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Eritrea (2005)

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Eritrea 2005 year

Administrative divisions 6 regions (zobatat, singular - zoba); Anseba, Debub (Southern), Debubawi K'eyih Bahri (Southern Red Sea), Gash Barka, Ma'akel (Central), Semenawi Keyih Bahri (Northern Red Sea)
Age structure 0-14 years: 44.8% (male 1,023,898/female 1,019,389)

15-64 years: 51.9% (male 1,170,823/female 1,194,741)

65 years and over: 3.3% (male 74,312/female 78,436) (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products sorghum, lentils, vegetables, corn, cotton, tobacco, coffee, sisal; livestock, goats; fish
Airports 17 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total: 4

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 13

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 5

914 to 1,523 m: 4

under 914 m: 2 (2004 est.)
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 is monitoring a 25 km-wide Temporary Security Zone on the border with Ethiopia. An international commission, organized to resolve the border dispute, posted its findings in 2002 but final demarcation is on hold due to Ethiopian objections.
Birth rate 38.62 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Budget revenues: $235.2 million

expenditures: $373.2 million, including capital expenditures of NA (2004 est.)
Capital Asmara
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 a 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
Death rate 13.53 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Debt - external $311 million (2000 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Scott H. DELISI

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 agreed to abide by 2002 Ethiopia-Eritrea Boundary Commission's (EEBC) delimitation decision, but despite international intervention, mutual animosities, accusations and armed posturing prevail, preventing demarcation; Ethiopia refuses to withdraw to the delimited boundary until technical errors made by the EEBC that ignored "human geography" are addressed, including the award of Badme, the focus of the 1998-2000 war; Eritrea insists that the EEBC decision be implemented immediately without modifications; since 2000, the UN Peacekeeping Mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) monitors the 25km-wide Temporary Security Zone in Eritrea until the demarcation; Sudan accuses Eritrea of supporting Sudanese rebel groups; Eritrea protests Yemeni fishing around the Hanish Islands awarded to Eritrea by the ICJ in 1999
Economic aid - recipient $77 million (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 fell to zero in 1999 and to -12.1% 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. Since the war ended, the government has maintained a firm grip on the economy, expanding the use of the military and party-owned businesses to complete Eritrea's development agenda. Erratic rainfall and the delayed demobilization of agriculturalists from the military kept cereal production well below normal, holding down growth in 2002-04. Eritrea's economic future depends upon its ability to master social problems such as illiteracy, unemployment, and low skills, and to open its economy to private enterprise so the diaspora's money and expertise can foster economic growth.
Electricity - consumption 229.4 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - production 246.6 million kWh (2002)
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 - 13.788 (2004), 13.878 (2003), 13.958 (2002), 11.31 (2001), 9.625 (2000)
Executive branch chief of state: President ISAIAS Afworki (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 ISAIAS Afworki (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 (2002)
Exports $64.44 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports NA
Exports - commodities livestock, sorghum, textiles, food, small manufactures (2000)
Exports - partners Malaysia 26.6%, Italy 17.1%, Japan 8%, Germany 6.6%, China 5%, UK 4.9%, US 4.7%, France 4.4%, Poland 4.2% (2004)
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 - composition by sector agriculture: 12.4%

industry: 25.9%

services: 61.7% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $900 (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 2.5% (2004 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: 4,010 km

paved: 874 km

unpaved: 3,136 km (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: NA

highest 10%: NA
Imports 0 kWh (2002)
Imports $622 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports NA
Imports - commodities machinery, petroleum products, food, manufactured goods (2000)
Imports - partners Ireland 26.6%, US 18.6%, Italy 16.6%, Turkey 6.4% (2004)
Independence 24 May 1993 (from Ethiopia)
Industrial production growth rate NA
Industries food processing, beverages, clothing and textiles, salt, cement, commercial ship repair
Infant mortality rate total: 74.87 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 82.28 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 67.24 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 10% (2004 est.)
International organization participation ACP, AfDB, AU, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS (observer), IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO
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: 4.95%

permanent crops: 0.03%

other: 95.02% (2001)
Languages Afar, 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, that 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 indefinitely
Life expectancy at birth total population: 58.47 years

male: 56.96 years

female: 60.02 years (2005 est.)
Literacy definition: NA

total population: 58.6%

male: 69.9%

female: 47.6% (2003 est.)
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) 16,069 GRT/19,549 DWT

by type: cargo 3, liquefied gas 1, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 1

registered in other countries: 1 (2005)
Military branches Army, Navy, Air Force
Military expenditures - dollar figure $151 million (2004)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 13.4% (2004)
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 0 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 (2005 est.)
Political parties and leaders People's Front for Democracy and Justice or PFDJ, the only party recognized by the government [ISAIAS Afworki]; note - a National Assembly committee drafted a law on political parties in January 2001, but the full National Assembly has not yet debated or voted on it
Political pressure groups and leaders Eritrean Islamic Jihad or EIJ [leader NA] (also including Eritrean Islamic Jihad Movement or EIJM (also known as the Abu Sihel Movement) [leader NA]); Eritrean Islamic Salvation or EIS (also known as the Arafa Movement) [leader NA]; Eritrean Liberation Front or ELF [ABDULLAH Muhammed]; Eritrean National Alliance or ENA (a coalition including EIJ, EIS, ELF, and a number of ELF factions) [HERUY Tedla Biru]; Eritrean Public Forum or EPF [ARADOM Iyob]
Population 4,561,599 (July 2005 est.)
Population below poverty line 50% (2004 est.)
Population growth rate 2.51% (2005 est.)
Ports and harbors Assab, Massawa
Radio broadcast stations AM 2, FM NA, shortwave 2 (2000)
Railways total: 306 km

narrow gauge: 306 km 0.950-m gauge (2004)
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: 0.95 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2005 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: country code - 291; note - international connections exist
Telephones - main lines in use 38,100 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular NA
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 5.61 children born/woman (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate NA (2003 est.)
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