Eritrea is a small state on the Red Sea. The official languages are Tigrinya, Arabic and English. Initially established as an autonomous region within the Ethiopian federation in 1952 by the UN, Eritrea was engaged in a 30-year struggle with Ethiopia, eventually declaring independence in 1993. Following a protracted war with Ethiopia, relations were only restored in June 2018 when the leaders of both countries signed a peace agreement.
UN Security Council sanctions regime (based on Eritrea’s territorial disputes with Somalia and Djibouti) were removed in November 2018. These sanctions, coupled with weak macro-economic conditions, have hampered investment in Eritrea.
Eritrea is one of the least developed countries in the world. While the country has considerable mineral wealth, remittances comprise a large portion of the economy, and much of the population is engaged in substance agriculture.
The mining sector is one of the few areas open to foreign investment, which offers significant opportunities for Australian businesses. Australian mining interests are involved in the Colluli potash mine in the Danakil area in southern Eritrea.
Australia's Fred Hollows Foundation has had a long relationship with Eritrea working to eliminate avoidable blindness caused by cataract and trachoma.
Australia's diplomatic representation to Eritrea is from the Australian embassy in Cairo, Egypt.
Economic and trade information
- Country/economy fact sheet [PDF]
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- United Nations Security Council sanctions
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- Australian Passports Office
- Visa information
Heads of Government
Embassies and consulates
- The Australian Embassy in Egypt is responsible for Eritrea