According to COUNTRYAAH, Eritrea is one of Africa’s and the world’s poorest countries. At the end of the Civil War in 1991, more than 85 percent of the population depended on foreign aid. Agriculture is the country’s most dominant industry and main industry for 80 percent of the population. The most important agricultural areas are in the highlands, where teas, maize, wheat, sorghum and millet are the most important crops. Recurring dry periods and years of growth have posed serious problems for the very agricultural dependent country. In order to alleviate the catastrophic consequences of the recurring dry periods, the government, with international assistance, has built water reservoirs and ponds. Terraced areas have also been terraced to reduce the effects of widespread soil erosion. The country has for a long time been dependent on international food aid.
The country is considered to have rich natural resources, such as significant mineral resources (gold, copper, silver and nickel) and oil deposits, but production is still very small. In 2011, a Canadian mining company began mining gold in the Bisha mine about 150 km west of Asmera. The long Red Sea coast provides good conditions for a thriving fishing industry, but so far the country has not been able to exploit this potential. However, the state has announced major investments in the fishing industry in the future.
- According to AllCityPopulation, the capital city of Eritrea is Asmara with a population of 713,000 (estimate 2013). Other major cities include Assab with a population of 104,000, Keren with a population of 84,500, Massawa with a population of 54,700 (estimate 2013).
Eritrea has a relatively well-developed light industry, including the food, textile and leather industries and the production of building materials. But the industry is in great decline, and recurring downtime means that it has been able to utilize only about 1/3 of its capacity. The country’s most important export products are minerals, mainly gold, livestock. sorghum, textiles and leather goods. Imports consist mainly of machinery, crude oil and food.