Eritrea is a country on the eastern side of the Red Sea, in the eastern part of the African continent. Eritrea borders on Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan. Until 1993 it was dependent on Ethiopia. Eritrea has a Constitution, according to which the state is headed by a president whose term of office is formally limited to five years (in fact, this restriction is not respected), is elected by the parliament. The President is also the head of the Government of Eritrea. The National Assembly – the legislative body of the state – consists of one hundred and fifty deputies.
The capital of the state is the city of Asmara. The estimated population of Eritrea in 2008 was almost six million people, according to 2010 data, the annual population growth was equal to two and a half percent. The share of the urban population in the country is about twenty percent. The life expectancy of women is sixty-four years, men – sixty years. About half of the population professes Islam, the rest is Christianity (its various directions).
Eritrea is a multinational state.
There are 9 main ethnic groups in its territory: afar, tigrinya, tigra, saho, rasheida, nara, kunama, gedareb, bilin. All of them differ from each other in their customs, traditions and even language. The largest number of tigranya groups. The tiger is the second largest in terms of number. These two ethnic groups account for between eighty and eighty-five per cent of the population of Eritrea. Rasheyda is the smallest group. This is due to the fact that its resettlement began only in the late nineteenth century, and currently this group accounts for no more than one percent of the population of Eritrea.
Eritrea is a poor country.
In fact, Eritrea is among the poorest countries on our planet. The economic system is under the complete control of the ruling party (one-party political system), here there is a team-type economy. According to estimates made in 2009, the gross domestic product was $ 1.7 billion, while per capita, only seven hundred dollars, and Eritrea is ranked one hundred and eighty-seventh in the world in this indicator.
There is no rail service in Eritrea.
There is no only external link with other states (due to different track gauge – in Eritrea it is equal to ninety-five centimeters), but there is an internal railway communication. At present, the length of railways is one hundred and eighteen kilometers, although previously it was equal to two hundred sixty three kilometers. Eritrean Railway is the only railway company in Eritrea. The line connecting the cities of Asmara and Massawa was built at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (1887-1910), from 1911 to 1923 it was extended to Karen, and in subsequent years to Akordat.
Eritrea is a hot country.
One of the hottest on our planet. Over its territory a semi-desert, desert and subequatorial climate was established. The average annual temperatures range from twenty to thirty-seven degrees Celsius with a plus sign. The maximum temperature is plus forty-five degrees Celsius. Eritrea is characterized by sharp changes in temperature during the day. a small amount of precipitation a year – from five hundred to two hundred millimeters. The most favorable time to visit Eritrea is September – October and March – April.
Eritrea is an illiterate country.
According to the 2003 assessment of women, only forty-eight percent are literate, seventy percent among men.
Acuity is a feature of the national cuisine of Eritrea.
The following dishes are popular: enbasha, ful, wide, kicha. In many dishes spices are added. For example, in a dish of pea flour wide. Eritrean coffee is a special aroma.Perhaps, its unusual taste is associated with the way of brewing – as a container is used a clay jug.
Eritrea is rich in flora and fauna.
In the savannahs grow baobabs (these are so huge trees that their circumference can reach forty five meters), in the coastal areas of Eritrea – eucalyptus, date palm, acacia, agave. An interesting plant world in the mountainous areas of Eritrea. Here you can find, for example, a tree of sycamore. In the forests of this country there is also a tamarind tree, fig tree and so on. ebony. The wood of the latter finds its application in the manufacture of expensive furniture. In general, it can be noted that the dominant in the country is still shrubby vegetation. One of the most interesting representatives of the plant world of the country is the palm tree “doom” (a very rare species of palm trees), which has a thick high trunk (up to a height of fifteen to twenty meters) and a branched crown. The fruits of such an apple-sized palm have a fairly large seed, which is in many respects similar to ivory (both in properties and in color). As a result, the seed of the palm tree “doom” the population, as a rule, and calls – plant ivory, moreover, it is the seed that is the most valuable that is in the palm tree “doom”. From it do buttons and all kinds of jewelry. In general, the palm can be called in many ways a “universal” plant. Its leaves are used to weave baskets, etc., and are also used as fodder for livestock. The trunk is used in construction, a wonderful wine is made from palm juice, and the kidneys replace vegetables. The animal world of Eritrea is represented by monkeys and lions, crocodiles and wild boars, rabbits and porcupines, hyenas and hippos, baboons and antelopes, jackals and turtles, elephants and rhinos, snakes and rodents.
Eritrea is a great place for diving enthusiasts.
This is indeed so, because the glory of the underwater world of the Red Sea has spread throughout the world. The coastline of Eritrea is more than two thousand kilometers (about a thousand kilometers to the islands and to the mainland). All lovers of diving are waiting for fabulous tropical fish and unsurpassed coral reefs.
The agricultural sector forms the backbone of the Eritrean economy.
It employs eighty percent of the population. At the same time, in Eritrea there is an acute shortage of fertile land. The reason for this, including, and the destructive process of soil erosion. As a result, only about five percent of the land is cultivated in the country, and the share of agriculture in the gross domestic product is about seventeen percent (2009 data). Agriculture is based on the cultivation of cotton, citrus, sorghum, wheat, millet, papaya, vegetables, corn, potatoes, bananas. Animal husbandry is represented by poultry farming and dairy cattle breeding. Also, fishing is developing (catch of pike, tuna, sardine, salmon, anchovies and other fish species). To contribute to the development of fishing, Eritrea was provided with financial assistance from Japan and the countries of the European Union.
Industry is an important sector of the economy of Eritrea.
Its share in the gross domestic product as estimated for 2009 was twenty-three percent. However, a significant part of the manufacturing enterprises in Eritrea (including textile, oil refining, food, footwear enterprises) need to be restored. There are enterprises specializing in salt production in the country, there are also enterprises for the production of cooling drinks, glass, meat and dairy products, as well as fish processing. The artisan industry boasts a good development.
Eritrea has a negative foreign trade balance.
And the difference between the volume of imports and exports is enormous. According to data for 2008, imports amounted to six hundred and one million dollars, and exports – only thirteen million dollars.Industrial products, food, oil products, machinery and equipment are imported; and sorghum and cattle are exported. The main importers of Eritrea are Germany, the United States of America, China, Italy, India, Saudi Arabia. And the last country accounts for up to twenty one percent of imports. The main buyers are the Russian Federation (four percent of exported products), Saudi Arabia, France, China, Sudan, Italy, India (more than twenty-five percent).
In terms of historical heritage, Eritrea is a unique region.
Archaeologists have discovered on its territory, in the Barca Valley, an ancient settlement of people, which dates back to the eighth millennium before the new era. A significant part of the historical sights of Eritrea, unfortunately, was destroyed. The reason for this is the lengthy military actions that took place in this country. However, a number of architectural monuments survived to this day, among them, for example, a mosque, a Catholic cathedral, Roman porticos, columns of the Governor’s Palace, etc.
Eritrea has a visa-free entry regime.
On the contrary, to visit this country, citizens of the Russian Federation must take care of the visa in time. You can obtain a visa in two ways: on arrival in Eritrea, in Moscow at the appropriate consular department. If you choose the first option, you can do this only if you have an officially issued invitation and only in the city of Asmara – at an international airport. In addition to the Russian Federation, consulates of Eritrea are available in the United States of America, Italy, France, Germany, Great Britain, South Africa, Kenya, Djibouti, Egypt, Israel and some other countries. The visa is given for thirty days with the possibility of extending for another sixty days. The validity of the transit visa is seven days.
The war with Ethiopia is the reason for the decline in the flow of tourists to Eritrea.
Indeed, in 2000, the country was visited by seventy thousand people, while in 1997 – four hundred and ten thousand people. Be that as it may, Eritrea has all the prerequisites for the development of tourism: the beaches of the Dahlak archipelago, clean sea waters and the unusual reefs of the Red Sea. The fact of the culture of the inhabitants of this country is also attractive. The island of Kebir has a large tourist complex. A significant part of the country’s attractions is concentrated in the Eritrean capital – the city of Asmara, but other parts of Eritrea are also of interest to the curious vacationer. In one hundred and twenty kilometers from Asmara there is Kohaitto – a region of archaeological excavations, in the town of Nakfa you can look at underground catacomb cities.