Culture        0  398 reads

1) General culture

Education
 

Adjusted savings: education expenditure > % of GNI 2.72 % of GNI [132nd of 168]
Children out of school, primary 307,984 [18th of 126]
Children out of school, primary, female 164,005 [17th of 117]
Children out of school, primary, male 143,979 [19th of 117]
Duration of compulsory education 7 years [127th of 171]
Duration of education > Primary level 5 [136th of 181]
Duration of education > Secondary level 6 [81st of 181]
Education enrolment by level > Primary level 359,299 [113rd of 189]
Education enrolment by level > Secondary level 161,273 [117th of 171]
Education enrolment by level > Tertiary level 5,755 [117th of 150]
Education enrolment by level, percentage girls > Primary level 44.41% [157th of 179]
Education enrolment by level, percentage girls > Secondary level 39.25% [153rd of 162]
Education enrolment by level, percentage girls > Tertiary level 13.34% [125th of 126]
Education enrolment ratio, net, primary level 48% [134th of 160]
Education enrolment ratio, net, primary level > Men 51% [130th of 160]
Education enrolment ratio, net, primary level > Women 44% [130th of 160]
Education expenditure of government > As percentage of GNI 5.4% [20th of 127]
Education spending (% of GDP) 4.1% [81st of 132]
Education spending (% Primary) 26% [100th of 110]
Education spending (% Secondary) 35.4% [51st of 107]
Education spending (% Tertiary) 14.9% [80th of 108]
Education, percentage of pupils starting grade 1 reaching grade 5 79.1% [62nd of 112]
Education, percentage of pupils starting grade 1 reaching grade 5 > Men 83.4% [48th of 101]
Education, percentage of pupils starting grade 1 reaching grade 5 > Women 74.1% [56th of 101]
Education, primary completion rate 51 [110th of 148]
Education, primary completion rate > Men 58 [100th of 145]
Education, primary completion rate > Women 44 [108th of 145]
Enrolment ratio > Secondary level 22.1% [118th of 135]
Expenditure per student, primary > % of GDP per capita 11.28 % [26th of 101]
Expenditure per student, secondary > % of GDP per capita 15.42 % [25th of 93]
Expenditure per student, tertiary > % of GDP per capita 1,101.28 % [1st of 81]
Female enrolment share > Primary level 45% [154th of 176]
Female enrolment share > Secondary level 40% [149th of 170]
Geographical aptitude results 66.263 [129th of 191]
Girls to boys ratio, primary level enrolment 0.81 [140th of 183]
Girls to boys ratio, secondary level enrolment 0.59 [134th of 172]
Girls to boys ratio, tertiary level enrolment 0.15 [132nd of 139]
Grade 1 intake rate 26.2 [103rd of 114]
Gross intake rate in grade 1, female > % of relevant age group 45.16 % [92nd of 156]
Gross intake rate in grade 1, male > % of relevant age group 54.56 % [92nd of 156]
Gross intake rate in grade 1, total > % of relevant age group 49.9 % [96th of 157]
Illiteracy rates by sex, aged 15+ 41.4% [25th of 138]
Illiteracy rates by sex, aged 15+ > Men 30.1% [24th of 138]
Illiteracy rates by sex, aged 15+ > Women 52.4% [24th of 138]
Illiterate population by sex, aged 15+ 979,600 [59th of 138]
Illiterate population by sex, aged 15+ > Men 351,200 [64th of 138]
Illiterate population by sex, aged 15+ > Women 628,200 [56th of 138]
Literacy rate, adult female > % of females ages 15 and above 34.77 % [98th of 121]
Literacy rate, adult male > % of males ages 15 and above 58.48 % [101st of 121]
Literacy rate, adult total > % of people ages 15 and above 46.44 % [99th of 121]
Literacy rate, youth female > % of females ages 15-24 49.28 % [103rd of 123]
Literacy rate, youth male > % of males ages 15-24 72.52 % [102nd of 123]
Literacy rate, youth total > % of people ages 15-24 60.9 % [102nd of 123]
Literacy rates, aged 15-24 54.9% [116th of 138]
Literacy rates, aged 15-24 > Men 67.2% [114th of 138]
Literacy rates, aged 15-24 > Women 42.6% [115th of 138]
Net intake rate in grade 1 > % of official school-age population 23.92 % [60th of 95]
Net intake rate in grade 1, female > % of official school-age population 22.65 % [59th of 93]
Net intake rate in grade 1, male > % of official school-age population 25.18 % [60th of 93]
Persistence to grade 5, female > % of cohort 74.07 % [30th of 83]
Persistence to grade 5, male > % of cohort 83.4 % [21st of 83]
Persistence to grade 5, total > % of cohort 79.15 % [30th of 92]
Primary completion rate, female > % of relevant age group 43.71 % [78th of 138]
Primary completion rate, male > % of relevant age group 57.98 % [71st of 138]
Primary completion rate, total > % of relevant age group 50.87 % [81st of 141]
Primary education, duration > years 5 years [158th of 197]
Primary education, pupils 377,512 [63rd of 176]
Primary education, pupils > % female 44.36 % female [96th of 175]
Primary education, teachers 7,942 [59th of 159]
Primary education, teachers > % female 39.86 % female [72nd of 153]
Primary school girls out of school 76% [6th of 99]
Private school enrolment > Primary level 9.3 [70th of 148]
Private school enrolment > Secondary level 5.6 [91st of 131]
Progression to secondary level 84.5 [55th of 97]
Progression to secondary school > % 88.6 % [36th of 123]
Progression to secondary school, female > % 85.06 % [40th of 118]
Progression to secondary school, male > % 91.02 % [29th of 118]
Public spending on education, total > % of GDP 5.38 % [17th of 136]
Public spending per student > Primary level 11.5 [82nd of 126]
Public spending per student > Secondary level 14.4 [88th of 123]
Pupil-teacher ratio, primary 47.53 [18th of 159]
Pupils reaching grade 5 70.5 [86th of 108]
Pupils-teacher ratio > primary level 44.8 [21st of 175]
Pupils-teacher ratio > secondary level 50.7 [2nd of 121]
Ratio of female to male enrollments in tertiary education 14.91 [125th of 137]
Ratio of female to male primary enrollment 80.55 [97th of 174]
Ratio of female to male secondary enrollment 59.05 [90th of 162]
Ratio of girls to boys in primary and secondary education > % 70.02 % [144th of 157]
Ratio of young literate females to males > % ages 15-24 67.96 % [103rd of 123]
Repetition rate, primary > % of total enrollment 12.88 % [22nd of 128]
Repetition rate, primary, female > % of total enrollment 12.69 % [20th of 125]
Repetition rate, primary, male > % of total enrollment 13.03 % [25th of 125]
Repitition rate > Primary level 13.9 [30th of 143]
Repitition rate > Secondary level 14.6 [14th of 82]
School enrollment, preprimary > % gross 11.95 % gross [64th of 159]
School enrollment, preprimary, female > % gross 12.09 % gross [64th of 153]
School enrollment, preprimary, male > % gross 11.8 % gross [64th of 153]
School enrollment, primary > % gross 64.11 % gross [101st of 176]
School enrollment, primary > % net 47.01 % net [81st of 139]
School enrollment, primary, female > % gross 57.18 % gross [101st of 174]
School enrollment, primary, female > % net 43.33 % net [78th of 137]
School enrollment, primary, male > % gross 70.98 % gross [101st of 174]
School enrollment, primary, male > % net 50.66 % net [77th of 136]
School enrollment, primary, private > % of total primary 7.91 % [44th of 139]
School enrollment, secondary > % gross 31.44 % gross [78th of 164]
School enrollment, secondary > % net 24.99 % net [58th of 121]
School enrollment, secondary, female > % gross 23.36 % gross [83rd of 162]
School enrollment, secondary, female > % net 20 % net [60th of 119]
School enrollment, secondary, male > % gross 39.56 % gross [75th of 162]
School enrollment, secondary, male > % net 29.99 % net [56th of 119]
School enrollment, secondary, private > % of total secondary 5.81 % [49th of 124]
School enrollment, tertiary > % gross 1.13 % gross [128th of 141]
School enrollment, tertiary, female > % gross 0.29 % gross [126th of 137]
School enrollment, tertiary, male > % gross 1.98 % gross [117th of 137]
School life expectancy > Female 4 years [93rd of 96]
School life expectancy > Male 5.3 years [93rd of 97]
School life expectancy > Primary to tertiary 5 years [19th of 93]
School life expectancy > Primary to tertiary > Female 4 years [18th of 93]
School life expectancy > Primary to tertiary > Male 6 years [19th of 93]
School life expectancy > Total 4.6 years [104th of 110]
Scientific and technical journal articles 2 [157th of 175]
Secondary education, general pupils 215,080 [61st of 183]
Secondary education, pupils 216,944 [59th of 166]
Secondary education, pupils > % female 37.2 % female [85th of 153]
Secondary education, teachers 4,225 [50th of 141]
Secondary education, teachers > % female 11.27 % female [65th of 131]
Secondary education, vocational pupils 1,864 [69th of 163]
Tertiary enrollment 1.7% [135th of 151]
Trained teachers in primary education > % of total teachers 83.61 % [34th of 61]
Trained teachers in primary education, female > % of female teachers 71.19 % [40th of 56]
Trained teachers in primary education, male > % of male teachers 91.83 % [22nd of 56]
Women to men parity index, as ratio of literacy rates, aged 15-24 0.63 [113rd of 138]


SOURCES
World Development Indicators database; UNESCO; Source: UNESCO UIS Data | UNESCO Institute for Statistics; United Nations Human Development Programme; The Geography Zone; World Bank; Household survey data, net enrolment data from UNESCO, and data from UNICEF country offices; UNESCO Institute for Statistics; All CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 18 December 2008

ALTERNATIVE NAMES
Eritrea, State of Eritrea, Hagere Ertra, Ertra

Health
 

% immunized 1-year-old children > DPT3 83 [122nd of 187]
% immunized 1-year-old children > Measles 84 [110th of 186]
% immunized 1-year-old children > Polio3 83 [122nd of 187]
% immunized 1-year-old children > TB 91 [84th of 153]
% immunized pregnant women tetanus 50 [32nd of 54]
% of population using adequate sanitation facilities > Rural 1 [141st of 140]
% of population using adequate sanitation facilities > Total 13 [142nd of 144]
% of population using adequate sanitation facilities > Urban 66 [124th of 141]
% of population using improved drinking water sources > Rural 42 [123rd of 146]
% of population using improved drinking water sources > Total 46 [136th of 150]
% of population using improved drinking water sources > Urban 63 [136th of 147]
% under-fives with ARI -- 19 [14th of 79]
% under-fives with ARI taken to health provider 44 [51st of 80]
Abortion law > National laws > Physical Health Yes  
Access to sanitation 58% [94th of 129]
Adolescent fertility rate > births per 1,000 women ages 15-19 92.14 births [35th of 184]
ARI treatment > % of children under 5 taken to a health provider 44 % [10th of 52]
Birth rate, crude > per 1,000 people 38.71 per 1,000 people [27th of 195]
Births attended by skilled health staff > % of total 28.3 % [54th of 76]
Births with health staff 21% [110th of 116]
Children living with AIDS 4,000 [38th of 80]
Children Underweight Rate 17% [2nd of 95]
Contraception 5% [89th of 89]
Contraceptive prevalence > % of women ages 15-49 8 % [14th of 57]
Dependency ratio per 100 90 [19th of 166]
Diarrhea treatment > % of children under 5 receiving oral rehydration and continued feeding 54 % [2nd of 47]
Drinking water availability % 46% [134th of 147]
Drug access 50% [96th of 163]
expenditure per capita > current US$ 9.9 $ [176th of 186]
expenditure, private > % of GDP 2.74 % [67th of 187]
expenditure, public > % of GDP 1.76 % [151st of 187]
expenditure, total > % of GDP 4.5 % [139th of 187]
External resources for health > % of total expenditure on health 59.6 % [3rd of 141]
External resources for health as % of total expenditure on health 49.2% [4th of 179]
Female adults with HIV > % of population ages 15+ with HIV 58.49 % [27th of 112]
Fertility rate, total > births per woman 5.24 births per woman [26th of 194]
Healthy life expectancy at birth, years > Females 50.8 [144th of 186]
Healthy life expectancy at birth, years > Males 49.3 [143rd of 186]
Healthy life expectancy at birth, years > Total population 50 [143rd of 186]
HIV AIDS > Women living with aids 15-49 2.8 [32nd of 114]
HIVAIDS > Adult prevalence rate 15-49 years, 2.8 [32nd of 145]
HIVAIDS > children orphaned by AIDS 0-14 years, 24,000 [44th of 82]
Immunization, DPT > % of children ages 12-23 months 83 % [135th of 190]
Immunization, measles > % of children ages 12-23 months 84 % [125th of 190]
Improved sanitation facilities > % of population with access 9 % [167th of 167]
Improved sanitation facilities, rural > % of rural population with access 3 % [167th of 167]
Improved sanitation facilities, urban > % of urban population with access 32 % [168th of 173]
Improved water source > % of population with access 60 % [149th of 176]
Improved water source, rural > % of rural population with access 57 % [131st of 174]
Improved water source, urban > % of urban population with access 74 % [169th of 181]
Incidence of tuberculosis > per 100,000 people 281.93 per 100,000 people [32nd of 200]
Infant mortality rate 75.59 [27th of 179]
life expectancy > Date of information 2006 est.  
Life expectancy at birth, female > years 56.81 years [146th of 194]
Life expectancy at birth, male > years 53.09 years [149th of 194]
Life expectancy at birth, total > years 54.9 years [147th of 194]
Life expectancy at birth, years > Females 61 [142nd of 186]
Life expectancy at birth, years > Males 58 [136th of 186]
Life expectancy at birth, years > Total population 59 [140th of 186]
Major infectious diseases > Degree of risk high  
Major infectious diseases > Food or waterborne diseases
bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Malaria % under-fives with fever receiving anti-malarial drugs 4 [31st of 34]
Malaria cases > per 100,000 3,479 [22nd of 94]
Malaria prevention, use of insecticide-treated bed nets > % of under-5 population 4 % [4th of 27]
Malnutrition prevalence, height for age > % of children under 5 37.6 % [6th of 52]
Malnutrition prevalence, weight for age > % of children under 5 39.6 % [2nd of 63]
Maternal mortality 1,000 per 100,000 [4th of 136]
Nutrition > % of children who are still breastfeeding 20-23 months 62 [18th of 105]
Nutrition > % of children who are � exclusively breastfed 6 months 52 [24th of 125]
Nutrition > % of households consuming iodized salt 97 [7th of 112]
Nutrition > % of under-fives suffering from stunting moderate & severe 38 [28th of 132]
Nutrition > % of under-fives suffering from underweight moderate & severe 44 [9th of 137]
Nutrition > % of under-fives suffering from underweight severe 17 [2nd of 104]
Nutrition > % of under-fives suffering from wasting moderate & severe 16 [3rd of 128]
Nutrition > Vitamin A supplementation coverage rate 6-59 months 61 [47th of 57]
Oral rehydration rate % 30 [17th of 73]
Out-of-pocket expenditure as % of private health expenditure 100% [7th of 185]
Out-of-pocket health expenditure > % of private expenditure on health 100 % [26th of 185]
Per capita government expenditure on health in international dollars 23 [156th of 185]
Per capita total expenditure on health in international dollars 36 [175th of 185]
Physicians > per 1,000 people 0.05 per 1,000 people [57th of 148]
Population suffering from undernourishment in 1990-1992 68 % [1st of 106]
Population suffering from undernourishment in 2001-2003 73 % [1st of 108]
Pregnant women receiving prenatal care > % 70.3 % [12th of 62]
Prepaid plans as % of private expenditure on health 0% [109th of 159]
Prevalence of HIV, total > % of population ages 15-49 2.36 % [34th of 148]
Prevalence of undernourishment > % of population 75 % [1st of 172]
Private expenditure on health as % of total expenditure on health 36.3% [101st of 185]
Probability of dying before 5 > Females 130 per 1,000 people [34th of 187]
Probability of not reaching 40 31.7% [34th of 111]
Probability of reaching 65 > Female 47.1% [129th of 159]
Probability of reaching 65 > Male 40.7% [130th of 159]
Total expenditure on health as % of GDP 5.1% [116th of 185]
Total fertility rate 5.4 [25th of 166]
Tuberculosis cases > Per 100,000 249 [14th of 165]
Tuberculosis cases detected under DOTS > % 12.53 % [174th of 178]
Tuberculosis immunisation 98% [29th of 134]
Tuberculosis treatment success rate > % of registered cases 85.14 % [53rd of 171]
Unmet need for contraception > % of married women ages 15-49 27 % [2nd of 13]
Water availability 1,722 cubic meters [129th of 169]
Women circumcised 1.6 [13th of 27]
Women circumcised share 1.6% [13th of 27]

SOURCES
UNICEF; Wikipedia: Abortion law ; CIA World Factbook, December 2003; World Development Indicators database; WHO 2002a; UNHDR; UNICEF; UN (United Nations). 2002. United Nations Population Division Database on Contraceptive Use. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. January. New York; World Health Organization; World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Global Water Supply and Sanitation Assessment 2000 Report and updates provided by UNICEF to the United Nations Millennium Indicator Database; WHO (World Health Organization). 2001. Correspondence on access to essential drugs. Department of Essential Drugs and Medecines Policy. February. Geneva; United Nations, Demographic Yearbook, 1997; CIA World Factbook, 28 July 2005; Wikipedia: List of countries by life expectancy ; All CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 18 December 2008; UNHDR; UNICEF (United Nations Children?s Fund). 2002. Official Summary: The State of the World's Children 2002. New York: Oxford University Press.; Wikipedia: List of countries by percentage of population suffering from undernourishment ; The World Health Report 2001; UN 2001 via backone.pdf; UN (United Nations). 2001. World Population Prospects 1950-2050: The 2000 Revision. Database. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. New York.; UN (United Nations). 2001. World Population Prospects 1950-2050: The 2000 Revision. Database. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. New York; ; Unicef (1994)

ALTERNATIVE NAMES
Eritrea, State of Eritrea, Hagere Ertra, Ertra

Sports
 
FIFA World Ranking > Men 180 [163rd of 198]
National Olympic Committee > NOC by recognition date > # 199 [4th of 68]

SOURCES
Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA); Wikipedia: National Olympic Committee

ALTERNATIVE NAMES
Eritrea, State of Eritrea, Hagere Ertra, Ertra

Food
 
beverages and tobacco > % of value added in manufacturing 49.57 % [8th of 103]

SOURCES
World Development Indicators database

ALTERNATIVE NAMES
Eritrea, State of Eritrea, Hagere Ertra, Ertra

Language
 
English status
Language of higher education and many technical fields. National language. Bible 1535-1989.
Languages of the African Union > Illiteracy > Literacy rate 56.7   [149th of 174]

SOURCES
Ethnologue; Wikipedia: Languages of the African Union

ALTERNATIVE NAMES
Eritrea, State of Eritrea, Hagere Ertra, Ertra


2) Religion
 
Catholic > Diocesan priests 60 [97th of 143]
Catholic > Dioceses 3 [95th of 150]
Catholic > Parishes 175 [74th of 149]
Catholic > Religious Priests 230 [60th of 148]
Catholic > Total Priests 290 [79th of 149]
Catholics 136,000 [108th of 140]
Catholics as percentage 3.34 [100th of 150]
Islam > Number of Muslim 2,350,000 [46th of 67]
Islam > Percentage Muslim 50% [49th of 168]
Islam > Population 2,280,799 [57th of 165]
Islam > Shia 23,500 [59th of 67]
Islam > Shia to Muslim 1 % [63rd of 67]
Islam > Sunni 2,326,500 [43rd of 67]
Islam > Sunni to Muslim 99 % [8th of 67]
Islam in Africa > Islamic population in Africa and population percentage > Population 50 % [21st of 45]
Muslim 50 % [41st of 66]
Protestantism > By country > Protestants 91,232 [117th of 167]
Protestantism > By country > Protestants > % Protestant 2 % [118th of 163]
Religions > All
Muslim, Coptic Christian, Roman Catholic, Protestant
Roman Catholicism > By country > Roman Catholicism > % Catholic 3.34 % [112nd of 170]
Roman Catholicism > By country > Roman Catholicism > Catholic total 152,357 [112nd of 170]
Seventh-day Adventist Membership 501 [167th of 232]

SOURCES
Catholic Hierarchy.org; Wikipedia: Demographics of Islam ; International Religious Freedom Report 2004, U.S. State Department; CIA World Factbook; Wikipedia: Islam in Africa ; Wikipedia: Protestantism by country ; CIA World Factbook, 22 August 2006 ; Wikipedia: Roman Catholicism by country ; adventiststatistics.org 2004 Annual Report 31 December 2004

ALTERNATIVE NAMES
Eritrea, State of Eritrea, Hagere Ertra, Ertra


3) Media
 
Average cost of local call 0.03 [111st of 151]
Computer, communications and other services > % of commercial service exports 16.56 % [97th of 153]
Computer, communications and other services > % of commercial service imports 20.96 % [98th of 155]
DVD region 5 [11th of 171]
E-Government rating 36 [132nd of 182]
Fixed line and mobile phone subscribers > per 1,000 people 17.76 per 1,000 people [139th of 193]
HAM radio prefixes E3A - E3Z  
Households with television > % 14.37 % [48th of 160]
International dialling code 291  
International voice traffic > out and in, minutes 42,210,940 min. [69th of 164]
Investment in telecoms with private participation > current US$ 40,000,000 $ [56th of 101]
    Investment in telecoms with private participation > current US$ (per $ GDP) 59.633 $ per $1,000 of GDP [5th of 130]
Mobile phone subscribers 40,438 [160th of 198]
Number of PCs 15 [157th of 169]
    Number of PCs (per $ GDP) 0.036 per $10 million of GDP [126th of 144]
Personal computers 35,000 [48th of 164]
Price basket for residential fixed line > US$ per month 6.23 $/month [118th of 151]
Radio broadcast stations AM 2, FM NA, shortwave 2  
Radio receivers 345,000 [143rd of 188]
Radios 345,000 [142nd of 221]
Telecommunications investment > % of revenue 61.53 % [2nd of 165]
Telecommunications investment > current LCU 240600000  
Telecommunications revenue > % GDP 2.63 % GDP [61st of 167]
Telecommunications revenue > current LCU 394739500  
Telephone average cost of call to US > US$ per three minutes 3.59 $ [14th of 142]
    Telephone average cost of call to US > US$ per three minutes (per $ GDP) 5,653.326 $ per $1 trillion of GD [6th of 174]
Telephone employees, total 832 [85th of 194]
Telephone faults > per 100 mainlines 54.32 per 100 mainlines [8th of 134]
Telephone mainlines 37,712 [126th of 202]
Telephone subscribers 78,150 [135th of 199]
Telephone subscribers per employee 71.24 [92nd of 191]
Telephone system > Regulation 1998  
Television broadcast stations 2 [28th of 89]
Television receivers 1,000 [184th of 185]
Televisions 1,000 [208th of 215]

SOURCES
World Development Indicators database; Amazon.com; report presents the second annual update on global e-government, i.e., the delivery of public sector information and online services through the Internet. This report studies the features that are available online at national government websites. Using a detailed analysis of 1.197 government websites in 198 different nations, it measures the information and services that are online, chart the variations that exist across countries, and discuss how e-government sites vary by region of the world. In order to see how the 198 nations ranked overall, the E-Government Ranking 2002 created a 0 to 100 point index and applied it to each nation's websites based on the availability of contact information, publications, databases, portals, and number of online services. (2002); hamcity.com; ITU; All CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 18 December 2008; Source: UNESCO UIS Data | UNESCO Institute for Statistics; CIA World Factbook, December 2003; ITU-BDT Telecommunications Regulatory Database

ALTERNATIVE NAMES
Eritrea, State of Eritrea, Hagere Ertra, Ertra

Internet
 
Country code .er  
Hosts 1,074 [151st of 228]
International Internet bandwidth > Mbps 8 Mbps [82nd of 167]
    International Internet bandwidth > Mbps (per $ GDP) 8.249 Mbps per $1 trillion of [66th of 184]
Internet Service Providers 5 [113rd of 229]
ISP 5 [20th of 162]
Livejournal users 43 [174th of 226]
Price basket for Internet > US$ per month 28.63 $/month [61st of 180]
TLD .er  
Users 120,000 [118th of 190]

SOURCES
IANA: Internet Assigned Numbers Authority; All CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 18 December 2008; World Development Indicators database; CIA World Factbook, December 2003; LiveJournal

ALTERNATIVE NAMES
Eritrea, State of Eritrea, Hagere Ertra, Ertra


4) Tourism

Right Now
Eritrea’s location, between Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, has fostered political ties to all four corners of the world, and the ancient topography of the country makes for fertile soil that’s hospitable to abundant and diverse flora and fauna. Eritrea faces some political and environmental challenges; since its emancipation from Ethiopia in 1993, it is Africa’s youngest country.
Eritrea is also one of the safest countries in Africa, and many of its recent initiatives make it an emerging eco-friendly destination. In 2006, President Isaias Afwerki announced that Eritrea would be the first country in the world to place its entire coastline under environmental protection. The nation is also famous for its annual Tour of Eritrea, a multiday bicycle race held throughout country. Almost 80 percent of the population participates in subsistence agriculture, as the national economy is largely based on farming and her
ding.
Today the government is investing heavily in the Wefri Warsay Yika’alo program, an ambitious series of undertakings aimed at postwar recovery after a 30-year battle with Ethiopia that led to Eritrea’s emancipation in 1993. Its projects include improving ports, paving roads, and repairing educational, health, and economic infrastructures damaged during the war.

The Top 10: What to Do in Eritrea
1. Harnet Avenue: Central to Italy’s colonization of the area in the 1900s, Harnet Avenue is the most famous street in Asmara. It is a long, wide avenue lined with palm trees and bordered with buildings in perfect condition. We recommend taking a walking tour of this street’s amazing architecture, featuring Art Déco, rationalist, cubist, expressionist, futurist, and neoclassical styles from the Italian era, often all on the same block. Stops should include the governor’s palace, the opera house, and the Catholic cathedral, with its iconic bell tower.
2. Filfil: Sixty-one kilometers north of Asmara is Filfil, Eritrea’s last tropical forest, featuring plantations of coffee and fruit trees. This lush, green area is best seen from October to February after the rainy season, when you can catch glimpses of monkeys, baboons, gazelles, and leopards. At times the area is off-limits to travelers, so make sure to check with the Ministry of Tourism in Asmara before you head out.
3. Debre Bizen Monastery: Located in Nefast, east of Asmara, this site was founded in 1368 and contains more than a thousand manuscripts and relics. Mesmerizing views of the Dahlak Islands and Red Sea can be had from the monastery’s walls, and although it adheres strictly to the Orthodox custom of non-admittance for any females—including women, hens, and even donkeys—it is still worth a trip just for the views.
4. Keren: North of the capital is the third-largest Eritrean town, Keren, where camels outnumber humans and locals may rest in the shade of ancient baobab and acacia trees. A highlight of this otherwise quiet town is the central market, often called the most interesting market in the country. Here you can find traditional silversmiths near the centralized covered area, where daily items like fruits, vegetables, and household goods are sold. Back alleyways lead to cloth merchants, and farther past the well-maintained Italian cemetery is the grain market. On Mondays the riverbed is home to a scenic wood and camel market, providing an opportunity to experience the camels up close. At press time, northern Eritrea was closed to travelers, but check with the Ministry of Tourism because rules can change at a moment’s notice.
5. Qohaito: The archaeological ruins of Qohaito serve as reminders of Eritrea’s ancient commercial history. Home to remnants from a trade city between ports in the north and the former capital, Aksum, in the south, this site remains as much as 90 percent unexcavated. Among its current highlights are the Great Canyon, the Temple of Mariam Wakiro, an Egyptian tomb, the Saphira Dam, and the Adi Alauti cave and gorge, which contain ancient cave paintings. The walk to the cave features a great view of Mount Ambasoira, Eritrea’s highest peak.
6. Debre Libanos: One of our do-not-miss recommendations for Eritrea is Debre Libanos, often referred to as Debre Hawariyat. Dating to the sixth century A.D., this monastery, carved into the side of a dramatic cliff, is accessible only from the isolated village of Hamm. A two-hour hike by foot from nearby Haaz involves a steep and challenging descent into this must-see site, worth the hassle for its breathtaking view. As is customary, this monastery strictly enforces the Orthodox rule that forbids women to enter the site, so plan accordingly.
7. Massawa: For centuries this city has been home to one of the world’s most important ports. Today the “Pearl of the Red Sea” has Massawa Island, where you might grab a coffee and lose yourself in the alleys and side streets, which feature whitewashed palazzi and a 17th-century coral block house.
8. Dahlak Islands: Scuba-diving trips to the Dahlak Islands of the Red Sea offer an alternative to the kind of overpriced, pampered excursions found elsewhere, and they appeal specifically to those with an adventurous bent. The reefs around the islands are nearly untouched by tourists, and nearby diving offers glimpses into history, with World War II Italian warships, Russian tankers, and Ethiopian cargo boats. This area is best known for its huge populations of fish species.
9. Birding: Bird watching is a popular tourist activity all over Eritrea. Migration patterns increase the species count on the coast from February to April and September to November, and visiting twitchers can often return home having sighted more than 250 species.
10. Passeggiata: A trip to Eritrea is not complete without a cappuccino in Asmara and a viewing of the daily ritual of passeggiata, from about five to six-thirty in the evening. A well-positioned seat at a sidewalk café grants the sight of locals slowly walking up and down the streets, chatting, catching up, window shopping, and gossiping. The women in Asmara take pride in looking their best for this daily activity, and the men don’t disappoint, either, in their bespoke suits and Borsalino hats. This easygoing exchange is a throwback to the times of Italian colonialism and makes a great way to end a day in the capital city.

When to Go
The hottest month of the year is May, although regional temperatures vary widely. The capital city of Asmara, located on the highest landmass of the African continent, has an average temperature of 86 degrees Fahrenheit, while the port city of Massawa, on the Red Sea, can reach as high as 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celcius.) The Denakil Depression, on the coast, is the country’s lowest point, at 426.5 feet (130 meters) below sea level, and is considered one of the hottest places on Earth. Try to avoid the two rainy seasons: the first is marked with scattered storms from March through April. The second, wetter rainy season begins in June and extends to September.
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