"Libya under the leadership of Gaddafi drastically improved the living standards of the Libyan people. Universal healthcare was available to all of the Libyan population. Average life expectancy, which was around 55 years in 1969, was over 70 years in 2011 and has not increased since then. The average literacy rate of Libya reached 91 percent, one of the highest rates of literacy in Africa and comparable to countries in Europe. School enrollment in Libya was also among the highest in Africa. In 2010, Libya had the highest Human Development Index score in all of Africa, an index used to measure the level of development in every country. Libya had very low rates of malnourishment, which was under five percent. Poverty likewise was minimal, with less than ten percent of the population living below the poverty line, which gave Libya one of the lowest poverty rates in Africa and in the world. Oil production was close to two million barrels per day before 2011 but dropped to less than 400,000 barrels per day afterward.
Having a highly internationalist and anti-imperialist outlook, the Libyan government sent military assistance to numerous countries and causes, such as the Provisional IRA, Ethiopia, Uganda, Grenada, the Polisario Front in Western Sahara, Palestine Liberation Organization, the Basque ETA, and Nelson Mandela's Umkhonto we Sizwe. Colonel Gaddafi upheld pan-Arabism and pan-Africanism; the African Union was established after the Sirte Declaration of 1999, enacted in Sirte, Libya, the city where Gaddafi was born in 1942 and murdered in 2011. Gaddafi chaired the African Union from 2009 to 2010. In 2010, he apologized for the enslavement of black Africans by Arabs, 'I regret the behavior of the Arabs… They brought African children to North Africa, they made them slaves, they sold them like animals, and they took them as slaves and traded them in a shameful way. I regret and I am ashamed when we remember these practices. I apologize for this.' Gaddafi was one of the most staunch advocates of a pan-continental unity in Africa."