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Eritrea Population, Official Language And More.




Eritrea is a young nation with a long history. It has endured many hardships and struggles for its freedom and dignity. It has also shown resilience and potential for its future. Eritrea is a country that deserves respect and recognition for its achievements and aspirations.

Read about the history Here…



The Population

Eritrea has an estimated population of 3.6 million people, according to the World Bank The population consists of nine recognized ethnic groups, each with its own language and culture. The largest ethnic group is the Tigrinya, who make up about 50% of the population and speak Tigrinya, a Semitic language. The second largest group is the Tigre, who constitute about 30% of the population and speak Tigre, another Semitic language. The other ethnic groups are the Saho, Afar, Kunama, Bilen, Nara, Beja, and Rashaida The main religions in Eritrea are Christianity and Islam, with some followers of traditional African religions and other faiths.

The Landmarks

Eritrea has many historical and cultural landmarks that reflect its diverse heritage and history. Some of the most notable landmarks are:

  • The Cattedrale di Asmara, a Roman Catholic cathedral built in 1922 in the capital city of Asmara. It features a blend of art deco and Romanesque styles and a 52-meter-high bell tower.
  • The Fiat Tagliero Building, a futuristic building that resembles an airplane about to take off. It was built in 1938 as a petrol station for the Italian company Fiat and is considered an engineering marvel of its time.
  • The Tank Graveyard, a collection of abandoned tanks and military vehicles that were used during the war of independence against Ethiopia. It is located near the town of Keren and serves as a reminder of the country’s struggle for freedom.
  • The Qohaito Archaeological Site, an ancient city that dates back to the first millennium BC. It was part of the Kingdom of Aksum and contains ruins of temples, palaces, tombs, and rock art

The Official Language

Eritrea does not have an official language, as the constitution establishes the “equality of all Eritrean languages”. However, the de facto working languages are Tigrinya, Arabic, and English, with Italian also widely understood. Tigrinya is used in commerce and national business, Arabic is used in religious affairs and diplomacy, English is used in university education and technical fields, and Italian is used in some media and cultural domains.

The Culture

Eritrea’s culture is influenced by its various ethnic groups and its historical interactions with other countries and regions. Some of the distinctive aspects of Eritrean culture are:

  • The coffee ceremony, a traditional ritual that involves roasting, grinding, boiling, and serving coffee in small cups. It is offered when visiting friends, during festivities, or as a daily staple of life. It also involves burning incense and sharing stories and news.
  • The cuisine, which consists of various stews made from vegetables and meat, served atop a large flat bread called injera. The stews are usually spicy and flavored with berbere, a mix of chili peppers and spices. Some common dishes are zigni (meat stew), shiro (chickpea stew), kitcha fit-fit (shredded bread with butter and spices), and ful (fava beans with tomatoes and onions)
  • The literature and arts, which have been shaped by the country’s colonial past, nationalist struggle, and cultural diversity. Some of the prominent writers are Alemseged Tesfai, Reesom Haile, Senait Mehari, and Aida Edemariam. Some of the popular forms of art are painting, sculpture, weaving, pottery, jewelry making, and wood carving.
  • The performance arts, which include music, dance, theater, and cinema. Eritrean music is diverse and reflects the ethnic and religious backgrounds of the people. Some of the musical genres are tizita (nostalgic songs), guaila (dance music), krar (lyre music), kuda (drum music), and modern pop. Eritrean dance is also varied and expressive, often involving rhythmic movements of the shoulders, hips, arms, and feet. Some of the dance styles are guaila (fast-paced dance), tewerwari (slow-paced dance), adi (traditional dance), shigey habuni (wedding dance), and modern dance. Eritrean theater is mainly performed in Tigrinya and focuses on social issues such as education, health, women’s rights, and patriotism. Eritrean cinema is relatively young but has produced some notable films such as Heart of Fire (2008), White Gold Black Soil (2010), Triangle: Going to America (2014), and Sweetness of Spirit (2017)

The Economic Stability

Eritrea’s economic stability is challenged by several factors, such as poor governance, lack of structural reform, poor management of public finance, underdeveloped legal and regulatory frameworks, weak enforcement of property rights, and fragile rule of law. The country also faces external shocks such as droughts, conflicts, and fluctuations in commodity prices. Eritrea’s economic freedom score is 39.5, making its economy one of the least free in the 2023 Index Eritrea’s GDP growth is estimated to have recovered to around 12% in 2018, after averaging -2.7% during 2015-18. However, the growth is mainly driven by the mining sector, which accounts for 20% of the economy, and is not inclusive or sustainable. The country remains in a difficult macroeconomic situation with an unsustainable debt burden (including arrears to the World Bank) and vulnerable financial and external sectors Eritrea’s poverty rate is estimated to be 70%, based on the most recent available survey data from 1996/97. The country has seen some improvements in social indicators such as life expectancy, education, and health, but still faces many challenges such as malnutrition, maternal mortality, and non-communicable diseases Eritrea’s economic outlook is potentially favorable in the medium term, reflecting the new mining operations coming on stream and the normalization of relations with Ethiopia in 2018. However, the outlook also depends on the implementation of measures to relax restrictions on the private sector, improve governance and public service delivery, and reopen access to concessional development finance.

  • The GDP of Eritrea is the total value of all the goods and services produced in the country in a given year. According to the World Bank, the GDP of Eritrea was 2.07 billion US dollars in 2011, the latest available data. This represents less than 0.01 percent of the world economy. The GDP per capita, which measures the average income of each person in the country, was 702.40 US dollars in 2011.
  • The currency of Eritrea is the nakfa (ISO 4217 code: ERN; Tigrinya: ናቕፋ naḳfa, or Arabic: ناكفا or نقفة nākfā). It was introduced on 15 November 1997 to replace the Ethiopian birr at par. The currency takes its name from the Eritrean town of Nakfa, site of the first major victory of the Eritrean War of Independence. The nakfa is divided into 100 cents and is pegged to the US dollar at a fixed rate of US$1 = ERN 15. The nakfa is not fully convertible, so black market rates may differ from the official rate.
  • The food of Eritrea is based on the country’s native culinary traditions, but also influenced by its social exchanges with other regions. The main traditional food in Eritrean cuisine is tsebhi (stew), served with injera (flatbread made from teff, wheat, or sorghum) and hilbet (paste made from legumes; mainly lentil and faba beans). A typical traditional Eritrean dish consists of injera accompanied by a spicy stew, which frequently includes beef, goat, lamb or fish. Eritrean cuisine strongly resembles that of neighboring Ethiopia, although Eritrean cooking tends to feature more seafood than Ethiopian cuisine on account of its coastal location. Additionally, owing to its colonial history, cuisine in Eritrea features more Italian influences than are present in Ethiopian cooking, including more pasta specials and greater use of curry powders and cumin. People in Eritrea also tend to drink coffee and sowa (a fermented barley drink)
  • The major cities of Eritrea are Asmara, Keren, Teseney, Mendefera, Agordat, Assab and Massawa. Asmara is the capital and largest city of Eritrea, with an estimated population of 649,707 in 2010. It is located on the northwestern edge of the Eritrean highlands and is known for its colonial architecture and cultural diversity. Keren is the second largest city and the capital of Anseba region, with an estimated population of 146,483 in 2010. It is situated in a valley surrounded by mountains and is an important agricultural and commercial center. Teseney is the third largest city and a major town in Gash-Barka region, with an estimated population of 64,889 in 2010. It is located near the border with Sudan and Ethiopia and serves as a transit point for trade and migration. Mendefera is the fourth largest city and the capital of Debub region, with an estimated population of 63,492 in 2010. It is located on a plateau in the southern part of the country and is known for its fruit production and market. Agordat is the fifth largest city and a town in Gash-Barka region, with an estimated population of 47,482 in 2010. It is situated on the banks of Barka River and is a hub for livestock trade and transportation. Assab is the sixth largest city and a port city in Southern Red Sea region, with an estimated population of 39,656 in 2010. It is located on the coast of Red Sea and has a strategic location for international trade and oil refinery. Massawa is the seventh largest city and a port city in Northern Red Sea region, with an estimated population of 36,700 in 2010. It is located on a group of islands connected by causeways and bridges and has a rich history as a trading center and naval base
  • The major airport, sea port and schools of Eritrea are:
    • Asmara International Airport (IATA: ASM, ICAO: HHAS) is the international airport of Asmara and the country’s largest airport. It offers regular flights to domestic and international destinations such as Addis Ababa, Cairo, Dubai, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Jeddah, Khartoum and Rome. It also serves as an Eritrean Air Force base.
    • Massawa International Airport (IATA: MSW, ICAO: HHMS) is the international airport of Massawa and the country’s second largest airport. It offers flights to domestic destinations such as Asmara and Assab, as well as regional destinations such as Djibouti and Yemen. It also serves as a naval base and a tourist attraction.
    • Assab International Airport (IATA: ASA, ICAO: HHSB) is the international airport of Assab and the country’s third largest airport. It offers flights to domestic destinations such as Asmara and Massawa, as well as regional destinations such as Djibouti and Yemen. It also serves as a port for oil and gas exports and imports.
    • Massawa Port is the main sea port of Eritrea and one of the oldest ports in Africa. It is located on the coast of Red Sea and has a natural deep-water harbor that can accommodate large vessels. It handles most of the country’s imports and exports, especially petroleum products, cement, food, machinery and vehicles. It also has facilities for fishing, shipbuilding and tourism.
    • Assab Port is the second largest sea port of Eritrea and a major oil terminal. It is located on the coast of Red Sea and has a natural harbor that can accommodate medium-sized vessels. It handles mainly oil and gas imports and exports, as well as other commodities such as salt, livestock and fish. It also has facilities for fishing, ship repair and tourism.
    • Asmara University is the oldest and largest university in Eritrea. It was founded in 1958 as the University College of Asmara and became a full-fledged university in 1968. It offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs in various fields such as arts, sciences, engineering, medicine, agriculture, education, law and business. It has about 16,000 students and 1,000 staff members.
    • Eritrea Institute of Technology is a public university in Eritrea. It was established in 2003 as a merger of three colleges: Mai Nefhi College of Engineering and Technology, Mai Nefhi College of Science and Mai Nefhi College of Education. It offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs in engineering, science, education and business. It has about 10,000 students and 800 staff members.
    • College of Health Sciences is a public college in Eritrea. It was founded in 1998 as part of Asmara University and became an independent college in 2004. It offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs in health sciences such as medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, public health and laboratory technology. It has about 3,000 students and 300 staff members