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Eritrea, officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. With its capital at Asmara, it is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast. The northeastern and eastern parts of Eritrea have an extensive coastline along the Red Sea. The nation has a total area of approximately 117,600 km2 (45,406 sq. mi), and includes the Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands. Its toponym Eritrea is based on the Greek name for the Red Sea, which was first adopted for Italian Eritrea in 1890. Eritrea is a multi-ethnic country, with nine recognized ethnic groups in its population of around six million. Most residents speak languages from the Afro-Asiatic family, either of the Ethiopian Semitic languages or Cushitic branches. Among these communities, the Tigrinya make up about 55% of the population, with the Tigre people constituting around 30% of inhabitants. In addition, there are a number of Nilo-Saharan-speaking Nilotic ethnic minorities. Most people in the territory adhere to Christianity or Islam.
Banking is the dominant sector in the financial system of Eritrea. The balance of the financial system is made up by the insurance industry. At present, there are no privately owned banks in Eritrea. The Augaro Bank was short-lived. The Bank of Eritrea (BoE) is responsible for regulating lending and deposit interest rates while keeping a handle on inflation and other macroeconomic indicators. The BoE has not been able to control inflation, which is now up to 23% per annum.
The Commercial Bank of Eritrea is the dominant bank in the country. It owns nearly 80% of all banking sector assets in the country and is a state-owned bank. It has branches in the larger cities and towns of every Eritrean region. Housing and Commercial Bank of Eritrea is the second biggest bank in current operation. The Bank was established in 1994 to provide banking service to residential buildings. Later, in 1996 it extended its services to full commercial services. It too has branches throughout the country.
The third bank is the Eritrean Investment and Development Bank. Primarily the bank was established to provide agricultural and commercial loans to investors. The Eritrean Investment and Development Bank and the Agricultural and Industrial Bank of Eritrea also have branches in the major cities of the regions.
|Agriculture||Barley, beans, dairy products, wheat, millet, sorghum, meat, lentils|
|Manufacture||Food processing?Textile?beverages, cement, salt|
|Services (Including financial)||57.8% (2012 estimate)|
|Commercial Bank of Eritrea||Financial|
|Eritrean Investment and Development Bank||Financial|
|Eritrean Telecommunications Corporation||Telecom|
|Golden Star Brewery||Brewery|
|Housing and Commerce Bank||Financial|
|Sabur Rprinting press||Printing|
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The Eritrean–Ethiopian War took place from May 1998 to June 2000 between Ethiopia and Eritrea, forming one of the conflicts in the Horn of Africa. While Eritrea and Ethiopia— two of the world's poorest countries— spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the war and suffered tens of thousands of casualties as a direct consequence of the conflict, only minor border changes resulted.
According to a ruling by an international commission in The Hague, Eritrea broke international law and triggered the war by invading Ethiopia. At the end of the war, Ethiopia held all of the disputed territories and had advanced into Eritrea. After the war ended, the Eritrea– Ethiopia Boundary Commission, a body founded by the UN, established that Badme, the disputed territory at the heart of the conflict, belongs to Eritrea. As of 2015, Ethiopia still occupies the territory.
In August 2009, Eritrea and Ethiopia were ordered to pay each other compensation for the war.
In March 2011, Ethiopia accused Eritrea of sending bombers across the border. In April, Ethiopia acknowledged that it was supporting rebel groups inside Eritrea. In July, a United Nations Monitoring Group accused Eritrea of being behind a plot to attack an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, in January 2011. Eritrea stated the accusation was a total fabrication.
In January 2012, five European tourists were killed and another two were kidnapped close to the border with Eritrea in the remote Afar Region in Ethiopia. In early March the kidnappers announced that they had released the two kidnapped Germans. On 15 March, Ethiopian ground forces attacked Eritrean military posts that they stated were bases in which Ethiopian rebels, including those involved in the January kidnappings, were trained by the Eritreans.
The Kingdom of Aksum, covering much of modern-day Eritrea and northern Ethiopia, rose somewhere around the first or second centuries and adopted Christianity around the time Islam had spread through Egypt and the Levant. In medieval times much of Eritrea fell under the Medri Bahri kingdom, with a smaller region being part of Hamasien.
The creation of modern-day Eritrea is a result of the incorporation of independent, distinct kingdoms and sultanates (for example, Medri Bahri and the Sultanate of Aussa) eventually resulting in the formation of Italian Eritrea. In 1947 Eritrea became part of a federation with Ethiopia, the Federation of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Subsequent annexation into Ethiopia led to the Eritrean War of Independence, ending with Eritrean independence following a referendum in April 1993. Hostilities between Eritrea and Ethiopia persisted, leading to the Eritrean–Ethiopian War of 1998–2000 and further skirmishes with both Djibouti and Ethiopia.
Eritrea is a one-party state in which national legislative elections have been repeatedly postponed. According to Human Rights Watch, the Eritrean government's human rights record is considered among the worst in the world. The Eritrean government has dismissed these allegations as politically motivated. The compulsory military service requires lengthy, indefinite conscription periods, which some Eritreans leave the country in order to avoid. Since all local media is state-owned, Eritrea was also ranked as having the least press freedom in the global Press Freedom Index.
Eritrea is a member of the African Union, the United Nations, and IGAD, and is an observer in the Arab League alongside Brazil, Venezuela, India and Turkey.
(Minister of Agriculture)
(Minister of Energy & Mines)
Osman Saleh Mohammed
(Minister of Foreign Affairs)
The nakfa (ISO 4217 code: ERN) is the currency of Eritrea and was introduced on 8 November 1997 to replace the Ethiopian birr at par. The currency takes its name from the Eritrean town of Nakfa. The nakfa is divided into 100 cents.
Since 2013 the nafka has been pegged to the US dollar at a fixed rate of USD$1 = ERN10.47. Prior to that, it was officially pegged at USD$1 = ERN13.50, however black market rates available on the streets typically offered a rate of 22 nakfas per dollar.
Between 18 November - 31 December 2015 the Bank of Eritrea initiated the replacement of all nakfa banknotes. The banknote replacement initiative was designed to combat counterfeiting, the informal economy but primarily Sudanese based human traffickers who had accepted payments in nakfa banknotes in exchange for transporting would-be migrants primarily to Europe. A consequence of this was substantial amounts of the country's currency existed in vast hoardings outside Eritrea.
The plan to replace the country's currency was top secret and designed to prevent human traffickers bringing their funds back in time to exchange for the new banknotes. On the 1st January 2016, the old nakfa banknotes ceased being recognized as legal tender, rendering external stockpiles of currency worthless.
The current series of banknotes is the artwork of an Afro-American banknote designer, Clarence Holbert, and printed by German currency printer Giesecke & Devrient.
|National Song||"Ertra, Ertra, Ertra"|
|Currency||Eritrean nakfa (ERN)|
|GDP / GDP Rank||9.169 Billion USD|
|GDP Growth Rate||4.8 Percent|
|GDP Per Captial||$1410.326 (PPP)|
< 1.0% Hindus
< 1.0% Buddhists
< 1.0% Jews
< 1.0% Other Religions
Nine Recognized Ethnic Groups: Tigrinya 55%
President – Isaias Afwerki
|Website||Go to the web|
|Public Debt||125.543 Percent|
|Unemployment Rate||7.267 Percent|
|Labor Force (Occupation)||-|