All About Eritrea

Since the country name 'Eritrea' showed up in my web visitor stats this week, I have become curious as to exactly what Eritrea is all about. Who are Eritreans? What's on their minds? What goes on in a typical Eritrean home? What does Eritrean fast-food taste like, etc.

Well, in order to answer these questions, I first had to figure out where the hell Eritrea was. Eritrea is apparently located in Eastern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Djibouti and Sudan. (That's pronounced Gib-booty, like "Getcha booty on the dance floor, babay!") It is slightly larger than Pennsylvania in land area. 4.95% of this land is arable (which means it's livable) and the other 95 and change% is not. Listed as it's natural resources, among others, are gold, potash, fish, and zinc. Natural hazards you may expect as an Eritrean are frequent droughts and swarms of locusts. Geographically speaking, however, if you can get over the desertification and deforestation and whatnot, Eritrea is in the money. When they gained their independence from Ethiopia in 1993 they took the entire Ethiopian coastline with them. And since it lies along the world's busiest shipping lanes, I think they got a pretty good deal. Two and half years of Ethiopian battle-feuds not withstanding.

The median age of Eritreans is 18 years old. Eritreans over 65 represent only 3% of the population. In fact life expectancy for Eritreans has maxed out at 52. Compare that to the US expectancy of a nice generous 77.7. On average, women in Eritrea can expect to give birth to 5 and a half kids. Almost 59% of the population are literate.

Major exports include: livestock, sorghum, textiles, and food. More than half of the nations exports will go to Malaysia (who I'm thinking then repackage it and sell it to us (the US) since we are their highest export partner).

The telephone system has been rated, to no one's surprise, "very inadequate." The entire country has one TV station and less than 10,000 internet users (one of whom visited my film review page! Thanks, dude.). It's internet abbreviation code is .er which unlike Tuvalo (.tv) no one has wanted to buy off of them for ridiculous sums of money.

Half the population is below poverty level.

And one last fact to help your heart sink all the way into your stomach: Of the 4 and half million people living in Eritrea, 59,000 are refugees and displaced persons thanks to the ongoing war with Ethiopia and internal fighting factions.


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Anonymous normzone said...

Sounds like a serious place. All the more so if they have to rely on gold...fish for an major export.

26/5/05 16:16  
Blogger Worldgineer said...

I've learned so much today.

Do you think I should create a webpage at www.worldgine.er ?

26/5/05 16:19  
Blogger Worldgineer said...

Wow. Be.er isn't taken as a domain name. There's money there.

26/5/05 16:20  
Blogger dag said...

Minneapolis had a major problem with a large influx of Eritreans in a relatively small geo-radius. They basically turned a few square blocks into a mini-Eritrea, which in itself was quite fun, until the Eritrean community elders could no longer control the younger ones. They allied with some of the more violent local gangs and formed one of their own, peddling drugs, guns and the usual crap.

Have not been back to that part of town in years; hope someone cleaned it up, what a waste.

26/5/05 16:55  
Blogger dabuheebly said...

There is a campaign to get involved in with regard to Eritrea. See http://www.opendoorsusa.org/Display.asp?Page=EritreaCampaign for some interesting actualities.

26/5/05 18:54  

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