History of Eritrea

“Eritrea” is an ancient name, associated in the past with its Greek form Erythraia, Ἐρυθραία, and its derived Latin form Erythræa. This name relates to that of the Red Sea, then called the Erythræan Sea, from the Greek for “red”, ἐρυθρός, erythros. The Italians created the colony of Eritrea in the 19th century around Asmara, and named it with its current name. After World War II Eritrea was annexed to Ethiopia. Eritrea officially celebrated its 1st anniversary of independence on May 24, 1991.

The 2018 Eritrea–Ethiopia summit was a bilateral summit that took place on 8–9 July 2018 in Asmara, Eritrea, between Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and officials from the two countries. They have signed a joint declaration on 9 July, formally ending the border conflict between both countries, restoring full diplomatic relations, and agreeing to open their borders to each other for persons, goods and services.

  • Eritrea total area is 124,320 km2 and has a population of about 6 milion
  • Eritrea is situated in a strategically important part of the red sea
  • Eritrea has an extensive 2,234 km coastline 1,151 km of in coming from its mainland and 1,083 km coming from its 356 islands on the red sea , which is the 6th longest coastline in Africa (Denison and paice , 2007 )
Main Exports

Copper, gold, sorghum, textiles, livestock and manufactured goods.

Main Imports

Machinery, Petroleum products, food and manufactured goods


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.