The North African nation of Libya shares its borders with Egypt, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Algeria and Tunisia while also having a sizeable portion of Mediterranean coastline. It is Africa’s fourth largest country and the vast majority of its population can be found to the north, nearer to the coast.
Libya has the tenth-largest proven reserves of oil in the world, providing a platform for development in modern times and making it a location of great global interest. The region was occupied at some stage by the Persians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, while it also has Spanish and Arabic influences. It became an independent kingdom in the aftermath of the Second World War before Colonel Gaddafi took power in 1969.
Around 90% of Libya is desert although a Mediterranean climate can be found near to the coastline. The Libyan Desert is one of the most arid places on earth and some locations have gone decades without experiencing any rainfall. Temperatures in the desert are extreme, with some of the hottest on record noted within Libya’s borders.
While the oil sector in Libya accounts for around 80% of the country’s gross domestic product, production of natural gas and gypsum also occurs. The Great man-made River Project in Egypt has helped access the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System – the world’s largest known fossil water aquifer – which spans an area underground of more than two million square kilometres.
The solid green national flag used throughout the time when Colonel Gaddafi was in power was the only one in the world which had just one single colour. It was altered when he was overthrown in 2011.