Form of Government: Republic
Area: 121 100 sq km
Population: 5 918 919 inhab. (estimate 2017)
Density: 48.88 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 18° - 12° N; long. 36° - 43° E
Capital: Asmara=Asmera (capital) 896 000 inhab. (2018);
Currency: nakfa (100 cents)
Human development index: 0.44 (rank: 179)
President and head of government: Isaias Afeworki (EPDJ), since 24 May 1993
Internet: www.shabait.com (Ministry of Information)
Member of AU, COMESA, UN

Eritrea

Iertra, Iritriyā, Hagere Iertra, Dawlat Iritriyā
Useful information

International license plate code ER
International dialling code 00291
Travel vaccinations requirement yellow fever (required only if traveling from a country with risk of transmission); malaria prophylaxis (recommended)
Electricity (Voltage) 230
Driving side rigth
Internet code .er

GMT  +3
DST  not applied
Annual average temperature (°C) Asmara 18.3
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Asmara 15/18.5
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Asmara 6/10
Annual average precipitation (mm) Asmara 478
Days of rainfall (annual average) Asmara 60

Politics and current affairs

Diplomatic rapports with Ethiopia recovered in 2018, when a peace agreement was signed and the border was reopened. After it, the UN Security Council removed its sanctions on Eritrea.

Geography.
It is bordered to the SE by Djibouti, to the S by Ethiopia, to the W and NW by Sudan, while to the E and NE it faces the Red Sea. The landscape includes the Asmara plateau, the northernmost strip of the Ethiopian Highlands which reaches heights of up to 2200 m and slopes down to the east towards the coastal plains. There are numerous islands. The main rivers are the River Barka, the Mareb and the Tekezé. The climate is extremely hot on the coast and more temperate inland.

Government


The history of Eritrea was closely linked to the history of Ethiopia throughout the period of Italian colonisation (1899-1941). Following this period, the nation became a British trustee until 1952 when the country was federated with Ethiopia in what was declared a “united autonomy”.
In 1962, it was annexed by the Ethiopian government which led to long a war for independence led by the FPL (Popular Liberation Front). On 24 May 1993, after a referendum, Eritrea declared independence. However, the lack of agreement on the position of the border led to war in 1998-2000. A peace treaty was signed in Algiers on 12 December 2000 and a UN peace mission was deployed on the border, later withdrawn in 2008; the crisis was resolved in 2018, with the signing of an agreement in Jeddah (16 September). Political life is dominated by the EPDJ (The People’s Front for Democracy and Justice, heir to the FPL), which has abandoned the Marxist ideals of the original party to establish an authoritarian and personal regime. The Constitution of 1997, which calls for a head of state and an elected parliament, has not been enacted. A National Assembly has formally been in existence since 1992, but in reality all powers, including those of the judiciary, are in the hands of the President.

Defence
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Air force0.2%2015
Army99.1%2015
Justice
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Homicides8per 100 000 pop.2015
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Administrative division

Administrative division
RegionAREAINHABITANTSYEAR
Anseba23 200 sq km581 000 inhab.2002
Centrale=Ma'kel1 300 sq km728 000 inhab.2002
Cities
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Asmara=Asmera896 000inhab.2018
Assab=Aseb104 075inhab.2013
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Population

Population by age and gender (% - 2018)
75+
60-74
45-59
30-44
15-29
0-14
MALEAGEFEMALE
Demographic statistics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Birth rate31.62017
Death rate6.62017
Ethnic groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Tigray55%2010
Tigré30%2010


Religions
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Coptic Orthodox57%2010
Muslim36%2010


Languages
DESCRIPTION
Arabic
English
Population by selected age groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
0-14 years39.5%2018
15-29 years27.5%2018


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Economy


Agriculture is mostly for local consumption (cereals, potatoes and pulses); nomadic livestock (sheep, goats and camels) and fishing (with fish processing plants in Massawa and Assab), are also relevant. Shortfalls in food supply (caused by frequent droughts), are covered by international aid. Silver, gold, copper and zinc are extracted from the Bisha mine; the Colluli mine (Afar region) exploits a vast deposit of potash. A fairly significant amount of salt is also extracted at Massawa and Assab. There are petrochemical plants (Assab), mechanical and food processing plants (Asmara), textile and tanning factories (Debarwa), cement works (Massawa) as well as paper and tobacco factories. Since 2008, a free-trade zone has been operating in the port of Massawa.

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)104.4index2016
Balance of trade- 596.5M US$2018
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population2 401 000units2017
Active population, Females46.9%2017
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate6.5%2018
Unemployment rate, Females49.2%2018
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses23 204.1M LCU2016
Revenues11 686.6M LCU2016
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture62.7%2018
industry8.3%2018
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture17.2%2017
industry23.5%2017
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation17.9BN LCU2014
International reserves114.8M US$2011
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Agriculture

Land use
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
arable land6.85%2015
forests14.95%2015
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley651000 t2017
cereals, total302.4621000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes0.1391000 t2017
roots and tubers, total71.2551000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry0.1991000 t2017
broad beans, dry0.3331000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts2.331000 t2017
sesame seed5.3281000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
linseed0.1911000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
fruits, total4.7881000 t2014
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley451000 ha2017
maize201000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes0.1481000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry2.0441000 ha2017
broad beans, dry0.5371000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts3.141000 ha2017
sesame seed26.511000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
linseed0.5751000 ha2017
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
timber1 023 0312017
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle2 106.681000 heads2017
cattle and buffaloes2 106.681000 heads2017
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep2 409.2311000 heads2017
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats1 803.2151000 heads2017
Livestock - Camelids
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
camels379.1891000 heads2017
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds1 3501000 heads2017
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
butter1.4871000 t2014
cheese0.6611000 t2014
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
corals96 000t2014
crustaceans and molluscs114t2017
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Minerals

Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
copper61.61000 t2015
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
gypsum101000 t2016
salt3101000 t2016
Mineral resources - Rocks
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
basalt651000 t2015
granite301000 t2015
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
gold900kg2016
silver70 330kg2015
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal393.86M kWh2016
non-renewable electricity generation94.709%2016
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal1591000 kW2016
- other renew.1.71000 kW2016
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation415.86M kWh2016
total installed capacity160.71000 kW2016
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Industry

Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beer of barley201000 t2014
sesame oil0.61000 t2014
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement2001000 t2016
Industry - Various
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemicals production72.6M US$2016
food, beverages and tobacco production1 229.8M US$2016
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Trade

Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
2018574M US$ -
2017482M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
20181 170M US$ -
20171 120M US$ -
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Tourism

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Number of arrivals142 000units2016
Receipts48M US$2016
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Communications


The railway lines built by the Italians (1897-1911) have in part been re-established, linking the port of Massawa to Asmara.

Communication - Transport
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Civil aviation, passengers carried102.71000 units2017
Merchant fleet9units2018
Communication - Media and telecommunication
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Broadband subscribers0.121per 1000 pop.2016
Computers10.1per 1000 pop.2008
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Social and welfare

Social statistics - Education
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expected years of schooling5.4years2015
Graduates2 575units2016
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Teachers, primary level8 842units2017
Teachers, secondary level6 766units2017
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds0.7per 1000 pop.2011
Physicians0.05per 1000 pop.2004
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV0.6% of adults2017
HIV, total1.4%2001
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking16.32%2016
Access to electricity48.423%2017
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