and gas is not enough to make a country work. That has dropped dramatically. Saini Fasanotti noted that in 2010, Libya had a GDP of $74.76 billion, but that fell to less than half -- $34.7 billion -- a year later.
"Any agreement about the oil is important, but remember that is just one of the many that Libya must reach in the next few months," she said, adding that fuel is "only the pavement for the Libyan house. But where are the walls and the roof?"
"The moves made by the International community in this way are just diplomatic and not connected to the economy," said Saini Fasanotti, referring to renewed efforts by the U.N. and the European Union to broker a national deal.
"What Libya needs is the construction of a new economical system, and that needs time, effort but above all a serious Libyan commitment," Saini Fasanotti said. "Libya belongs to Libyans. The reconstruction of the country has to start from them."