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Eritrea vs. Ethiopia

Introduction

EritreaEthiopia
Background
After independence from Italian colonial control in 1941 and 10 years of British administrative control, the UN established Eritrea as an autonomous region within the Ethiopian federation in 1952. Ethiopia's full annexation of Eritrea as a province 10 years later sparked a violent 30-year struggle for independence that ended in 1991 with Eritrean rebels defeating government forces. Eritreans overwhelmingly approved independence in a 1993 referendum. ISAIAS Afwerki has been Eritrea's only president since independence; his rule, particularly since 2001, has been highly autocratic and repressive. His government has created a highly militarized society by pursuing an unpopular program of mandatory conscription into national service – divided between military and civilian service – of indefinite length. A two-and-a-half-year border war with Ethiopia that erupted in 1998 ended under UN auspices in December 2000. A subsequent 2007 Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) demarcation was rejected by Ethiopia. More than a decade of a tense “no peace, no war” stalemate ended in 2018 after the newly elected Ethiopian prime minister accepted the EEBC’s 2007 ruling, and the two countries signed declarations of peace and friendship. Following the July 2018 peace agreement with Ethiopia, Eritrean leaders engaged in intensive diplomacy around the Horn of Africa, bolstering regional peace, security, and cooperation, as well as brokering rapprochements between governments and opposition groups. In November 2018, the UN Security Council lifted an arms embargo that had been imposed on Eritrea since 2009, after the UN Somalia-Eritrea Monitoring Group reported they had not found evidence of Eritrean support in recent years for Al-Shabaab. The country’s rapprochement with Ethiopia has led to a steady resumption of economic ties, with increased air transport, trade, tourism, and port activities, but the economy remains agriculture-dependent, and Eritrea is still one of Africa’s poorest nations. Despite the country's improved relations with its neighbors, ISAIAS has not let up on repression and conscription and militarization continue.
Unique among African countries, the ancient Ethiopian monarchy maintained its freedom from colonial rule with the exception of a short-lived Italian occupation from 1936-41. In 1974, a military junta, the Derg, deposed Emperor Haile SELASSIE (who had ruled since 1930) and established a socialist state. Torn by bloody coups, uprisings, wide-scale drought, and massive refugee problems, the regime was finally toppled in 1991 by a coalition of rebel forces, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). A constitution was adopted in 1994, and Ethiopia's first multiparty elections were held in 1995.

A border war with Eritrea in the late 1990s ended with a peace treaty in December 2000. In November 2007, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Border Commission (EEBC) issued specific coordinates as virtually demarcating the border and pronounced its work finished. Alleging that the EEBC acted beyond its mandate in issuing the coordinates, Ethiopia did not accept them and maintained troops in previously contested areas pronounced by the EEBC as belonging to Eritrea. This intransigence resulted in years of heightened tension between the two countries. In August 2012, longtime leader Prime Minister MELES Zenawi died in office and was replaced by his Deputy Prime Minister HAILEMARIAM Desalegn, marking the first peaceful transition of power in decades. Following a wave of popular dissent and anti-government protest that began in 2015, HAILEMARIAM resigned in February 2018 and ABIY Ahmed Ali took office in April 2018 as Ethiopia's first ethnic Oromo prime minister. In June 2018, ABIY announced Ethiopia would accept the border ruling of 2000, prompting rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea that was marked with a peace agreement in July 2018 and a reopening of the border in September 2018. In November 2019, Ethiopia's nearly 30-year ethnic-based ruling coalition - the EPRDF - merged into a single unity party called the Prosperity Party, however, one of the four constituent parties refused to join.

Geography

EritreaEthiopia
Location
Eastern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Djibouti and Sudan
Eastern Africa, west of Somalia
Geographic coordinates
15 00 N, 39 00 E
8 00 N, 38 00 E
Map references
Africa
Africa
Area
total: 117,600 sq km
land: 101,000 sq km
water: 16,600 sq km
total: 1,104,300 sq km
land: 1,096,570 sq km
water: 7,730 sq km
note: area numbers are approximate since a large portion of the Ethiopia-Somalia border is undefined
Area - comparative
slightly smaller than Pennsylvania
slightly less than twice the size of Texas
Land boundaries
total: 1,840 km
border countries (3): Djibouti 125 km, Ethiopia 1033 km, Sudan 682 km
total: 5,925 km
border countries (6): Djibouti 342 km, Eritrea 1033 km, Kenya 867 km, Somalia 1640 km, South Sudan 1299 km, Sudan 744 km
Coastline
2,234 km (mainland on Red Sea 1,151 km, islands in Red Sea 1,083 km)
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims
territorial sea: 12 nm
none (landlocked)
Climate
hot, dry desert strip along Red Sea coast; cooler and wetter in the central highlands (up to 61 cm of rainfall annually, heaviest June to September); semiarid in western hills and lowlands
tropical monsoon with wide topographic-induced variation
Terrain
dominated by extension of Ethiopian north-south trending highlands, descending on the east to a coastal desert plain, on the northwest to hilly terrain and on the southwest to flat-to-rolling plains
high plateau with central mountain range divided by Great Rift Valley
Elevation extremes
mean elevation: 853 m
lowest point: near Kulul within the Danakil Depression -75 m
highest point: Soira 3,018 m
mean elevation: 1,330 m
lowest point: Danakil Depression -125 m
highest point: Ras Dejen 4,550 m
Natural resources
gold, potash, zinc, copper, salt, possibly oil and natural gas, fish
small reserves of gold, platinum, copper, potash, natural gas, hydropower
Land use
agricultural land: 75.1% (2011 est.)
arable land: 6.8% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 68.3% (2011 est.)
forest: 15.1% (2011 est.)
other: 9.8% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 36.3% (2011 est.)
arable land: 15.2% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 1.1% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 20% (2011 est.)
forest: 12.2% (2011 est.)
other: 51.5% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land
210 sq km (2012)
2,900 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards

frequent droughts, rare earthquakes and volcanoes; locust swarms

volcanism: Dubbi (1,625 m), which last erupted in 1861, was the country's only historically active volcano until Nabro (2,218 m) came to life on 12 June 2011

geologically active Great Rift Valley susceptible to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions; frequent droughts

volcanism: volcanic activity in the Great Rift Valley; Erta Ale (613 m), which has caused frequent lava flows in recent years, is the country's most active volcano; Dabbahu became active in 2005, forcing evacuations; other historically active volcanoes include Alayta, Dalaffilla, Dallol, Dama Ali, Fentale, Kone, Manda Hararo, and Manda-Inakir

Environment - current issues
deforestation; desertification; soil erosion; overgrazing
deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; loss of biodiversity; water shortages in some areas from water-intensive farming and poor management; industrial pollution and pesticides contribute to air, water, and soil pollution
Environment - international agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea
Geography - note
strategic geopolitical position along world's busiest shipping lanes; Eritrea retained the entire coastline of Ethiopia along the Red Sea upon de jure independence from Ethiopia on 24 May 1993
note 1: landlocked - entire coastline along the Red Sea was lost with the de jure independence of Eritrea on 24 May 1993; Ethiopia is, therefore, the most populous landlocked country in the world; the Blue Nile, the chief headstream of the Nile by water volume, rises in T'ana Hayk (Lake Tana) in northwest Ethiopia

note 2: three major crops are believed to have originated in Ethiopia: coffee, grain sorghum, and castor bean
Population distribution
density is highest in the center of the country in and around the cities of Asmara (capital) and Keren; smaller settlements exist in the north and south as shown in this population distribution map
highest density is found in the highlands of the north and middle areas of the country, particularly around the centrally located capital city of Addis Ababa; the far east and southeast are sparsely populated as shown in this population distribution map

Demographics

EritreaEthiopia
Population
6,081,196 (July 2020 est.)
108,113,150 (July 2020 est.)

note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

Age structure
0-14 years: 38.23% (male 1,169,456/female 1,155,460)
15-24 years: 20.56% (male 622,172/female 627,858)
25-54 years: 33.42% (male 997,693/female 1,034,550)
55-64 years: 3.8% (male 105,092/female 125,735)
65 years and over: 4% (male 99,231/female 143,949) (2020 est.)
0-14 years: 39.81% (male 21,657,152/female 21,381,628)
15-24 years: 19.47% (male 10,506,144/female 10,542,128)
25-54 years: 32.92% (male 17,720,540/female 17,867,298)
55-64 years: 4.42% (male 2,350,606/female 2,433,319)
65 years and over: 3.38% (male 1,676,478/female 1,977,857) (2020 est.)
Median age
total: 20.3 years
male: 19.7 years
female: 20.8 years (2020 est.)
total: 19.8 years
male: 19.6 years
female: 20.1 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate
0.93% (2020 est.)
2.56% (2020 est.)
Birth rate
27.9 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
31.6 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Death rate
6.9 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
5.9 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Net migration rate
-11.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
-0.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.84 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 97 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 99.5 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Infant mortality rate
total: 43.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 50.3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 36.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
total: 35.8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 40.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 30.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 66.2 years
male: 63.6 years
female: 68.8 years (2020 est.)
total population: 67.5 years
male: 65.5 years
female: 69.7 years (2020 est.)
Total fertility rate
3.73 children born/woman (2020 est.)
4.14 children born/woman (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
0.7% (2019 est.)
1.1% (2019 est.)
Nationality
noun: Eritrean(s)
adjective: Eritrean
noun: Ethiopian(s)
adjective: Ethiopian
Ethnic groups
Tigrinya 55%, Tigre 30%, Saho 4%, Kunama 2%, Rashaida 2%, Bilen 2%, other (Afar, Beni Amir, Nera) 5% (2010 est.)

note: data represent Eritrea's nine recognized ethnic groups

Oromo 34.9%, Amhara (Amara) 27.9%, Tigray (Tigrinya) 7.3%, Sidama 4.1%, Welaita 3%, Gurage 2.8%, Somali (Somalie) 2.7%, Hadiya 2.2%, Afar (Affar) .6%, other 12.6% (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
14,000 (2019 est.)
670,000 (2019 est.)
Religions
Sunni Muslim, Coptic Christian, Roman Catholic, Protestant
Ethiopian Orthodox 43.8%, Muslim 31.3%, Protestant 22.8%, Catholic 0.7%, traditional .6%, other 0.8% (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths
<500 (2019 est.)
12,000 (2019 est.)
Languages
Tigrinya (official), Arabic (official), English (official), Tigre, Kunama, Afar, other Cushitic languages
Oromo (official working language in the State of Oromiya) 33.8%, Amharic (official national language) 29.3%, Somali (official working language of the State of Sumale) 6.2%, Tigrigna (Tigrinya) (official working language of the State of Tigray) 5.9%, Sidamo 4%, Wolaytta 2.2%, Gurage 2%, Afar (official working language of the State of Afar) 1.7%, Hadiyya 1.7%, Gamo 1.5%, Gedeo 1.3%, Opuuo 1.2%, Kafa 1.1%, other 8.1%, English (major foreign language taught in schools), Arabic (2007 est.)
Literacy
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 76.6%
male: 84.4%
female: 68.9% (2018)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 51.8%
male: 57.2%
female: 44.4% (2017)
Major infectious diseases
degree of risk: high (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
degree of risk: very high (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
animal contact diseases: rabies
respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 59 years
male: 8 years
female: 7 years (2015)
total: 9 years
male: 8 years
female: 8 years (2012)
Education expenditures
NA
4.7% of GDP (2015)
Urbanization
urban population: 41.3% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 3.86% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
urban population: 21.7% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 4.63% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Drinking water source
improved: urban: 73.2% of population
rural: 53.3% of population
total: 57.8% of population
unimproved: urban: 26.8% of population
rural: 46.7% of population
total: 42.2% of population (2015 est.)
improved: urban: 97% of population
rural: 61.7% of population
total: 68.9% of population
unimproved: urban: 3% of population
rural: 38.3% of population
total: 31.1% of population (2017 est.)
Sanitation facility access
improved: urban: 44.5% of population
rural: 7.3% of population
total: 15.7% of population
unimproved: urban: 55.5% of population
rural: 92.7% of population
total: 84.3% of population (2015 est.)
improved: urban: 49.7% of population
rural: 5.7% of population
total: 14.7% of population
unimproved: urban: 50.3% of population
rural: 94.3% of population
total: 85.3% of population (2017 est.)
Major cities - population
963,000 ASMARA (capital) (2020)
4.794 million ADDIS ABABA (capital) (2020)
Maternal mortality rate
480 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
401 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight
39.4% (2010)
21.1% (2019)
Health expenditures
2.9% (2017)
3.5% (2017)
Physicians density
0.06 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
0.1 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
Hospital bed density
0.7 beds/1,000 population (2011)
0.3 beds/1,000 population (2016)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
5% (2016)
4.5% (2016)
Mother's mean age at first birth
21.3 years (2010 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

20 years (2016 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

Demographic profile

Eritrea is a persistently poor country that has made progress in some socioeconomic categories but not in others. Education and human capital formation are national priorities for facilitating economic development and eradicating poverty. To this end, Eritrea has made great strides in improving adult literacy – doubling the literacy rate over the last 20 years – in large part because of its successful adult education programs. The overall literacy rate was estimated to be almost 74% in 2015; more work needs to be done to raise female literacy and school attendance among nomadic and rural communities. Subsistence farming fails to meet the needs of Eritrea’s growing population because of repeated droughts, dwindling arable land, overgrazing, soil erosion, and a shortage of farmers due to conscription and displacement. The government’s emphasis on spending on defense over agriculture and its lack of foreign exchange to import food also contribute to food insecurity.

Eritrea has been a leading refugee source country since at least the 1960s, when its 30-year war for independence from Ethiopia began. Since gaining independence in 1993, Eritreans have continued migrating to Sudan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Egypt, or Israel because of a lack of basic human rights or political freedom, educational and job opportunities, or to seek asylum because of militarization. Eritrea’s large diaspora has been a source of vital remittances, funding its war for independence and providing 30% of the country’s GDP annually since it became independent.

In the last few years, Eritreans have increasingly been trafficked and held hostage by Bedouins in the Sinai Desert, where they are victims of organ harvesting, rape, extortion, and torture. Some Eritrean trafficking victims are kidnapped after being smuggled to Sudan or Ethiopia, while others are kidnapped from within or around refugee camps or crossing Eritrea’s borders. Eritreans composed approximately 90% of the conservatively estimated 25,000-30,000 victims of Sinai trafficking from 2009-2013, according to a 2013 consultancy firm report.

Ethiopia is a predominantly agricultural country – more than 80% of the population lives in rural areas – that is in the early stages of demographic transition. Infant, child, and maternal mortality have fallen sharply over the past decade, but the total fertility rate has declined more slowly and the population continues to grow. The rising age of marriage and the increasing proportion of women remaining single have contributed to fertility reduction. While the use of modern contraceptive methods among married women has increased significantly from 6 percent in 2000 to 27 percent in 2012, the overall rate is still quite low.

Ethiopia’s rapid population growth is putting increasing pressure on land resources, expanding environmental degradation, and raising vulnerability to food shortages. With more than 40 percent of the population below the age of 15 and a fertility rate of over 5 children per woman (and even higher in rural areas), Ethiopia will have to make further progress in meeting its family planning needs if it is to achieve the age structure necessary for reaping a demographic dividend in the coming decades.

Poverty, drought, political repression, and forced government resettlement have driven Ethiopia’s internal and external migration since the 1960s. Before the 1974 revolution, only small numbers of the Ethiopian elite went abroad to study and then returned home, but under the brutal Derg regime thousands fled the country, primarily as refugees. Between 1982 and 1991 there was a new wave of migration to the West for family reunification. Since the defeat of the Derg in 1991, Ethiopians have migrated to escape violence among some of the country’s myriad ethnic groups or to pursue economic opportunities. Internal and international trafficking of women and children for domestic work and prostitution is a growing problem.

Contraceptive prevalence rate
8.4% (2010)
40.1% (2018)
Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 83.9
youth dependency ratio: 75.6
elderly dependency ratio: 8.3
potential support ratio: 12.1 (2020 est.)
total dependency ratio: 76.8
youth dependency ratio: 70.6
elderly dependency ratio: 6.3
potential support ratio: 16 (2020 est.)

Government

EritreaEthiopia
Country name
conventional long form: State of Eritrea
conventional short form: Eritrea
local long form: Hagere Ertra
local short form: Ertra
former: Eritrea Autonomous Region in Ethiopia
etymology: the country name derives from the ancient Greek appellation "Erythra Thalassa" meaning Red Sea, which is the major water body bordering the country
conventional long form: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
conventional short form: Ethiopia
local long form: Ityop'iya Federalawi Demokrasiyawi Ripeblik
local short form: Ityop'iya
former: Abyssinia, Italian East Africa
abbreviation: FDRE
etymology: the country name derives from the Greek word "Aethiopia," which in classical times referred to lands south of Egypt in the Upper Nile region
Government type
presidential republic
federal parliamentary republic
Capital
name: Asmara (Asmera)
geographic coordinates: 15 20 N, 38 56 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: the name means "they [women] made them unite," which according to Tigrinya oral tradition refers to the women of the four clans in the Asmara area who persuaded their menfolk to unite and defeat their common enemy; the name has also been translated as "live in peace"
name: Addis Ababa
geographic coordinates: 9 02 N, 38 42 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: the name in Amharic means "new flower" and was bestowed on the city in 1889, three years after its founding
Administrative divisions
6 regions (zobatat, singular - zoba); Anseba, Debub (South), Debubawi K'eyih Bahri (Southern Red Sea), Gash Barka, Ma'akel (Central), Semenawi K'eyih Bahri (Northern Red Sea)
9 ethnically based regional states (kililoch, singular - kilil) and 2 self-governing administrations* (astedaderoch, singular - astedader); Adis Abeba* (Addis Ababa), Afar, Amara (Amhara), Binshangul Gumuz, Dire Dawa*, Gambela Hizboch (Gambela Peoples), Hareri Hizb (Harari People), Oromiya (Oromia), Sumale (Somali), Tigray, Ye Debub Biheroch Bihereseboch na Hizboch (Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples)
Independence
24 May 1993 (from Ethiopia)
oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest in the world - at least 2,000 years (may be traced to the Aksumite Kingdom, which coalesced in the first century B.C.)
National holiday
Independence Day, 24 May (1991)
Derg Downfall Day (defeat of MENGISTU regime), 28 May (1991)
Constitution
history: ratified by the Constituent Assembly 23 May 1997 (not fully implemented)
amendments: proposed by the president of Eritrea or by assent of at least one half of the National Assembly membership; passage requires at least an initial three-quarters majority vote by the Assembly and, after one year, final passage by at least four-fifths majority vote by the Assembly
history: several previous; latest drafted June 1994, adopted 8 December 1994, entered into force 21 August 1995
amendments: proposals submitted for discussion require two-thirds majority approval in either house of Parliament or majority approval of one-third of the State Councils; passage of amendments other than constitutional articles on fundamental rights and freedoms and the initiation and amendment of the constitution requires two-thirds majority vote in a joint session of Parliament and majority vote by two thirds of the State Councils; passage of amendments affecting rights and freedoms and amendment procedures requires two-thirds majority vote in each house of Parliament and majority vote by all the State Councils
Legal system
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state: President ISAIAS Afwerki (since 8 June 1993); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government and is head of the State Council and National Assembly
head of government: President ISAIAS Afwerki (since 8 June 1993)
cabinet: State Council appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the National Assembly for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); the only election was held on 8 June 1993, following independence from Ethiopia (next election postponed indefinitely)
election results: ISAIAS Afwerki elected president by the transitional National Assembly; percent of National Assembly vote - ISAIAS  Afwerki (PFDJ) 95%, other 5%
chief of state: President SAHLE-WORK Zewde (since 25 October 2018)
head of government: Prime Minister ABIY Ahmed (since 2 April 2018); Deputy Prime Minister DEMEKE Mekonnen Hassen (since 29 November 2012); note - Prime Minister HAILEMARIAM Desalegn (since 21 September 2012) resigned on 15 February 2018 and continued as caretaker until the new prime minister was sworn into office on 2 April 2018
cabinet: Council of Ministers selected by the prime minister and approved by the House of People's Representatives
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by both chambers of Parliament for a 6-year term (eligible for a second term); snap election held on 25 October 2018 due to resignation of President MULATA Teshome (next election postponed by Prime Minister ABIY due to the COVID-19 pandemic); prime minister designated by the majority party following legislative elections
election results: SAHLE-WORK Zewde elected president; Parliament vote - 659 (unanimous)
note: SAHLE-WORK Zewde is the first female elected head of state in Ethiopia; she is currently the only female president in Africa. Former President Dr. Mulatu TESHOME resigned on 25 October 2018, one year ahead of finishing his six-year term.
Legislative branch
description: unicameral National Assembly (Hagerawi Baito) (150 seats; 75 members indirectly elected by the ruling party and 75 directly elected by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: in May 1997, following the adoption of the new constitution, 75 members of the PFDJ Central Committee (the old Central Committee of the EPLF), 60 members of the 527-member Constituent Assembly, which had been established in 1997 to discuss and ratify the new constitution, and 15 representatives of Eritreans living abroad were formed into a Transitional National Assembly to serve as the country's legislative body until countrywide elections to form a National Assembly were held; although only 75 of 150 members of the Transitional National Assembly were elected, the constitution stipulates that once past the transition stage, all members of the National Assembly will be elected by secret ballot of all eligible voters; National Assembly elections scheduled for December 2001 were postponed indefinitely due to the war with Ethiopia, and as of May 2019, there was no sitting legislative body
election results: NA
description: bicameral Parliament consists of:
House of Federation or Yefedereshein Mikir Bete (153 seats; members indirectly elected by state assemblies to serve 5-year terms)
House of People's Representatives or Yehizb Tewokayoch Mekir Bete (547 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; 22 seats reserved for minorities; all members serve 5-year terms)
elections: House of Federation - last held 24 May 2015 (next originally scheduled on 29 August 2020 but postponed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic)
House of People's Representatives - last held on 24 May 2015 (next originally scheduled on 29 August 2020 but postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic)
election results: House of Federation - percent of vote by coalition/party - NA; seats by coalition/party - NA; composition - men 104, women 49, percent of women 32%
House of Representatives - percent of vote by coalition/party - NA; seats by coalition/party - EPRDF 501, SPDP 24, BGPDUP 9, ANDP 8, GPUDM 3, APDO 1, HNL 1; composition - men 335, women 212, percent of women  38.8%; note - total Parliament percent of women 37.3%
note: House of Federation is responsible for interpreting the constitution and federal-regional issues and the House of People's Representatives is responsible for passing legislation
Judicial branch
highest courts: High Court (consists of 20 judges and organized into civil, commercial, criminal, labor, administrative, and customary sections)
judge selection and term of office: High Court judges appointed by the president
subordinate courts: regional/zonal courts; community courts; special courts; sharia courts (for issues dealing with Muslim marriage, inheritance, and family); military courts
highest courts: Federal Supreme Court (consists of 11 judges); note - the House of Federation has jurisdiction for all constitutional issues
judge selection and term of office: president and vice president of Federal Supreme Court recommended by the prime minister and appointed by the House of People's Representatives; other Supreme Court judges nominated by the Federal Judicial Administrative Council (a 10-member body chaired by the president of the Federal Supreme Court) and appointed by the House of People's Representatives; judges serve until retirement at age 60
subordinate courts: federal high courts and federal courts of first instance; state court systems (mirror structure of federal system); sharia courts and customary and traditional courts
Political parties and leaders
People's Front for Democracy and Justice or PFDJ [ISAIAS Afwerki] (the only party recognized by the government)
Afar National Democratic Party or ANDP [Taha AHMED]
Argoba People Democratic Organization or APDO
Benishangul Gumuz People's Democratic Unity Party or BGPDUP
Ethiopian Federal Democratic Unity Forum or MEDREK or FORUM [Beyene PETROS] (includes ESD-SCUP, OFC, SLM, and UTDS)
Ethiopia Citizens for Social Justice or ECSJ Party (formed in May 2019 from 7 other parties, including Patriotic Genbot 7, Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP), All Ethiopian Democratic Party (AEDP), Semayawi Party, New Generation Party, Gambella Regional Movement (GRM), Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) Party [Berhanu Negu])
Prosperity Party or PP [ABIY Ahmed] (created in November 2019 from member parties of the former Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front or EPRDF, which included the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM),  Oromo People's Democratic Organization (OPDO), Southern Ethiopian People's Democratic Movement  (SEPDM), Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), plus other ERPRF allies
Ethiopian Social Democracy-Southern Coalition Unity Party or ESD-SCUP
Gambella Peoples Unity Democratic Movement or GPUDM
Harari National League or HNL [Murad ABDULHADI]
Oromo Fderalist Congress or OFC
Sidama Liberaton Movement or SLM
Somali People's Democratic Party or SPDP
Union of Tigraians for Democracy & Sovergnty or UTDS
Tigray Independence Party [Girmay BERHE] (2020)
International organization participation
ACP, AfDB, AU, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS (observer), ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAS (observer), MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO
ACP, AfDB, AU, COMESA, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMIL, UN Security Council (temporary), UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US
Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires BERHANE Gebrehiwet Solomon (since 15 March 2011)
chancery: 1708 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 319-1991
FAX: [1] (202) 319-1304
Ambassador Ato FITSUM Arega (since 9 April 2019)
chancery: 3506 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 364-1200
FAX: [1] (202) 587-0195
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, Seattle
consulate(s): Houston, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Natalie E. BROWN (since September 2016)
telephone: [291] (1) 120004
embassy: 179 Ala Street, Asmara
mailing address: P.O. Box 211, Asmara
FAX: [291] (1) 127584
chief of mission: Ambassador Michael RAYNOR (since 3 October 2017)
telephone: [251] 11 130-6000
embassy: Entoto Street, P.O. Box 1014, Addis Ababa
mailing address: P.O. Box 1014, Addis Ababa
FAX: [251] 11 124-2401
Flag description
red isosceles triangle (based on the hoist side) dividing the flag into two right triangles; the upper triangle is green, the lower one is blue; a gold wreath encircling a gold olive branch is centered on the hoist side of the red triangle; green stands for the country's agriculture economy, red signifies the blood shed in the fight for freedom, and blue symbolizes the bounty of the sea; the wreath-olive branch symbol is similar to that on the first flag of Eritrea from 1952; the shape of the red triangle broadly mimics the shape of the country

note: one of several flags where a prominent component of the design reflects the shape of the country; other such flags are those of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, and Vanuatu

three equal horizontal bands of green (top), yellow, and red, with a yellow pentagram and single yellow rays emanating from the angles between the points on a light blue disk centered on the three bands; green represents hope and the fertility of the land, yellow symbolizes justice and harmony, while red stands for sacrifice and heroism in the defense of the land; the blue of the disk symbolizes peace and the pentagram represents the unity and equality of the nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia

note: Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa, and the three main colors of her flag (adopted ca. 1895) were so often appropriated by other African countries upon independence that they became known as the Pan-African colors; the emblem in the center of the current flag was added in 1996

National anthem
name: "Ertra, Ertra, Ertra" (Eritrea, Eritrea, Eritrea)
lyrics/music: SOLOMON Tsehaye Beraki/Isaac Abraham MEHAREZGI and ARON Tekle Tesfatsion

note: adopted 1993; upon independence from Ethiopia

name: "Whedefit Gesgeshi Woud Enat Ethiopia" (March Forward, Dear Mother Ethiopia)
lyrics/music: DEREJE Melaku Mengesha/SOLOMON Lulu

note: adopted 1992

International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)
camel; national colors: green, red, blue
Abyssinian lion (traditional), yellow pentagram with five rays of light on a blue field (promoted by current government); national colors: green, yellow, red
Citizenship
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Eritrea
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 20 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Ethiopia
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 4 years

Economy

EritreaEthiopia
Economy - overview

Since formal independence from Ethiopia in 1993, Eritrea has faced many economic problems, including lack of financial resources and chronic drought. Eritrea has a command economy under the control of the sole political party, the People's Front for Democracy and Justice. Like the economies of many African nations, a large share of the population - nearly 80% in Eritrea - is engaged in subsistence agriculture, but the sector only produces a small share of the country's total output. Mining accounts for the lion's share of output.

The government has strictly controlled the use of foreign currency by limiting access and availability; new regulations in 2013 aimed at relaxing currency controls have had little economic effect. Few large private enterprises exist in Eritrea and most operate in conjunction with government partners, including a number of large international mining ventures, which began production in 2013. In late 2015, the Government of Eritrea introduced a new currency, retaining the name nakfa, and restricted the amount of hard currency individuals could withdraw from banks per month. The changeover has resulted in exchange fluctuations and the scarcity of hard currency available in the market.

While reliable statistics on Eritrea are difficult to obtain, erratic rainfall and the large percentage of the labor force tied up in military service continue to interfere with agricultural production and economic development. Eritrea's harvests generally cannot meet the food needs of the country without supplemental grain purchases. Copper, potash, and gold production are likely to continue to drive limited economic growth and government revenue over the next few years, but military spending will continue to compete with development and investment plans.

Ethiopia - the second most populous country in Africa - is a one-party state with a planned economy. For more than a decade before 2016, GDP grew at a rate between 8% and 11% annually – one of the fastest growing states among the 188 IMF member countries. This growth was driven by government investment in infrastructure, as well as sustained progress in the agricultural and service sectors. More than 70% of Ethiopia’s population is still employed in the agricultural sector, but services have surpassed agriculture as the principal source of GDP.

Ethiopia has the lowest level of income-inequality in Africa and one of the lowest in the world, with a Gini coefficient comparable to that of the Scandinavian countries. Yet despite progress toward eliminating extreme poverty, Ethiopia remains one of the poorest countries in the world, due both to rapid population growth and a low starting base. Changes in rainfall associated with world-wide weather patterns resulted in the worst drought in 30 years in 2015-16, creating food insecurity for millions of Ethiopians.

The state is heavily engaged in the economy. Ongoing infrastructure projects include power production and distribution, roads, rails, airports and industrial parks. Key sectors are state-owned, including telecommunications, banking and insurance, and power distribution. Under Ethiopia's constitution, the state owns all land and provides long-term leases to tenants. Title rights in urban areas, particularly Addis Ababa, are poorly regulated, and subject to corruption.

Ethiopia’s foreign exchange earnings are led by the services sector - primarily the state-run Ethiopian Airlines - followed by exports of several commodities. While coffee remains the largest foreign exchange earner, Ethiopia is diversifying exports, and commodities such as gold, sesame, khat, livestock and horticulture products are becoming increasingly important. Manufacturing represented less than 8% of total exports in 2016, but manufacturing exports should increase in future years due to a growing international presence.

The banking, insurance, telecommunications, and micro-credit industries are restricted to domestic investors, but Ethiopia has attracted roughly $8.5 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI), mostly from China, Turkey, India and the EU; US FDI is $567 million. Investment has been primarily in infrastructure, construction, agriculture/horticulture, agricultural processing, textiles, leather and leather products.

To support industrialization in sectors where Ethiopia has a comparative advantage, such as textiles and garments, leather goods, and processed agricultural products, Ethiopia plans to increase installed power generation capacity by 8,320 MW, up from a capacity of 2,000 MW, by building three more major dams and expanding to other sources of renewable energy. In 2017, the government devalued the birr by 15% to increase exports and alleviate a chronic foreign currency shortage in the country.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$9.402 billion (2017 est.)
$8.953 billion (2016 est.)
$8.791 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

$200.6 billion (2017 est.)
$181 billion (2016 est.)
$167.6 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - real growth rate
5% (2017 est.)
1.9% (2016 est.)
2.6% (2015 est.)
10.9% (2017 est.)
8% (2016 est.)
10.4% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$1,600 (2017 est.)
$1,500 (2016 est.)
$1,500 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

$2,200 (2017 est.)
$2,000 (2016 est.)
$1,900 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 11.7% (2017 est.)
industry: 29.6% (2017 est.)
services: 58.7% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 34.8% (2017 est.)
industry: 21.6% (2017 est.)
services: 43.6% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
50% (2004 est.)
29.6% (2014 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
lowest 10%: 4.1%
highest 10%: 25.6% (2005)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
9% (2017 est.)
9% (2016 est.)
9.9% (2017 est.)
7.3% (2016 est.)
Labor force
2.71 million (2017 est.)
52.82 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 80%
industry: 20% (2004 est.)
agriculture: 72.7%
industry: 7.4%
services: 19.9% (2013 est.)
Unemployment rate
5.8% (2017 est.)
10% (2016 est.)
17.5% (2012 est.)
18% (2011 est.)
Budget
revenues: 2.029 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 2.601 billion (2017 est.)
revenues: 11.24 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 13.79 billion (2017 est.)
Industries
food processing, beverages, clothing and textiles, light manufacturing, salt, cement
food processing, beverages, textiles, leather, garments, chemicals, metals processing, cement
Industrial production growth rate
5.4% (2017 est.)
10.5% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products
sorghum, lentils, vegetables, corn, cotton, tobacco, sisal; livestock, goats; fish
cereals, coffee, oilseed, cotton, sugarcane, vegetables, khat, cut flowers; hides, cattle, sheep, goats; fish
Exports
$624.3 million (2017 est.)
$485.4 million (2016 est.)
$3.23 billion (2017 est.)
$2.814 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
gold and other minerals, livestock, sorghum, textiles, food, small industry manufactures
coffee (27%, by value), oilseeds (17%), edible vegetables including khat (17%), gold (13%), flowers (7%), live animals (7%), raw leather products (3%), meat products (3%)
Exports - partners
China 62%, South Korea 28.3% (2017)
Sudan 23.3%, Switzerland 10.2%, China 8.1%, Somalia 6.6%, Netherlands 6.2%, US 4.7%, Germany 4.7%, Saudi Arabia 4.6%, UK 4.6% (2017)
Imports
$1.127 billion (2017 est.)
$1.048 billion (2016 est.)
$15.59 billion (2017 est.)
$14.69 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
machinery, petroleum products, food, manufactured goods
machinery and aircraft (14%, by value), metal and metal products, (14%), electrical materials, (13%), petroleum products (12%), motor vehicles, (10%), chemicals and fertilizers (4%)
Imports - partners
UAE 14.5%, China 13.2%, Saudi Arabia 13.2%, Italy 12.9%, Turkey 5.6%, South Africa 4.6% (2017)
China 24.1%, Saudi Arabia 10.1%, India 6.4%, Kuwait 5.3%, France 5.2% (2017)
Debt - external
$792.7 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$875.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$26.05 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$24.82 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange rates
nakfa (ERN) per US dollar -
15.38 (2017 est.)
15.375 (2016 est.)
15.375 (2015 est.)
15.375 (2014 est.)
15.375 (2013 est.)
birr (ETB) per US dollar -
25 (2017 est.)
21.732 (2016 est.)
21.732 (2015 est.)
21.55 (2014 est.)
19.8 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year
calendar year
8 July - 7 July
Public debt
131.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
132.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
54.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
53.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$236.7 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$218.4 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.013 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.022 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Current Account Balance
-$137 million (2017 est.)
-$105 million (2016 est.)
-$6.551 billion (2017 est.)
-$6.574 billion (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)
$5.813 billion (2017 est.)
$80.87 billion (2017 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate

NA

13.5% (31 December 2017 est.)
12.2% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$5.787 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$5.223 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$27.66 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$25.78 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$3.084 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.734 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$9.042 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$8.757 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$3.084 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.734 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$9.042 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$8.757 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
34.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
13.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-9.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
-3.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 80.9% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 24.3% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 6.4% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 0.1% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 10.9% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -22.5% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 69.6% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 10% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 43.5% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: -0.1% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 8.1% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -31.2% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving
5.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
6% of GDP (2016 est.)
6.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
32.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
32.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
32.4% of GDP (2015 est.)

Energy

EritreaEthiopia
Electricity - production
415.9 million kWh (2016 est.)
11.15 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption
353.9 million kWh (2016 est.)
9.062 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports
0 kWh (2016 est.)
166 million kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - imports
0 kWh (2016 est.)
0 kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production
0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
Oil - imports
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - exports
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - proved reserves
0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
428,000 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves
0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
24.92 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - production
0 cu m (2017 est.)
0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption
0 cu m (2017 est.)
0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports
0 cu m (2017 est.)
0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports
0 cu m (2017 est.)
0 cu m (2017 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity
160,700 kW (2016 est.)
2.784 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels
99% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
3% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants
0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
86% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels
0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources
1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
11% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption
4,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
74,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports
3,897 bbl/day (2015 est.)
69,970 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy
597,100 Mt (2017 est.)
12.18 million Mt (2017 est.)
Electricity access
population without electricity: 3 million (2019)
electrification - total population: 47% (2019)
electrification - urban areas: 95% (2019)
electrification - rural areas: 13% (2019)
population without electricity: 60 million (2019)
electrification - total population: 47% (2019)
electrification - urban areas: 96% (2019)
electrification - rural areas: 34% (2019)

Telecommunications

EritreaEthiopia
Telephones - main lines in use
total subscriptions: 116,882
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1.94 (2019 est.)
total subscriptions: 1,095,946
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1.04 (2019 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellular
total subscriptions: 1,226,660
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 20.36 (2019 est.)
total subscriptions: 38,147,361
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 36.2 (2019 est.)
Internet country code
.er
.et
Internet users
total: 78,215
percent of population: 1.31% (July 2018 est.)
total: 19,118,470
percent of population: 18.62% (July 2018 est.)
Telecommunication systems
general assessment: woefully inadequate service provided by state-owned telecom monopoly; most fixed-line telephones are in Asmara; cell phone use is limited by government control of SIM card issuance; no data service; only about 4% of households having computers with 2% Internet; untapped market ripe for competition; direct phone service between Eritrea and Ethiopia was restored in September 2018; government telco working on roll-out of 3G network; in 2019 11% mobile penetration (2020)
domestic: fixed-line subscribership is less than 2 per 100 person and mobile-cellular 20 per 100 (2019)
international: country code - 291 (2019)
note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
general assessment: Ethio Telecom maintained a monopoly over telecommunication services until recently and is now part-private; new expansion of LTE services; in 2019 govt. approved legislations which opened the market to competition and provides much needed foreign investment; one of the tech companies is Chinese company Huawei; govt. reduces tariffs by up to 50% in 2018, the result is an increase in data and voice traffic; govt. launches mobile app as part of e-govt initiative to build tech city (2020)
domestic: fixed-line subscriptions at 1 per 100 while mobile-cellular stands at 36 per 100; the number of mobile telephones is increasing steadily (2019)
international: country code - 251; open-wire to Sudan and Djibouti; microwave radio relay to Kenya and Djibouti; 2 domestic satellites provide the national trunk service; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Pacific Ocean) (2016)
note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
Broadband - fixed subscriptions
total: 600
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2017 est.)
total: 580,120
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2017 est.)
Broadcast media
government controls broadcast media with private ownership prohibited; 1 state-owned TV station; state-owned radio operates 2 networks; purchases of satellite dishes and subscriptions to international broadcast media are permitted (2019)
6 public TV stations broadcasting nationally and 10 public radio broadcasters; 7 private radio stations and 19 community radio stations (2017)

Transportation

EritreaEthiopia
Railways
total: 306 km (2018)
narrow gauge: 306 km 0.950-m gauge (2018)
total: 659 km (Ethiopian segment of the 756 km Addis Ababa-Djibouti railroad) (2017)
standard gauge: 659 km 1.435-m gauge (2017)

note: electric railway with redundant power supplies; under joint control of Djibouti and Ethiopia and managed by a Chinese contractor

Roadways
total: 16,000 km (2018)
paved: 1,600 km (2000)
unpaved: 14,400 km (2000)
total: 120,171 km (2018)
Ports and terminals
major seaport(s): Assab, Massawa
Ethiopia is landlocked and uses the ports of Djibouti in Djibouti and Berbera in Somalia
Merchant marine
total: 9
by type: general cargo 4, oil tanker 1, other 4 (2019)
total: 11
by type: general cargo 9, oil tanker 2 (2019)
Airports
total: 13 (2020)
total: 57 (2013)
Airports - with paved runways
total: 4 (2019)
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
total: 17 (2017)
over 3,047 m: 3 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 8 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2017)
under 914 m: 2 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runways
total: 9 (2013)
over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
total: 40 (2013)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 20 (2013)
under 914 m: 8 (2013)
National air transport system
number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 1
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 102,729 (2018)
number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 75
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 11,501,244 (2018)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 2,089,280,000 mt-km (2018)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefix
E3 (2016)
ET (2016)

Military

EritreaEthiopia
Military branches
Eritrean Defense Forces: Eritrean Ground Forces, Eritrean Navy, Eritrean Air Force (includes Air Defense Force) (2019)
Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF): Ground Forces, Ethiopian Air Force (Ye Ityopya Ayer Hayl, ETAF) (2020)

note: in January 2020 the Ethiopian Government announced it had re-established a navy, which was disbanded in 1996; in March 2019 Ethiopia signed a defense cooperation agreement with France which stipulated that France would support the establishment of an Ethiopian navy

in 2018, Ethiopia established a Republican Guard for protecting senior officials; the Republican Guard is a military unit accountable to the Prime Minister

Military service age and obligation
18-40 years of age for male and female voluntary and compulsory military service; 18-month conscript service obligation (2019)
18 years of age for voluntary military service; no compulsory military service, but the military can conduct callups when necessary and compliance is compulsory (2013)

Transnational Issues

EritreaEthiopia
Disputes - international

Eritrea and Ethiopia agreed to abide by 2002 Ethiopia-Eritrea Boundary Commission's (EEBC) delimitation decision, but neither party responded to the revised line detailed in the November 2006 EEBC Demarcation Statement; Sudan accuses Eritrea of supporting eastern Sudanese rebel groups; in 2008, Eritrean troops moved across the border on Ras Doumera peninsula and occupied Doumera Island with undefined sovereignty in the Red Sea

Eritrea and Ethiopia agreed to abide by the 2002 Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission's (EEBC) delimitation decision, but neither party responded to the revised line detailed in the November 2006 EEBC Demarcation Statement; the undemarcated former British administrative line has little meaning as a political separation to rival clans within Ethiopia's Ogaden and southern Somalia's Oromo region; Ethiopian forces invaded southern Somalia and routed Islamist courts from Mogadishu in January 2007; "Somaliland" secessionists provide port facilities in Berbera and trade ties to landlocked Ethiopia; civil unrest in eastern Sudan has hampered efforts to demarcate the porous boundary with Ethiopia; Ethiopia's construction of a large dam (the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam) on the Blue Nile since 2011 has become a focal point of relations with Egypt and Sudan; as of 2020, four years of three-way talks between the three capitals over operating the dam and filling its reservoir had made little progress; Ethiopia plans to start filling the dam in July 2020

Source: CIA Factbook