Eritrea’s gross domestic product growth (GDP) was estimated at around 9% in the 2011-2012 period (the latest point for which data is readily available), up from an estimated 2.2% in 2010.

The growth was mainly stimulated by the mining sector (gold), the coming on stream of the Bisha mine in 2011 and the historically high gold price prevailing at that time were key drivers.


There are two universities in Eritrea, the University of Asmara and the Institute of Science and Technology.

  • There are 1,4000 known fish species living in Eritrea’s waters, and 17% of those fishes are found nowhere else. There are also 250 known coral species, in which 20% of those are found only in Eritrea’s Red Sea waters.
  • It is the world’s first country to allocate an entire coastline as a reserve. The Dahlak group of islands is world-renowned for their pearl production and is largely uninhabited.

Zersenay Tadese was the first person to win an Olympic medal. He is a distance runner in Athens way back 2004. He took bronze in the 10000 meters run.


In the 1962 nations cup won by Ethiopia, 9 of the 11 starters of that team were Eritreans. Their names were: Lucian Vassalo, Tesfay Gebremedhin, Berhe Goitom (Patata), Etalo Vassalo, Kiflom Araya, Gilamichael Tesfamariam (wedi Mariano), Haile Tesfagaber, Tekle Kidane, Asmelash Berhe, Tsegay Tesfay, Negassi Gebremichael and Berhane Beyene were Eritreans who were part of the 1962 historic Ethiopian National team.