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Eritrea (2002)

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Eritrea 2002 year

Administrative divisions 6 regions (regions, singular - region); Central, Anelba, Southern Red Sea, Northern Red Sea, Southern, Gash-Barka
Age structure 0-14 years: 42.9% (male 958,564; female 955,625)

15-64 years: 53.9% (male 1,192,454; female 1,213,313)

65 years and over: 3.2% (male 73,017; female 72,678) (2002 est.)
Agriculture - products sorghum, lentils, vegetables, corn, cotton, tobacco, coffee, sisal; livestock, goats; fish
Airports 21 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways total: 4

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 14

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 6

914 to 1,523 m: 4

under 914 m: 2 (2002)
Area total: 121,320 sq km

land: 121,320 sq km

water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative slightly larger than Pennsylvania
Background Eritrea was awarded to Ethiopia in 1952 as part of a federation. Ethiopia's annexation of Eritrea as a province 10 years later sparked a 30-year struggle for independence that ended in 1991 with Eritrean rebels defeating governmental forces; independence was overwhelmingly approved in a 1993 referendum. A two and a half year border war with Ethiopia that erupted in 1998 ended under UN auspices on 12 December 2000. Eritrea currently hosts a UN peacekeeping operation that will monitor the border region until an international commission determines and demarcates the boundary between the two countries.
Birth rate 42.25 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Budget revenues: $206.4 million

expenditures: $615.7 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
Capital Asmara (formerly Asmera)
Climate hot, dry desert strip along Red Sea coast; cooler and wetter in the central highlands (up to 61 cm of rainfall annually); semiarid in western hills and lowlands; rainfall heaviest during June-September except in coastal desert
Coastline 2,234 km total; mainland on Red Sea 1,151 km, islands in Red Sea 1,083 km
Constitution the transitional constitution, decreed on 19 May 1993, was replaced by a new constitution adopted on 23 May 1997, but not yet implemented
Country name conventional long form: State of Eritrea

conventional short form: Eritrea

local long form: Hagere Ertra

local short form: Ertra

former: Eritrea Autonomous Region in Ethiopia
Currency nakfa (ERN)
Death rate 11.82 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Debt - external $281 million (2000 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Donald J. McCONNELL

embassy: Franklin D. Roosevelt Street, Asmara

mailing address: P. O. Box 211, Asmara

telephone: [291] (1) 120004

FAX: [291] (1) 127584
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador GIRMA Asmerom

chancery: 1708 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009

telephone: [1] (202) 319-1991

FAX: [1] (202) 319-1304

consulate(s) general: Oakland (California)
Disputes - international Eritrea and Ethiopia have expressed general approval of the April 2002 arbitration commission ruling re-delimiting the boundary, the focus of their 1998-2000 war; United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) will monitor activities within the 25-km wide temporary security zone in Eritrea until demarcation and de-mining are complete; Yemen has asserted traditional fishing rights to islands ceded to Eritrea in ICJ ruling
Economic aid - recipient $77 million (1999) (1999)
Economy - overview Since independence from Ethiopia on 24 May 1993, Eritrea has faced the economic problems of a small, desperately poor country. Like the economies of many African nations, the economy is largely based on subsistence agriculture, with 80% of the population involved in farming and herding. The Ethiopian-Eritrea war in 1998-2000 severely hurt Eritrea's economy. GDP growth in 1999 fell to less than 1%, and GDP decreased by 8.2% in 2000. The May 2000 Ethiopian offensive into northern Eritrea caused some $600 million in property damage and loss, including losses of $225 million in livestock and 55,000 homes. The attack prevented planting of crops in Eritrea's most productive region, causing food production to drop by 62%. Even during the war, Eritrea developed its transportation infrastructure, asphalting new roads, improving its ports, and repairing war damaged roads and bridges. Eritrea's economic future remains mixed. The cessation of Ethiopian trade, which mainly used Eritrean ports before the war, leaves Eritrea with a large economic hole to fill. Eritrea's economic future depends upon its ability to master fundamental social problems like illiteracy, unemployment, and low skills, and to convert the diaspora's money and expertise into economic growth.
Electricity - consumption 195.3 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh NA kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh NA kWh (2000)
Electricity - production 210 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel: 100%

hydro: 0%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (2000)
Elevation extremes lowest point: near Kulul within the Denakil depression -75 m

highest point: Soira 3,018 m
Environment - current issues deforestation; desertification; soil erosion; overgrazing; loss of infrastructure from civil warfare
Environment - international agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Ethnic groups ethnic Tigrinya 50%, Tigre and Kunama 40%, Afar 4%, Saho (Red Sea coast dwellers) 3%, other 3%
Exchange rates nakfa (ERN) per US dollar - 9.5 (January 2000), 7.6 (January 1999), 7.2 (March 1998 est.)
Executive branch chief of state: President Afworki ISAIAS (since 8 June 1993); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government and is head of the State Council and National Assembly

head of government: President Afworki ISAIAS (since 8 June 1993); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government and is head of the State Council and National Assembly

cabinet: State Council is the collective executive authority; members appointed by the president

elections: president elected by the National Assembly; election last held 8 June 1993 (next election date uncertain as the National Assembly did not hold a presidential election in December 2001 as anticipated)

election results: ISAIAS Afworki elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - ISAIAS Afworki 95%
Exports 0 kWh NA kWh (2000)
Exports $34.8 million f.o.b. (2000)
Exports - commodities livestock, sorghum, textiles, food, small manufactures
Exports - partners Sudan 27.2%, Ethiopia 26.5%, Japan 13.2%, UAE 7.3%, Italy 5.3% (1998)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description red isosceles triangle (based on the hoist side) dividing the flag into two right triangles; the upper triangle is green, the lower one is blue; a gold wreath encircling a gold olive branch is centered on the hoist side of the red triangle
GDP purchasing power parity - $3.2 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 17%

industry: 29%

services: 54% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $740 (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 7% (2001 est.)
Geographic coordinates 15 00 N, 39 00 E
Geography - note strategic geopolitical position along world's busiest shipping lanes; Eritrea retained the entire coastline of Ethiopia along the Red Sea upon de jure independence from Ethiopia on 24 May 1993
Highways total: 3,850 km

paved: 810 km

unpaved: 3,040 km (2000)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%
Imports 0 kWh NA kWh (2000)
Imports $470.5 million c.i.f. (2000)
Imports - commodities machinery, petroleum products, food, manufactured goods
Imports - partners Italy 17.4%, UAE 16.2%, Germany 5.7%, UK 4.5%, Korea 4.4% (1998)
Independence 24 May 1993 (from Ethiopia)
Industrial production growth rate NA%
Industries food processing, beverages, clothing and textiles
Infant mortality rate 73.62 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 15% (2001 est.)
International organization participation ACP, AfDB, CCC, ECA, FAO, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS (associate), IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 5 (2001)
Irrigated land 220 sq km (1998 est.)
Judicial branch High court, regional, subregional, and village courts; also have military and special courts
Labor force NA
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 80%, industry and services 20%
Land boundaries total: 1,626 km

border countries: Djibouti 109 km, Ethiopia 912 km, Sudan 605 km
Land use arable land: 3.87%

permanent crops: 0.02%

other: 96.11% (1998 est.)
Languages Afar, Amharic, Arabic, Tigre and Kunama, Tigrinya, other Cushitic languages
Legal system primary basis is the Ethiopian legal code of 1957, with revisions; new civil, commercial, and penal codes have not yet been promulgated; also relies on customary and post-independence-enacted laws and, for civil cases involving Muslims, Sharia law
Legislative branch unicameral National Assembly (150 seats; term limits not established)

elections: in May 1997, following the adoption of the new constitution, 75 members of the PFDJ Central Committee (the old Central Committee of the EPLF), 60 members of the 527-member Constituent Assembly which had been established in 1997 to discuss and ratify the new constitution, and 15 representatives of Eritreans living abroad were formed into a Transitional National Assembly to serve as the country's legislative body until countrywide elections to a National Assembly were held; although only 75 of 150 members of the Transitional National Assembly were elected, the constitution stipulates that once past the transition stage, all members of the National Assembly will be elected by secret ballot of all eligible voters; National Assembly elections scheduled for December 2001 were postponed indefinately
Life expectancy at birth total population: 56.57 years

male: 54.09 years

female: 59.13 years (2002 est.)
Literacy definition: NA

total population: 25%

male: NA%

female: NA%
Location Eastern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Djibouti and Sudan
Map references Africa
Maritime claims territorial sea: 12 NM
Merchant marine total: 6 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 19,100 GRT/23,399 DWT

ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 2, liquefied gas 1, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 1 (2002 est.)
Military branches Army, Navy, Air Force
Military expenditures - dollar figure $138.3 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 19.8% (FY01)
National holiday Independence Day, 24 May (1993)
Nationality noun: Eritrean(s)

adjective: Eritrean
Natural hazards frequent droughts; locust swarms
Natural resources gold, potash, zinc, copper, salt, possibly oil and natural gas, fish
Net migration rate 7.61 migrant(s)/1,000 population

note: UNHCR began repatriating about 150,000 Eritrean refugees from Sudan in 2001 following the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 2000 (2002 est.)
Political parties and leaders People's Front for Democracy and Justice or PFDJ, the only party recognized by the government [Afworki ISAIAS]; note - a National Assembly committee drafted a law on political parties in January 2001, but the full National Assembly had not yet debated or voted on it as of December 2001
Political pressure groups and leaders Eritrean Islamic Jihad or EIJ; Eritrean Liberation Front or ELF [ABDULLAH Muhammed]; Eritrean Liberation Front-Revolutionary Council or ELF-RC [Ahmed NASSER]; Eritrean Liberation Front-United Organization or ELF-UO [Mohammed Said NAWD]; Eritrean Public Forum or EPF [ARADOM Iyob]
Population 4,465,651 (July 2002 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 3.8% (2002 est.)
Ports and harbors Assab (Aseb), Massawa (Mits'iwa)
Radio broadcast stations AM 2, FM NA, shortwave 2 (2000)
Radios 345,000 (1997)
Railways total: 317 km

narrow gauge: 317 km 0.950-m gauge

note: links Ak'ordat and Asmara with the port of Massawa; nonoperational since 1978 except for about a 5 km stretch that was reopened in Massawa in 1994; rehabilitation of the remainder and of the rolling stock is under way (2001 est.)
Religions Muslim, Coptic Christian, Roman Catholic, Protestant
Sex ratio at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: inadequate

domestic: very inadequate; most telephones are in Asmara; government is seeking international tenders to improve the system (2002)

international: NA; note - international connections exist
Telephones - main lines in use 30,000 (2001)
Telephones - mobile cellular NA; note - mobile cellular service was introduced in May 2001
Television broadcast stations 1 (2000)
Terrain dominated by extension of Ethiopian north-south trending highlands, descending on the east to a coastal desert plain, on the northwest to hilly terrain and on the southwest to flat-to-rolling plains
Total fertility rate 5.8 children born/woman (2002 est.)
Unemployment rate NA%
Waterways none
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