Eritrea officially the State of Eritrea is a country in Northeast Africa. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast. The east and northeast of the country have an extensive coastline on the Red Sea, directly across from Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands are part of Eritrea.
Official Name: Hagere Ertra
Short Form: Ertra
Country Calling Code: +291
Capital City: Asmara ( pop. 435 000)
Other Cities: Keren (57,000); Assab (28,000); Massawa (25,000); Afabet (25,000); Tessenie (25,000); Mendefera (25,000); Dekemhare (20,000); Adekeieh (15,000); Barentu (15,000); Ghinda (15,000).
Government Type: Presidential Republic.
Independence: May 24, 1993 (from Ethiopia)
Population: 5.9 million.
Ethnic Groups: Tigrinya 50%, Tigre 31.4%, Saho 5%, Afar 5%, Beja 2.5%, Bilen 2.1%, Kunama 2%, Nara 1.5%, and Rashaida .5%.
Religions: Christian 50% (mostly Orthodox), Muslim 48%,Indigenous beliefs 2%
Languages: Tigrinya (Tigrigna), Arabic, English, Tigré (second major language) and other Cushitic languages.
Natural Resources: Gold, potash, zinc, copper, salt, possibly oil and natural gas, fish.
Agriculture Products: Sorghum, lentils, vegetables, corn, cotton, tobacco, coffee, sisal; livestock, goats; fish.
Industries: Food processing, beverages, clothing and textiles.
Currency: Nakfa (ERN)
Source: www.nationsonline.org/Africa; www.bbc.com/ Eritrea Profile; other.