Libyan Rocket: Africa’s Exotic Safety Car


Courtesy of Gaddafi, Libya has a lot of revolutionary wonders to be proud of. This is one country that enjoyed free basic amenities from education to health care; and has the largest irrigation channel in the world, Gaddafi made no mistake when he called it the eight world wonder. In truth everything Gaddafi was and did, is doubtless a world stunner.  Gaddafi is a resounding name in the history of African politics and governance. He is known for so many things, good and bad alike but never in dim lights is his interest to better the African continent. In 2009, Gaddafi presented Africa and the world at large, with the Libyan rocket (Saroukh el-Jamahiriya), the world’s safest car. This is not the first attempt by Africans to produce cars, what made this self designed Gaddafi creation very spectacular was the exotic details, the rocket shape and most importantly the ‘safety’ features. The land rocket, as fondly called, is supposed to be the safest car in the world. The production of this phenomenal car was based on the concern for the high rate of accident reports and deaths in Libya.


Like Gaddafi, like car. Just when He was going to embark fully on the ‘rocket’ business, he dies, and just when African economy was looking up, the hope gets dashed. Both designer and his creation have an out of the world syndrome running through them. You never stop wondering what was going through his head when he firmly ensures that the sedan had every single rare but innovative detail that it has. His patriotism which never fails to reflect in his service to the Libyan populace also makes itself conspicuous in the conception and production of this world-class car. Gaddafi made this rocket dream of his first known in 1999, but finally reintroduced it officially in 2009, during the African Union conference, marking his 30th anniversary in governance.

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In partnership with the Italian automobile company, Tesco, the Libyan Arab Domestic Investment company produced this revolutionary prototype with a deserving $2.85 million and had plans of venturing into the mass production of the automobiles in a proposed plant in Tripoli. The irony of the ‘rocket’ tag of this car was that while rockets are meant to destroy, this Libyan rocket was made to save lives. The name was given to it because of the nose and tail feature that it has. The sleek ride was tastefully done and can be compared to any internationally acclaimed automobile. The car has five(5) seats, powered by a 230-hp V6, has airbags, an inbuilt electronic defense system, bumpers that easily collapse (which should protect the passengers in case of collisions) and the ability of cutting fuel supply in accident cases too, to prevent fire outbreak. What else do you want in a car?

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Under the governance of Gaddafi, Libya was not a particularly hungry nation. They were rich enough to sponsor the AU as well as power up the African economy. As said earlier, Gaddafi might be a lot of so many things but one thing he was not was unpatriotic and unconcerned about the well-being of his people. If he were, he would not do all the things he did for Libyans in his reign, he would also not personally design the ‘safety’ car himself. Bearing this practical facts in mind and judging from the timing of his death, it is believed that there could be another side to the story. Several controversial suppositions have cropped up. While some say he got what he deserved, some other people believe his death deprived Africa of a means of putting the continent’s economy in a better spot. They believe his death was all part of a malicious plan to abort his efforts of salvaging Africans from the poverty stereotype.