ERITREA’S UNHURRIED DEVELOPMENT

Red Sea Port Massawa, Eritrea

Red Sea Port Massawa, Eritrea

The year 2012 was a good year because many friends were in Eritrea visiting family and touring the country. Those who went out to different parts of the country and saw the different development projects were very much impressed with Eritrea’s achievements and her future prospects. On the other hand, those who stayed put in Asmara were disappointed. Their complaints, rightly so, were that Asmara is neglected. However, what I want to remind these souls is that the Eritrean government economic policy is Social justice and equal distribution of development in all six regions based on the Golden Principle of self-reliant Economy and political process free from external pressures and dependency.

In 1991, Faced with a zero economy, no viable economic institutions, no sustainable infrastructure in education, health, socials services and transportation systems; Eritrean government started a holistic development program towards economic emancipation and prosperous nation. Based on the Cardinal principle of Social Justus; meaning that those who have been on the underside of history must see that there is a qualitative difference between repression and freedom.

And for an Eritrean, freedom translates into having supply of clean water, electricity; being able to live in a decent home and having a good job, to be able to send our children to school and have accessible health care for all covering the whole country regardless of how remote or inaccessible the area may be.

In the first ten years after independence, Eritrea had spent over a billion US dollars on infrastructure, power plant, roads, dams and social services (schools, hospitals, clean water electrification). The government shifted from centralized to rational development programs though privatization and, developed a liberal Macroeconomic program in 1994 to attract foreign investments.

Eritrea’s economic environment is different from most developing countries. Eritrea’s economic development policy is based on investment rather than foreign aid.  Eritrea’s political, social values and norms are also much different. Political stability, location, low corruption, inexpensive skilled and industrious labor force gives Eritrea comparative advantages. Energy, mining, agro-industry, construction, tourism, marine resources offer good opportunity for investment. And understanding these opportunities, many foreign firms and capital had started to flow into the country.

The country was registering 7 to 10 % growth. In 1998, after the war of aggression Eritrea’s economic development took a different strategy. Most of the foreign currency reserve was used to defend the country. Foreign investments left the country. Eritrea in 2004 imported $514 million dollars of consumable goods and exported $95million with a trade deficit of $423million dollars. Basing their assumptions on these economic measures, Economic experts in Western countries forecasted that Eritrea will cease to exist as a nation due to the collapse of it economy.

Eritrea's Banca d'Italia Project

Project Design

As it is the norm however, the strong willed people and the leadership Eritrea today have overcome these challenges and are in a much better position than most of her counterparts. What has been attained to-date is a miracle. One can testify to these accomplishments by looking at the major economic sectors i.e. Agriculture, infrastructure, health, and education. 

The Eritrean government set the strategic priorities regarding development programs that require large capital expenditure sectors by sector; infrastructure, Agro-industry, health, and education. In order to build these needed infrastructures and related development projects, the Government formed many national construction companies like Segane, Bidho and others.

To highlight few infrastructure construction projects and accomplishments undertaken by these companies;

The Keren to Tesenei road, Nefasit to Dekahmare , Mendefera Barantu, Asmara to Zalambesa, Asmara to Mereb, Mendefera to Adekyeh, Keren to Selea, Akordat to Sawa to Girmayka , Massawa to Assab. These infrastructural projects have made it possible for internal handling and transport of goods within a short time interval. In Africa on average it takes 1.5 months to transport goods to port, in Eritrea however, it takes much less. In-addition to the roads, these companies had built projects worth $1.2 billion estimated cost of construction of residential housing, $350 million dollars cost of hospitals and government office, $1.5 billion water supply dams.

To promote sustainable development and to achieve food sufficiency; development of Agro industries was necessitated. Agro-Macro policy was devised, Irrigation based agriculture was introduced to increase output and create surplus in cereal corps, vegetables, fruits, and livestock. Dams, micro-dams and water diversion schemes were constructed. Animal husbandry, poultry and honey farms are new industries popping everywhere in the country. Food sufficiency has been achieved and, export markets are being developed. In order to be competitive and export high value-added agricultural products, the Agro-industries have created a post-harvest system, sanitary standards and technical requirements in packing and labeling. Eritrean government has invested large sums of foreign currency to meet export requirements and standards. Proclamation No. 170/2012, Legal notice No. 121-123/ 2012 has fulfilled the incorporation of Agro- industry and requirements for traceability of export products and marketing.  

Eritrean Worker, Nevsun Resources

Eritrean Worker, Nevsun Resources

Realizing the need for skilled labor, education being the fundamental right that all nationals are entitled to; Eritrean government built elementary, junior and secondary schools everywhere even in the most remote areas. This is done to assure access, equity, quality of education and to promote the relevance of education in order to attain balanced educational system across the board. Seven colleges and one university were constructed to provide higher education. The University Of Eritrea Institute Of Technology which has six thousand (6,000) students is being expanded with four modernly equipped laboratories and four five story high building for each discipline.

Eritrea is certified amongst the first African countries for its endeavors on health management system. Skillful management system with well-equipped health care services is one from which Eritrea is best renowned. Health for all is the motto in Eritrea. The health system provides sustainable and excellent health care that is effective, efficient, accessible, acceptable and affordable to all citizens. Access to health care is available in an area of 10 kilometers radius. 75% of the population lives in an area of 5 kilometers from a health center. HIV/AIDS is the lowest in Sub-Sahara Africa 96% of children receive the necessary vaccination. 95% of the urban and 78% of the rural area now have clean water. Eritrea in the last 15 years have eradicated communicable and non-communicable diseases i.e. Malaria, Polio, Small pox and many other. Has lowered infant mortality rate and is providing good health services in all corners of the country.Eritrea’s health expectancy stands at 65 years old the highest in Africa. 

If you think building a few high rise apartments and shopping malls for the very few rich people to enjoy life is what you call economic development while millions of your citizens are deprived of health care, education and clean water then yes Asmara has been neglected and nothing has been achieved. However, one needs to understand that Eritrea is not a country where foreign colonial powers using their local puppets run the country for their selfish gain.

Eritrea is a country that is built on shared sacrifices and as such all it citizens benefit equally. The Eritrean people and its leadership are humble, honest, and down to earth and not sick with self-gratification. Some of us minimize the achievements that the country has achieved with little resources or don’t really understand the workings of a nation building and economic emancipation. Hence, we come to our own wrong uneducated conclusion. In face of all things Eritrea is unhurriedly marching to economic prosperity.

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  • Eritrean

    Three generations have past. What are you going to tell them?

  • Eritrean

    Well written article.

  • Erirean

    Electricty..in 1991-1992 asmara used to get 7/24 uninterrupted electricy, n. Call ur friends and ask them…I know u might not be happy ehen I sayjust asmara, but truth is if asmara gets few days of electricity, thts a good sign of where we r.

    Education…we had a great intentionaly recognized university tht hosts 6000 smart students at one time…its closed a year after students opposed oppression. The last time the university accepted students was 2002…..this new colleges, I was a teachr there and thy r all jokes. I feel sorry for the talented but unlucky bros and sis.

    All this achivments u mentioned if any, were done by free forced Labour starting 1994…please put ur self in a shoe of a brother whos digging starting 1994 till now….we could have do much better in a democrati way as was proven before issayas becomes absolute dictator in 2001..

    We dehanka

    • Daniel

      I wonder how were you a teacher with such English. If you ever felt sorry, do that for yourself only.

      • Eritrean

        Daniel, you are right, I had made spelling mistakes. I use my cellphone to post ma previous message, that might be the reason, but again yes I made a mistake, a mistake is a mistake – no justification.

        This is what we really want from our government. They made a mistake and you guys are trying to justify it. Ignorant people like you are motivating the DAI to do what he did again & again, instead of acknowledge the problems and work on fixing ‘em.

        You all know that Issayas is not doing good and yet support him for different reasons. It’s okay to support him but if you really care for him, tell him when he’s not doing good. Stop being obedient.

        Stop trying to justify by telling lies about Eritrea, as its no more secret how Eritrea is doing.

        Issayas’s ruthless administration forced youth to leave the country, again, I’m not talking in hundreds or thousands, but I’m talking in hundreds of thousands.

        Open up your mind before it’s too late.

        • amine

          You said it all good bro. everything I wanted to say.

    • Eri_luv

      your english is terrible

    • C

      To Eritrean,

      First off I was in Asmara Eritrea in 1992 and I did NOT witness 7/24 uninterrupted electricity. I was only in Asmara for 1.5 months at the time and experienced a few power outages so your statement “Electricty..in 1991-1992 asmara used to get 7/24 uninterrupted electricy, n. Call ur friends and ask them” is a lie or at best an exaggeration. I will admit that the duration and the frequency of the outages were not as long or common as they are now but I am also aware that the load on the electrical grid in Eritrea is a lot larger than what it was in 1991-1992. The electrical grid has expanded greatly since 1991-1992 and I know for a fact that a lot of the outages experienced today in Eritrea are a direct result of process of expanding and maintaining the electrical grid coupled with the increase in the demand. I will say that the Electrical Co should be doing a better job of anticipating and managing the outages.

      Secondly your comment about education is disingenuous. Asmara university (the only university in Eritrea at the time) may have been somewhat known but I am curious as to what international accreditation or recognition it had. Are you telling me someone that graduated with a Business degree in Asmara in 1994 could apply for a job in say Washington DC and be considered equally as say a graduate from any of the community colleges in the Washington DC area. This is a genuine question so I hope you will answer it. Also please tell me what international accreditation (if international accreditation even exists) did Asmara University hold? Eritrea has 7 Universities now which provide more degree programs and service more Eritreans than Asmara University did.

      Thirdly your comment about forced free labor starting in 1994 is not accurate. My cousin was in the first or second round of National Service and did 3.5 years of what you call “forced free labor”. The vast majority of the population in the country was in support of the National Service program at the time and no one referred to it as “forced free labor”. Everyone in National Service today is paid so you should take the word “free” out of your statement and many people are willing to serve and take pride in serving.
      I am the first to admit that I am not happy with the current way National Service is managed and implemented and I personally believe that it needs a complete overhaul. The government of Eritrea has even acknowledged the the current National Service situation is not acceptable. The National Service members should be paid above living wages and should be released in a timely manor but I understand that the country is still in a war with Ethiopia and is facing many challenges to its sovereignty. Call it a cold war if you like. I see it as more of a luke warm war. The Badme war reminds me a lot of the US second war of Independence, also knows as the war of 1812.

      To your point about Eritrea doing much better under a democrati, I do not agree with that statement at all. Mali has been touted as stable democratic country in Africa for a while now even though slavery ( I mean real SLAVERY not slave like or slave wages) still exists and their democrati system did not make any change in that regard I don’t even need to mention the current state of Mali which is now not even a stable country. My friend is frantically trying to get his family out of the country now and in my opinion it is a shame that it is easier for an Ethiopian pretending to be an Ertirean to get asylum than my friends family in Mali who are in real a life-threatening situation.
      I do not believe a democratic system can work in any country where the majority of the population is impoverished, illiterate and UN-educated. Even the “founding fathers” (which many people quote) of the US knew that, which is why only white male land owners were allowed to participate in the political process which excluded women, blacks, and poor whites.

  • josh

    good year

  • denden

    Capital Eritrea, Thanking you for your informative article as ever our detractors and loosers like the person abouve calling himslef “ERITREAN” have not a clue what to say except grumble and attack Eritrea for all wrong reasons, but hey as ever the camel is marching and the dogs like “ERITREAN” wil scream and hawl like a lost wolf.

    Keep it up IFORMATION IS POWER!!!

  • Jasua

    Hmmmm. ….thanks for the info…but …I have a question for…if it is so why is our people immigrating to other country in ten thousands evey month??? I need your answer. thanks

    • Eyob

      Jasua, Eritrea is Filthy rich and so called immigrants are touring the world.Are you satisied!

    • robel h

      b/c we need more money you know indians also immigrate and ethipoians philipnes chines arabes all so what is your problem if we immigrate and du know what we have problem like bad neighbours .

    • C

      Jasua,

      There are many reasons why our people are immigrating to other countries. I recommend you read the following article which covers the issue in great detail. The article covers a lot of information discusses many of the reasons why some people are leaving. You should also use your common sense, everyone wants to improve their living standards. I have even met white women in well to do western European countries who would do anything to get a green card to come to the US.

      https://redseafisher.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/human-trafficking-and-human-rights-agenda-against-eritrea/

  • hamid

    Mr. Berhane Woldu,

    What do we make of this then? Whom do we believe? United Nations or your very positive article,,,,,,

    The best answer should come from democratic debate and not from one side including yourself.

    http://awate.com/eritreas-dismal-human-development-report/

    • Eri_luv

      no one cares about your agame-supported awate website.

      Eritrea for Eritreans

      • hamid

        Many good meaning would care about Awate and other sisterly websites because they are the alternative information sources in the absence of free press. Also, I would advise you to shade your Chauvinism attitude of calling names like agame and try to self assess before belittling others. Today, they stand better than your regime in all performance aspects…. political, socials, education, economical, etc. given the heavy task on their hands compare to your leader who could not administer less than 4 million disciplined nationals with the country’s abundant resources including human,

    • C

      Hamid,

      We all know the UN is an impartial truthful organization (insert sarcasm) which is why they have implemented sanctions on Ethiopia for not abiding by the EEBC verdict. I recommend you read the following article which gives a very good analysis of the UN coverage of Eritrea and will provide you with the other side of the debate which you appear to be seeking. You should not believe anyone and you should you use your own critical thinking skills to come to your own conclusion.

      https://redseafisher.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/human-trafficking-and-human-rights-agenda-against-eritrea/

  • Adam Grint Mohamad

    You convinced me, Mr. Berhanu, that u have no clue what u are talking about.

  • Bostonian

    This article, like any PFDJ articles, provides no specifications. It broadly discusses achievements without providing specific examples, or when it does, it broadly touches them. Asmara looks like a depressed and sad wrinkled old lady in need of serious care. It is collapsing beyond repair. And what is the PFDJ’s answer to this? Spread propaganda that things are fine everywhere else! Truth is if you cannot maintain a capital city then you are definitely not in the business of administering the country.

    • C

      Bostonion,

      Do you know how stupid you sound with that statement
      ” Asmara looks like a depressed and sad wrinkled old lady in need of serious care. It is collapsing beyond repair. And what is the PFDJ’s answer to this? Spread propaganda that things are fine everywhere else! Truth is if you cannot maintain a capital city then you are definitely not in the business of administering the country”

      Have you ever been to Washington DC, Washington DC looks like the cracked out version of Boston. The streets are riddled with pot-holes, there are homeless people everywhere, the aids rate is higher than many African countries, the unemployment rate in the AA community is above 20% there is no representation in fed government. Washington DC is the nations capital and by your twisted hate-filled logic no Fed Government in the US has been in the business of administering the country for the past 30 years. You probably cant even administer your own personal life in an acceptable manor yet you have no shame in accusing others and making ridiculous statements. You and anyone who agrees with you is a joke and you wonder why very few Eritreans take you naysayers seriously.

  • yosef

    I am an eritrean who fled my beloved country. Now is the time that we have to open our eyes and see what is really going on. Our dictator is distorying our country in broad day light. No investment, no tourism,no electricity,no job(where u work and get PAID). We were doing great before the war and I belive we could do that again, but not with this ‘telam’ gov’t.
    ”U have to speak loud abought u’r problem in order 2 solve it”

    • C

      Yosef,

      There is investment and there is a lot of tourism in Eritrea, 10’s of thousands of people visit Eritrea every year and I am one of them. There is Electricity in Eritrea my family for example now has 24 hour electricity in their village, I agree that there are no jobs or very few jobs at best and that is a major issue, but I do not blame that on the government. It is going to be a very hard transition from an economy based on subsistence agriculture to a different type of subsistence based economy. Lets not fool ourselves, there are very few jobs to be had in a economy based on subsitence agricultural and more than likely you would spend your entire life working a plot of land to feed your family (which is a job). I am assuming that since you fled Eritrea you are now in a position where you can educate yourself in a practical field of knowledge and earn hard currency that can provide direct benefit to our people and maybe even contribute to job creation in Eritrea. I hope you are planning a future which includes creating jobs in Eritrea and if not I hope you are encouraging others to do so.

  • RobWediEqubit

    It is a clear cut is in it..When over 400 young Eritrean DIY while trying to cross the Atlantic ocean,, over 4000 been captured and killed mutilated there kidney been sold our sister and brother been attacked raped human trafficked; over 100,000 refuge in ethiopia, Sudan, Yemen Israel all over the world.

    You can clearly ask your self something is not right!!!

    Of course we all would of liked it if it was otherwise.

    I want to bring you all educated, free thinking individual, far from the dictator regime; where everything is controlled by fear not out of respect or understanding.

    Issias will go one way or another as he is getting on with age.. Wouldn’t be better if we work toward open democratic comparative Eritrea where authority is held accountable for their doing. else we heading to 2 Somalia.

    And P.s Stop wasting your time about good English not good English, if the message is passed that is all what count.

    Awate Nehfshe Hezbi Eritrea.

  • RobWediEqubit

    it should read “Die” Not DIY

  • halewa sewra

    this is what they call living in a bubble world… reality check on the ground is different, the only thing now thriving in eritrean economy is organ selling in sinai and similar smuggling activities and yes we are developed at that … hatew ketew aytibelu adikum temelisku jeganu mukuankum ariuna, ab USA Europe konka adina tsibuk alo mibal aynihamikin ina

  • http://indefiniteservice@issayas.com 17 years in national service

    We all love our Country but “we have to learn to tell wrong when it is wrong” and “tell right when it is right”. There are good things that the government did and there are bad things that are done – there was no absolute wrong and right done! we need to learn to balance – ERITREANSSSSS…!!!
    1. GOOD THINGS – BUILD ROADS, HEALTH SYSTEMS ETC.
    2. WRONG – 17 TO 20 YEARS IN NATIONAL SERVICE (MANY OF YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS), detain people without due process of Law (for years – not only Ministers but also ordinary people who have nothing to do with the government or oppostion groups); people dying in SINAI??? tourtured for body parts!!! NOW THE PROBLEM IS ALSO GOING TO SOME PARTS OF ETHIOPIA SUCH AS GONDAR AND TIGRAY….

    WHAT AN OXYMORON (LITTLE HOPE AS YOU ARE ALL JOKING)!!!

  • jay

    I visited Eritrea in 2010 with my G.F. She is from out there. I am really embraced by the aforementioned article. The gentleman who wrote the article must have strong unbending support and conviction to the Govt of Eritrea. Nothing is wrong with that; however, to misrepresent an existing fact is just wrong. For so many reasons the State of Eritrea could be the leading economic powerhouse of Africa. yet, for so many reasons Eritrea is just the opposite. I is not my intention to expound every misrepresentation the writer deploy in in his lovely piece, however, if Eritreans can not see such misleading trickeries at this late time, then I feel sorry for you. The writer has just wrote an utopian imaginary state that he wished to achieve, but the reality in Eritrea is not a laughable matter anymore. I would say, no offense to any nationalists, 30yrs of struggle went down the drain.

    • Lemlem

      Jay you are a child! You can be against the government but please leave the Eritrean Struggle alone! The struggle will never and has never went down the drain! God bless Eritrea!

      • Bini

        Lemlem…you dont think that you wrote based on emotional response…I cant call Jay a child even if I didnt agree with him. He made an excellent analysis about Eritrea and I dont dare to call this intellectual post a childish one.

      • jay

        one day you will wake-up and open your eyes Mrs.

    • Observer

      I agree 100%

  • Observer

    I am not sure how to put it, but it seems we Eritreans don’t get it yet. How can we let one person rule our country for so long? There is no question that the current administration has ran out of new ideas and innovations. It is very clear that the status quo is not working. The policies they use are really old and outdated. The world has changed, but their thinking process has not. They use the same principles to govern the country as they did during the war for independence. I believe it is time Eritreans realize that Eritrea needs fresh ideas and new leaders. Change in Eritrea is way overdue. It is time for a new generation of leaders to lead the country. In addition, the constitution of Eritrea must be implemented. The longer it takes to implement the constitution, the more dangerous the situation is getting. Moreover, Eritrea is following a path, which can be very deadly. More Eritreans are divided now than ever. We need to unite and create a democratice system, by which we can elect or remove our leaders. Too many Eritreans have paid the ultimate price in order for Eritreans to enjoy freedom and democracy. To have the same leader lead the same country for 20+ years is unacceptable no matter what the performance of the leaders is. My follow Eritreans, please wake up and smell the coffee!

    • C

      decision made by such a leader, but the principle of united we stand and divided we fall rings true to many including myself and takes precedents over any personal or ideological differences I may have with the current leadership. Whether you acknowledge it or not the country of Eritrea is still in a state of war with Ethiopia, one might say we are in a “Cold War” I would say we are in “Luke Warm War” because the acts of open hostility are still present and well documented. The current leadership of Eritrea is not perfect and has made many mistakes, but I am confident that they have the best interest of the country in mind and they have proven to me that they are willing to make major sacrifices even in their own life for the betterment of the country and all of its people. The majority of Eritreans active in the government of Eritrea are making many sacrifices (read: suffering) as well, from low level managers to directors, many of whom can not even afford basic luxuries. I have had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with many Eritreans active in Eritrean society and I have witnessed their hope, determination and resolve which has had a major impact on my life. I have been silent for many years and have just started posting in comments sections of articles pertaining to Eritrea in the past week because I am fed up with people like you. People who spew empty rhetoric and act as though they are some how more intelligent or rational than those of us who support the current government in Eritrea. There is nothing special about you or your shortsighted kind and I would be willing to bet my life savings that my IQ is much higher than yours and anyone of your pretentious kind. I read an article last year about a boy named Saide (a muslim boy form the low lands of Eritrea who was in SAWA at the time) who invented 3 new algebraic and geometric formulas which are now internationally recognized, he even named one of the formulas “Eritrea”. This young boy has turned down several offers to go to the west and study at leading internationally recognized mathematical institutes in Europe. The boy declined and gave an interview in which he showed gratitude for the educational opportunities he has received in Eritrea (for free) and he feels it is his obligation to give back to his country. That is what I call honor and dedication. This young man is what Africa needs, the brain drain has caused more problems in Africa than Aids. And I am sure this young man, if he decides to stay long term in Eritre, will continue to do great things in . And people like you should be doing all you can to support people like him. I know many many people in my real life who are similar to you and your kind and I find that they are usually bankrupt, both financially and intellectually or at best very immature. I look forward to contributing to my country of origin in a productive way and I hope you feel the same way.

    • C

      Disregard my first post, it was truncated because of a technical issue on my end. My full response is as follows.

      Observer,

      Your post is filled with empty rhetoric, but since you asked at least one question in your post I will address it form my perspective.

      Your question was :
      How can we let one person rule our country for so long?

      My Answer is as follows:
      Many people believe (and I personally agree) that in times of crisis it is best to stay united behind a proven leader who you trust and respect, that does not mean we have to agree with every decision made by such a leader, but the principle of united we stand and divided we fall rings true to many including myself and takes precedents over any personal or ideological differences I may have with the current leadership. Whether you acknowledge it or not the country of Eritrea is still in a state of war with Ethiopia, one might say we are in a “Cold War” I would say we are in “Luke Warm War” because the acts of open hostility are still present and well documented. The current leadership of Eritrea is not perfect and has made many mistakes, but I am confident that they have the best interest of the country in mind and they have proven to me that they are willing to make major sacrifices even in their own life for the betterment of the country and all of its people. The majority of Eritreans active in the government of Eritrea are making many sacrifices (read: suffering) as well, from low level managers to directors, many of whom can not even afford basic luxuries. I have had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with many Eritreans active in Eritrean society and I have witnessed their hope, determination and resolve which has had a major impact on my life. I have been silent for many years and have just started posting in comments sections of articles pertaining to Eritrea in the past week because I am fed up with people like you. People who spew empty rhetoric and act as though they are some how more intelligent or rational than those of us who support the current government in Eritrea. There is nothing special about you or your kind and I would be willing to bet my life savings that my IQ is much higher than you and your pretentious kind. I read an article last year about a boy named Saide (a muslim boy form the low lands of Eritrea who was in SAWA at the time) who invented 3 new algebraic and geometric formulas which are now internationally recognized, he even named one of the formulas “Eritrea”. This young boy has turned down several offers to go to the west and study at leading internationally recognized mathematical institutes in Europe. The boy declined and gave an interview in which he showed gratitude for the educational opportunities he has received in Eritrea (for free) and he feels it is his obligation to give back to his country. That is what I call honor and dedication. This young man is what Africa needs, the brain drain has caused more problems in Africa than Aids. And I am sure this young man, if he decides to stay long term in Eritre, will do great things in Eritrea. And people like you should be doing all you can to support people like him. I know many many people in my real life who are similar to you and your kind and I find that they are usually bankrupt, both financially and intellectually or at best very immature. I look forward to contributing to my country of origin in a productive way and I hope you feel the same way.

      • Observer

        C,
        Yes of course, as expected, and very typical responses I get from diehard funs of the current administration of Eritrea. Honestly, I was NOT surprised by your response and name calling. In fact, your post is not that original and unique. I have heard it many times over and over again. It is like watching the same movie repeatedly. In movies, at least, You know the bad guys will die at the end and the good guys will win. In other words, the movie will end. With people like you, it is the same story day and night.

        Anyhow, I will not waste my time or your time with name calling. It is not my style and I am not good at it either. I like to debate with respect and dignity. Just because I disagree with your opinions, it does not mean I need to turn to name calling. After all, we are all Eritreans and we want what is good for our country and its people.

        Focusing on the real issue tho, it is not a rocket science to figure out that the current administration of Eritrea has done good things for Eritrea. In fact, they deserve many credits for bringing the independence of Eritrea. I don’t think anyone is debating that. However, you need to remember that independence is not enough. How about implementing the constitution of Eritrea? How about having check and balance? How about independent justice system? How about electing your leaders? How about independent media? How about economic freedom? How about the right to religion? The list goes on.

        I am sure your response will have something to do with Ethiopia. I know this for fact because I always get the same response when I bring up the above questions. I always hear the same phrase: “We are at war with Ethiopia”.

        The truth is that we will always be at “war” with Ethiopia, Sudan, etc. External pressure will not disappear anytime soon. However, we should not let external pressure keep us away from implementing our constitution. We should not use external pressure as an excuse for everything that goes wrong in Eritrea. There are many countries, which have tremoundous external pressure and still have elections. And Eritrea is NOT unique! What we need is real leaders who can deliver even when the country is under pressure.

        If you really start to analyze the current situation in Eritrea, you realize that Eritrea is in need of a big change. You and I can debate on this form for a long time, but you can not deny the fact that we have many Eritreans leaving the country. This is a simple fact. This is happing under the current administration’s watch. Did you ever ask why these youth are leaving the country? If the situation in Eritra was as good as you claim, believe me many of these young Eritreans will be in Eritrean, not in Egypt or Israel.

        Just talk to Eritreans who were in Eritrea recently. You will hear the truth. I hate to say it as an Eritrean, but Eritrea is in a bad shape. I think it is time we called a spade a spade. We should not let our pride overshadow us from telling the truth. Real change will only come if we start discussing the truth vs. letting our emotion do the talking for us.
        To make the story short, Eritrea needs change. period.

        • C

          To Observer,

          I am NOT a die hard fan of the current administration and I agree that Eritrea needs change. I am also NOT a die hard hater of the current administration.

          I disagree with your following comment “The truth is that we will always be at “war” with Ethiopia, Sudan, etc”.

          What makes you think Eritrea will always be at “war” with Ethiopia, Sudan, etc..?

          I agree that external pressure will always exist but it can not and will not exist in the form that it does now. Eritrea is a small, very young, impoverished country with a large openly hostile neighbor who is actively attempting to destabilize the country and undermine its sovereignty, with the full support of the worlds only super power
          ( this is well documented). You claim Eritrea is NOT unique in that regard and you allude to other countries in the same situation who have fully functioning participatory democracies. Please give me one example if you want me to take you seriously. If you give me just one example then maybe we can compare and contrast the differences.

          Like I mentioned in some of my other comments on this article. I have been to Eritrea recently and I have a very large extended family in the country. I am well aware of the issues.

          You also made the following statement directed to me “If the situation in Eritra was as good as you claim”

          What are you referring to? When did I claim the situation in Eritrea is good? I never attempted to paint Eritrea as some utopia. Am I only supposed to mention the problems in the country or risk being perceived as someone painting a rosy picture. There are many issues in Eritrea and many reasons for people to leave. I have several family members who have left and I know why they have left. I have also spoken to many youth in Eritrea (on my last visit) who wanted to leave the country and I can assure you the the reasons given to me were varied.

          I addressed the other points made in your comment to me in some of my other comments on this article. You should also take your own advice on NOT letting ones emotions get the best of them. Your last comment on this article consist of you making accusations of bias against this website simply because your comment to me was not immediately displayed in the comments section and had to await moderation like the rest of us.

          I am not a robot or a psychopath and I do have emotions which inform my thought process, but they do not blind me and I will not allow them to sway me into extreme views on either side of the debate.

          I was reading an article on Asmarino.com a few weeks ago that was written by Elsa Chyrum in which she referred to female EDF members as “housemaids-cum-slaves” because in her emotionally unstable blinded mind she thinks all of them are being raped and or forced to be sex-slave, which is just plain ridiculous. I met many proud female Eritreans in the EDF force who would probably punch Selam Kidane in the face for making a statement like that . You would never hear a genuine American refer to female soldiers as cum-slaves even though the pentagon released a report last week which states that 1 in 4 female American service members are sexually assaulted and that females in the American military are several times more likely to be the victim of multiple sexual assaults compared to their civilian counterparts. I am sure that there are isolated incidents of sexual assault against women in the EDF, as is the case in almost every male dominated military organization in the entire world past and present, but let Asmarino.com tell it and every woman in Eritrean EDF is destined to be a housemaid or cum-slave. I do not believe the likes of Elsa, Meron, and Selam are genuinely concerned Eritreans and they use disgusting propaganda and lies in an attempt to manipulate young altruistic naive Eritreans into forming extremely negative, emotionally motivated, views towards the current administration and the country in general.

          • Observer

            C,
            Now I can start to take you seriously because your are debating with respect and dignity.
            I will first address the issue of external pressure. When I said Eritrea will be at “war” with Ethiopia or Suden, what I mean is that they will always be trying to put one another in check! That is what countries do. They act very friendly in public, but when it comes to their interest, they will protect it to the maximum. Even if it means going to war. Look at countries like North Korea, South Korea, India, Pakistan,etc. The list goes on. These countries have Nuclear Weapons pointing at each other.

            For example, South Korea is one Nuclear bomb away from disappearing from the face of this earth. The same thing goes for the other countries I mentioned. With the exception of N. Korea, these countries have elections and some type of democracy, which allows them to elect their leaders or remove their leaders.

            To give you a specific and concrete data point, let us take S. Korea as an example(again). They just had an election not too long ago. You see, they continue to exercise their rights as a nation and continue to have institutions function. Their justice system still works. Their constitution is respected and fully executed! They don’t let the tremoundous external pressure they have from the North stop everything. Their leaders never use these external pressures as an excuse to stay in power forever! The same can be said for India or Pakistan.

            The point here is that Eritrea is NOT unique! In fact, I personally believe that South Korea is in much much worst situation than Eritrea. You can NOT even compare it. That is way the USA is always trying to protect South Korea. Even with protection from the US, South Korea is under stress all the time. Talk to people who have lived in South Korea. They will tell you the types of drill they go through in order to prepare for the worst.

            So, please the occupation of Eritrea’s land by Ethiopia is NOT a valid reason for a leader to lead a country for 20+ years without an election and without implementing a ratified constitution. Dont underestimate the selfishness of humans! We will do anything to stay in power! Why can’t other qualified Eritreans lead the country? Why do we have to let our destiny depend upon one single individual? Don’t you think it is time for Eritrea to have new leaders?

            Now I will address the claim you made about the situation in Eritrea. First, you tried to use the bright young boy as an example and show how wonderful education in Eritrea is. You tried to imply, by pointing out his accomplishment, that the current administration must be doing the right thing. I will not take away anything from this young boy, but I will tell you something. When was the last time the University of Asmara was opened for a lecture? Pleas answer this question? Any potential activity, which might lead to the youth voicing its rights is squashed!

            As far as the other people you mentioned,I can not comment because I honestly don’t know them.
            In terms of me asking why my post was not posted, I honestly made a mistake by not refreshing the link. Therefore, I apologized.

  • Sara

    Risukum Tefaguu dea!!

  • yosef

    With our fertile lands in the west, the sea in the north and south east, the oil & gas on our seas, gold and pricious metals EVERYWHERE,tons of potash here and there. And above all with its patriotic and hard working people. ERITREA would have been what it truly should have been by now. If it wasn’t for our mad dictator.
    ”Long live eritrea”

  • sara

    Hakika Josef-bdihriu ertra mis-shetkaia nerka

  • aman

    We can t even feed our own.. people live in hope for some damn long. its time to change the dictatorial government. They youth generation is disappearing. The whole generation work for the government for free… sooo sad. I get mad everytime i think about eritrea.. ,

  • yosef

    Sara shikor no eritrean would ever sell eritrea. U know every single family has lost someone for our independence.

    • C

      What does losing someone in the struggle for independence have to do with not selling out Eritrea. Are you making the argument that every single Eritrean who has lost a relative in the struggle for independence (including distant relatives), is somehow immune from being selfish or opportunistic? Do you honestly believe that there is something miraculously special about every single Eritrean that would guarantee he or she would not act against the best interest of his COUNTRY for selfish reasons simply because he or she has lost a relative in the struggle for independence? I hope you do not believe that, Shikor. LOL. Eritreans are human beings like everyone else on this planet.

  • Sara

    Ngenzeb ilom iom hager zitelmu zelewu_ let them go, we need them they will be investors of the future.

  • Observer

    Capitaleritrea.com,
    Last night, I posted an article on this site in response to C, who had responded to my earlier post. I was wondering why I can NOT see my post? Is there a rule on what you can say or can NOT say on this site? Or, in other words, what part of my post was NOT acceptable to you or the readers? If you expect all posts to agree with the opinions of this website, then why have a website? It does NOT make sense at all. If anything, you guys should be encouraging people to have discussions with varying opinions. I respectfully ask why my post was removed.
    Regards,
    Observer.

    • Observer

      Please ignore my previous post. I am really sorry. Now, I see my post. It is still waiting moderation.
      Regards,
      Observer.

  • yosef

    Like every humanbeing. No mother will forget why her son died 4. No brother, no sister,no cousin, the list goes on, will either.
    But u’r right there r those who betrayed eritrea and its people. Like those who r in power right now. May God open thire eyes 4 what they r doing. After all they and many others paid dearly for our countries geographical independence.

  • C

    To Observer,

    Responding to your following comment to me, My response is below your comment text:

    C,
    Now I can start to take you seriously because your are debating with respect and dignity.
    I will first address the issue of external pressure. When I said Eritrea will be at “war” with Ethiopia or Suden, what I mean is that they will always be trying to put one another in check! That is what countries do. They act very friendly in public, but when it comes to their interest, they will protect it to the maximum. Even if it means going to war. Look at countries like North Korea, South Korea, India, Pakistan,etc. The list goes on. These countries have Nuclear Weapons pointing at each other.

    For example, South Korea is one Nuclear bomb away from disappearing from the face of this earth. The same thing goes for the other countries I mentioned. With the exception of N. Korea, these countries have elections and some type of democracy, which allows them to elect their leaders or remove their leaders.

    To give you a specific and concrete data point, let us take S. Korea as an example(again). They just had an election not too long ago. You see, they continue to exercise their rights as a nation and continue to have institutions function. Their justice system still works. Their constitution is respected and fully executed! They don’t let the tremoundous external pressure they have from the North stop everything. Their leaders never use these external pressures as an excuse to stay in power forever! The same can be said for India or Pakistan.

    The point here is that Eritrea is NOT unique! In fact, I personally believe that South Korea is in much much worst situation than Eritrea. You can NOT even compare it. That is way the USA is always trying to protect South Korea. Even with protection from the US, South Korea is under stress all the time. Talk to people who have lived in South Korea. They will tell you the types of drill they go through in order to prepare for the worst.

    So, please the occupation of Eritrea’s land by Ethiopia is NOT a valid reason for a leader to lead a country for 20+ years without an election and without implementing a ratified constitution. Dont underestimate the selfishness of humans! We will do anything to stay in power! Why can’t other qualified Eritreans lead the country? Why do we have to let our destiny depend upon one single individual? Don’t you think it is time for Eritrea to have new leaders?

    Now I will address the claim you made about the situation in Eritrea. First, you tried to use the bright young boy as an example and show how wonderful education in Eritrea is. You tried to imply, by pointing out his accomplishment, that the current administration must be doing the right thing. I will not take away anything from this young boy, but I will tell you something. When was the last time the University of Asmara was opened for a lecture? Pleas answer this question? Any potential activity, which might lead to the youth voicing its rights is squashed!

    As far as the other people you mentioned,I can not comment because I honestly don’t know them.
    In terms of me asking why my post was not posted, I honestly made a mistake by not refreshing the link. Therefore, I apologized.

    First of all I agree that countries will always face some sort of pressure, even war, and I stated as much in my post which you have responded to so obviously there is no need for the lesson on your part. I asked you to provide me with one country that has a fully functioning participatory democracies that is facing similar threats to its sovereignty by a hostile neighbor who has the full support of a super power. The reason I asked you to provide me with one country in a similar situation was because I wanted to highlight the fact that the situation with Eritrea is unique, and you have proven me right. The list of countries that you mentioned are as follows: North Korea, South Korea, India, Pakistan,etc

    I will start off with North Korea.
    1.) North Korea: does not have a fully functioning participatory democracy I am not even sure why you have listed it.
    2.) South Korea South Korea is in the exact opposite position of Eritrea as it DOES have the full support of a world super power against its very aggressive neighbor. As a matter of fact Ethiopia and South Korea are in very similar situations. I am assuming you did not want to list Ethiopia as one of your examples because it would be a bit taboo to do so.
    3.) India: India is not facing any extreme threats to its sovereignty ( it is also a very large country ) and its “enemy” Pakistan does NOT have the full support of a world super power while it attempts to destabilize India (if it is even actively trying to destabilize India?). The only similarity I can thing of, off hand, between Eritrea and India is that both countries are entangled in border issues with its neighbor and historical adversary. (India/Pakist Kashmir region. Even the border issue between Paki/India is completely different from the one between Eritrea/Ethiopia. The former is a disputed territory and the latter has been settled in an international court of law)
    4.) Pakistan: I am not sure why you mentioned this country because it does not meet any qualifications to be considered similar to Eritrea in regards to threats against its sovereignty .Pakistan is also an extremely unstable, unsafe country. I know many immigrants from Pakistan some of whom visit Pakistan frequently form the US.

    Like I stated in my original comment. Eritrea IS in a unique situation and you have not proven me wrong with the list of counties that you have provided. No doubt there may be some superficial similarities between Eritrea and the countries that you have mentioned but they are just that, superficial, and are far from being comprehensive. You should have included Ethiopia on your list as well. One could argue that Ethiopia has a functioning participatory democracy while at the same time facing threats against its sovereignty from its neighbor, but the elephant in the room is that Ethiopia has the full support of the worlds only super power which would disqualify it as an example based on the criteria I asserted in an attempt to highlight the fact that Eritrea is in a unique situation and facing extreme external pressure. If the US government was to remove its full support from the minority (democratically elected) government in Ethiopia I can assure you that the country would not exist as it does today. I would also add that if the US Government took a more moderate even-handed approach to Eritrea the situation in Eritrea would look a lot different. When a country is facing extreme threats to its sovereignty or stability they tend to act in extreme ways. For example the US Government rounded up all Japanese American citizens and placed them in concentration camps during WW2, many of the JapAm citizens had been in the country for several generations. I am not attempting to excuse the US Gov behavior in WW2 but I do understand it.

    In my humble opinion anyone who truly wants to see a positive change in Eritrea should be just as vocal about the many injustices perpetrated against Eritrea by Ethiopia, the UN and the US as they are about the the supposed injustices within the country. I am sure it would have been hard to find an American during WW2 wishing that Canada would invade occupy or destabilize their country because of what it was doing to the Jap Americans at the time. Be measured.

  • Nolimit

    To write positive news about your nation or your party is nothing new, but to inflate statistics to mislead readers is a media crime. Where/who from did you get your statistics about the life expectancy 65 years and the highest in Africa? really ?what have you been smoking?.
    The official UN (fair) statistics says it is 62 years average life expectancy(men & women), and the water distribution is total 61%.

    There are African nations, that have build an entire new city in 10 years and you are talking about a poorly built roads. Your grand apartment project, that you mentioned was built 20 years ago (Semebel). Like all totalitarian governments PFDJ brags about how we are free and happy. You should ask yourself why would thousands of Ertitrean youth (more than 30,000 of them) risk their life through the desert to end up as a trash of Arab or Israeli society?. What is it, that you see and these young people who have been in the army for all their adult lives could not see?. Your own naivity, selfishness, hunger for controll or paranoia?

  • to C

    Dear C,

    you simply made it clear and this what exactly Eritrea need for change. how every Eritrean will take that tablet and act on it?

    thanks

  • Teenager a

    What I wanted to say is the leaders of our country confused our people(adenagiromna) because what most people see is if the current government falls down what will happen next. But there is a reason for these fears I will try to list out some of them.
    1. First of all if any thing happen to the president the system of the government did not tell who will take power ( Wendi kimchi a, wushu, fillip ops etc no answer)
    2. No functioning constitution
    3. No hope from the opposition they are divided and every day you hear another party propagated by Ethiopia and so on
    4. Etc the list might be more than a 100

    So kab zeytfelto Melaka etfelto sheytan yhayish bmbal neti Malaak age bro trash bmhilela ytsebe alo.

    So as to my understanding the Eritrean people respected the current leaders and was almost worshiping them as if they are his god so when these bad thing happen they are getting confused on how to respond to it except fleecing the country no action.

  • B

    I must say I really enjoyed reading the debate between C and Observer, you guys seem to be in to politics, I can only hope to see one day that, people like you with different opinions / political point of view, stand up and debate about what is write and what is wrong for bettering of Eritrea and its people.

    As for most of us, my comment would be …. not everybody can be a politician or a doctor or a pilot ….. so it is better not to damp emotional comments but to read / listen to those who are into it, and take sides to what we think is right with out any fear , I call this democracy.

    I have a question to C and Observer ????
    1. What is your comments based on Eritrean foreign policy?
    (Libya at a time, Somalia …etc, they just seem wrong allies to me)

    2. And at what price? and Why?

    As for their internal policy … just forget it … it is just so sad :(

  • Alex

    I like the article and the debate of C and Observer.

    My understanding is some quarters they sum up Eritrea and by what they hear or see in a short holiday trip in Asmara.

    Asmara and Eritrea are two different matters.
    My point is the long armed struggle was to liberate Eritrea.Liberate means not just to replace the colonisers flag but to start give a chance to live decently.

    Live decently means have the basics like clean drinking water ,health ,education and of course electricity.
    Our struggle was not Asmara Liberation Front I guess it was for the entire Eritrea.
    The resources has to be shared .

    Priority is given according to the needs of other zones too.

    There is no question or doubt that there are blackouts more than ever.I stand as a witness that I just call my family and haven’t seen electricity for the third day on a run.Yes three continuous days and nights.
    Dekemhare it is another story. An important festival is going on and our meager resources are directed towards the festival. Surely you will agree with me that still there areas they never ever see a light. Sure as C pointed out as the national grid is expanding all over the country shortage, discrepancies, bad management are abide to be part of this process.

    The other common non sense that I hear is to make a comparison between Dergue era .Simply for the previous administrators Asmara and few other cities were their concern and please don’t tell us that was all rosy.
    In short wether we like it or not that is correct policy the current government is following. And no matter who will govern next there is no way he/she will concentrate just on Asmara.
    The article is well in line with the program in our country and I don’t have reason to oppose it. You guys that try to paint a bad picture of Eritrea in general it emancipate mostly from unsubstantiated reasons.

  • http://capitaleritrea asmera asmarino

    @yosef
    Nay behakie jegna wedi jeganu yosief hawey. Eritrawi hageru zeshyte yelen kemey si zeye keme keale hizbie hubene sele zekone habo sele zelewo kea eiu ashate hizbie atfila neza mekrtie adena ente kone gena xebuke ayefdyenena ezie leba isaias ezie. abzie gize ezie kofe elena abe adena hagerna ne hanxelu eiu neyru ente kone gena entay yegbre abe zemen gebel zehabeka tekbel eiu koynu. Hji ewen gizena keribu eiu dictator nay hagrena eza 2014 keman ayehlfane eiu. Keribena ena netakekbelu gize deki erey mearey. Kulena kenmlese eina nabta gena nafkota zeywexlena zelo asmerana komu ewen eritrana.

    SMERR ANXARE DIA ERITRAWI JEGNA!!
    AWET N’HAFASH!!