Life in Eritrea

We present this video about life in Eritrea mainly for balance rather than for any other reason and , in truth, given the nature of the country there are few video insights into life in Eritrea today.

Much of the information about life in Eritrea on these pages explores the difficulties the country faces following wars with Ethiopia and Yemen.

They also discuss how impoverished and isolated the country has become over decades with a shattered infrastructure, secretive one party state and spurned by the international community following allegations of support for Islamic rebels in Somalia.

The State of Eritrea, with its population of some 5.2 million has been described as one of the most secretive states in Africa following its harrowing thirty year struggle for freedom from Ethiopia and its disastrous border war between 1998-2000, again with Ethiopia. In fact Eritrea is the only African country to have no privately-owned news media having shut down all private media in September 1991.

Today, Eritrea is a one party state ruled by the only party the People's Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) with Isaias Afewerki as its president. It has been branded the North Korea of Africa (with the Press Freedom Index of 2009 classifying Eritrea with the lowest possible rating, one below North Korea) where family members inform on each other, children are rounded up for national service and their parents imprisoned if they attempt to escape.

There are reports of thousands fleeing the country and, following allegations that Eritrea was supporting Islamic rebels in Somalia, Eritrea became the target of UN sanctions. The country responded by suspending its membership of the African Union in protest, causing further isolation. Others, however, claim that the outside world's image of Eritrea is unfair and plays down the progress the country has made, particularly over the past ten years.


Life in Eritrea

Life in Eritrea

Life in Eritrea

Life in Eritrea


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Life in Eritrea

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Life in Eritrea

Life in EritreaAs with many other countries inside the Horn of Africa, access to safe water in a major issue in Eritrea, particularly in rural communities. The country has only one river that flows all year, the Setit River, so most are reliant on boreholes. Of the 5,365 known boreholes about 3,374 offer unprotected water and a further 1,233 are known to be contaminated leading to a prevalence of waterborne diseases including bacterial diarrhoea, Hepatitis A and typhoid fever.

Whilst AIDS infection rates in Eritrea are low compared with other African countries, (0.8% of the population, compared with 0.2% in the UK and 30% in Lesotho) infectious diseases such as bacterial diarrhoea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever are commonplace not least because of limited access to safe water. Of the 5,365 known boreholes about 3,374 offer unprotected water and a further 1,233 are known to be contaminated

Clearly this is not what the state sponsored media would like the outside world to see and therefore has produced this video documentary to explain how much its citizens love the country and what a remarkable place it is to live. This video documentary goes inside Eritrea and shows the first independent review of life in Eritrea for many years.

Life in Eritrea

Human Development Index for Eritrea 2010 - Present

The HDI (Human Development Index) is measured by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the World Bank and is based upon the life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and living standards of a country. Eritrea is in 181st place out of 186 countries and territories in 2013 and the chart above shows how levels of poverty and living standards in Eritrea fall far short of other sub-Saharan countries.


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