The winners of the first annual competition for Libyan University Entrepreneurs were announced at a ceremony in Tripoli yesterday. The awards were organized by Expertise France, in cooperation with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
Competition is part of a wider framework of cooperation
Expertise France explained that the competition comes within the wider framework of cooperation with the Libyan Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and in implementation of the memorandum of understanding signed between the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Expertise France on 26 October 2021. It also comes within the implementation of the activities of the European Union for the Private Sector in Libya (EU4PSL) project funded by the European Union and implemented by Expertise France and its efforts to integrate the entrepreneurship course in university education.
Aim of the competition
The aim of the competition, Expertise France explained, is to award the best three projects out of 12 selected from among the students who studied the entrepreneurship module over three semesters in different Libyan universities.
The competition aims to shed light on the new entrepreneurship course outputs and provide an opportunity for students to apply the information and skills they acquired through their study of the academic course in developing the private sector with their entrepreneurial ideas.
27 centres for entrepreneurship and innovation in Libyan universities
The entrepreneurship course curriculum was developed in cooperation with the French University, Lyon 3, and was integrated into higher education in Libya last year after raising the capacities of 44 professors to deliver it across Libyan universities with the establishment of 27 centres for entrepreneurship and innovation in Libyan universities.
In his speech that inaugurated the activities of the competition, Mohamed Al-Aswad, Director of Programmes for Experts France, said that this competition is the first of its kind for university students organized and supervised by Experts France inside Libya in cooperation with several universities in various cities of Libya.
Entrepreneurship and knowledge capital are an inexhaustible economic resource
He added that the interest in entrepreneurship and knowledge capital is the real capital and are an inexhaustible economic resource unlike the rest of the resources that expire and deplete over time. Therefore, the interest in entrepreneurship and people with creative ideas in Libya is part of the most important Experts France projects in Libya.
Winning projects will be financed and launched into market
Al-Aswad stressed that the competition aims to refine and support the winning creative ideas and projects, up to the stage of financing and launching them in the market, so that they can compete and achieve profits, and thus provide new job opportunities, reduce unemployment and overcrowding in the public sector, and curb public spending and dependence on the state.
Libya needs to create 1.2 million jobs in 10 years
He pointed out that there are more than half a million male and female students in university studies, and more than this number in intermediate education, meaning that after ten years, Libya needs to provide one 1.2 million job opportunities, which will raise public sector employees to nearly 3 million employees. It is a very difficult thing, so entrepreneurship is the solution to reduce unemployment, and it is the right alternative to providing job opportunities, he added.
Entrepreneurship helps economic diversification
For her part, Advisor to the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Hanan Dagiz, said that through this scientific forum, the philosophy of entrepreneurship is devoted and simulates the foundations of the strategy of economic diversification and the enhancement of institutional competitiveness through the contribution of universities and institutions of higher education and scientific research in Libya.
Ideas transformed into productive projects
She added that this competition works to transform ideas, innovations, and even plans into productive projects that contribute to moving the wheel of sustainable development by creating job opportunities for youth and job seekers, by creating and developing solutions to problems, bottlenecks, and obstacles that impede state institutions achieving the highest levels of performance and productivity.
After presenting their projects to the audience and the jury, the three winners were chosen:
- First place went to student Hashim Nasser from the University of Tobruk with his project on vertical farming.
- Second place was awarded to student Hadeel Ben Ali from the University of Zintan with her project on paper recycling.
- Third place was won by student Abdul Mujib Pasha from the University of Zintan with the project of a systematic educational platform.