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Eritrea - a state washed by the waters of the Red Sea on the eastern side - is located in the eastern part of the African continent. The National Assembly is the legislative body of the state and has one hundred and fifty deputies.
The capital of the state is the city of Asmara. The population of Eritrea was estimated for 2008 to be almost six million people, according to 2010, the annual population growth was equal to two and a half percent. The share of the urban population in the country is approximately twenty percent. Life expectancy for women is sixty-four years, for men - sixty years. Approximately half of the population is Muslim, the rest is Christianity (its various directions).
Eritrea is a multinational state. There are 9 main ethnic groups on its territory: Afar, Tigrinya, Tigre, Sakho, Rasheida, Nara, Kunama, Gedareb, Bilin. They all differ from each other in customs, traditions and even language. The largest number is the tigrinya group. The second largest population belongs to the tiger. These two ethnic groups account for eighty to eighty-five percent of the population of Eritrea. Rashaida is the smallest group. This is due to the fact that its settlement began only at the end of the nineteenth century, and at present this group accounts for no more than one percent of the population of Eritrea.
Eritrea is a poor country. In fact, Eritrea is one of the poorest countries on the planet. The economic system is under the complete control of the ruling party (one-party political system), a command-type economy has developed here. According to an estimate made in 2009, the gross domestic product was $ 1.7 billion, while per capita it was only $ 700, and according to this indicator, Eritrea is ranked one hundred and eighty-seventh in the world.
There is no rail link in Eritrea. Only external communication with other states is absent (due to the different gauge - in Eritrea it is equal to ninety-five centimeters), and there is an internal railway communication. At present, the length of railways is one hundred and eighteen kilometers, although earlier it was equal to two hundred and sixty-three kilometers. Eritrean Railway is Eritrean's only railway company. The line connecting the cities of Asmara and Massawa was built at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (1887-1910), in the period from 1911 to 1923 it was extended to Keren, and in subsequent years to Akordat.
Eritrea is a hot country. One of the hottest on our planet. A semi-desert, desert and subequatorial climate was established over its territory. Average annual temperatures range from twenty to thirty-seven degrees Celsius with a plus sign. The maximum temperature is plus forty-five degrees Celsius. Eritrea is characterized by sharp changes in temperature during the day. insignificant amount of precipitation will fall per year - from five hundred to two hundred millimeters. The most favorable time to visit Eritrea is September - October and March - April.
Eritrea is an illiterate country. According to an estimate made in 2003, only forty-eight percent of women are literate, and seventy percent of men.
Spiciness is a feature of the national cuisine of Eritrea. The following dishes are popular: enbasha, ful, shiro, kicha. Spices are added to many dishes. For example, in a dish made from shiro pea flour. Eritrean coffee has a special aroma. Perhaps its extraordinary taste is associated with the method of brewing - an earthen jug is used as a container.
Eritrea is rich in flora and fauna. Baobabs grow in savannas (these are such huge trees that their circumference can reach forty-five meters), in the coastal regions of Eritrea - eucalyptus, date palms, acacia trees, agave trees. The flora in the mountainous territories of Eritrea is interesting. Here you can find, for example, the sycamore tree. In the forests of this country, there are also tamarind trees, fig trees, etc. ebony. The wood of the latter is used in the production of expensive furniture. In general, it can be noted that shrub vegetation is still prevalent in the country. One of the most interesting representatives of the country's flora is the dum palm (a very rare variety of palms), which has a thick tall trunk (it can reach fifteen to twenty meters in height) and a branched crown. The fruits of such a palm are the size of an apple, have a rather large seed, which is in many respects similar to ivory (both in properties and in color). As a result, the population, as a rule, calls the seed of the "dum" palm - plant ivory, moreover, it is the seed that is the most valuable that is in the "dum" palm. Buttons and all kinds of decorations are made from it. In general, the palm tree can be called a "universal" plant in many ways. Its leaves are used for weaving baskets, etc., and are also used as feed for livestock. The trunk finds its way into construction, a wonderful wine is made from the sap of the palm tree, and the buds replace vegetables. The fauna of Eritrea is represented by monkeys and lions, crocodiles and wild boars, hares and porcupines, hyenas and hippos, baboons and antelopes, jackals and turtles, elephants and rhinos, snakes and rodents.
Eritrea is a great diving destination. This is indeed so, because the fame of the underwater world of the Red Sea has spread all over the world. The coastline of Eritrea exceeds two thousand kilometers (approximately thousand kilometers to the islands and to the mainland). All diving enthusiasts will find fabulous tropical fish and unrivaled coral reefs.
The agrarian sector forms the backbone of Eritrea's economy. It employs eighty percent of the population. At the same time, there is an acute shortage of fertile land in Eritrea. The reason for this, among other things, is the destructive process of soil erosion. As a result, only about five percent of the land is cultivated in the country, and the share of agriculture in the gross domestic product is about seventeen percent (2009 data). Agriculture is based on the cultivation of cotton, citrus fruits, sorghum, wheat, millet, papaya, vegetables, corn, potatoes, bananas. Animal husbandry is represented by poultry and dairy farming. Fishing is also developing (catching pike, tuna, sardines, salmon, anchovies and other fish species). In order to promote the development of fisheries, Eritrea received financial assistance from Japan and the countries of the European Union.
Industry is an important sector of the economy of Eritrea. Its share in the gross domestic product, according to the estimate for 2009, was twenty-three percent. However, a significant part of the manufacturing enterprises existing in Eritrea (and these are textile, oil refining, food, footwear enterprises) are in need of restoration. There are enterprises in the country specializing in the extraction of salt, there are enterprises for the production of cooling drinks, glass, meat and dairy products, as well as for fish processing. The handicraft industry can boast of a good development.
Eritrea has a negative foreign trade balance. Moreover, the difference between the volume of imports and exports is huge. According to data for 2008, imports amounted to six hundred and one million dollars, and exports - only thirteen million dollars. Industrial products, foodstuffs, oil products, machinery and equipment are imported; and exported sorghum and livestock. The main importers of Eritrea are Germany, the United States of America, China, Italy, India, Saudi Arabia. Moreover, the latter country accounts for up to twenty one percent of imports. The main buyers are the Russian Federation (four percent of exported products), Saudi Arabia, France, China, Sudan, Italy, India (more than twenty five percent).
In terms of historical heritage, Eritrea is a unique region. Archaeologists have discovered on its territory, in the Barka Valley, an ancient settlement of people, which dates back to the eighth millennium BC. Unfortunately, a significant part of the historical sights of Eritrea was destroyed. The reason for this is the extended hostilities that took place in this country. However, a number of architectural monuments have survived to this day, among them, for example, a city mosque, a Catholic cathedral, Romanesque porticoes, columns of the Governor's Palace, etc.
Eritrea has established a visa-free travel regime. On the contrary, in order to visit this country, citizens of the Russian Federation must take timely care of obtaining a visa. You can get a visa in two ways: upon arrival in Eritrea, in Moscow at the appropriate consular department. If you choose the first option, then this can be done only with an officially issued invitation and only in the city of Asmara - at an international airport. In addition to the Russian Federation, Eritrea has consulates in the United States of America, Italy, France, Germany, Great Britain, South Africa, Kenya, Djibouti, Egypt, Israel and some other countries. The visa is issued for thirty days with the possibility of extension for another sixty days. A transit visa is valid for seven days.
The war with Ethiopia is the reason for the decline in the number of tourists to Eritrea. Indeed, in 2000, seventy thousand people visited the country, while back in 1997 - four hundred and ten thousand people. Be that as it may, Eritrea has all the prerequisites for the development of tourism: the beaches of the Dahlak archipelago, clear sea waters and the extraordinary reefs of the Red Sea. The fact of the originality of the culture of the inhabitants of this country is also attractive. Kebir Island has a large tourist complex. A significant part of the country's attractions are concentrated in the Eritrean capital - the city of Asmara, but other areas of Eritrea are also of interest to the curious vacationer. One hundred and twenty kilometers from Asmara, there is Cohaitto, an archaeological site, in the city of Nakfa you can see the underground catacomb cities.