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Friday, October 1, 2021

Eritrea’s Investment opportunities

Eritrea, a young Africa nation known for its political stability, fiscal restraint and low level of corruption is endowed with vast investment opportunities. After independence in 1991, the government of Eritrea embarked on huge development programs that were targeted at reviving the economy, renovations and construction of the devastated infrastructure, and improvement of social services. The government also formulated and implemented appropriate macroeconomic policies to guide the general development of the national economy. These endeavors were interrupted by war of aggression and 20 years of no war no peace. The year 2021 is a game changer The Minority Regime Weyane (TPLF) in Ethiopia has become extinct and East Africa has once again become a region of peace and hope. Normalisation between the two countries was restored in 2018. Agreements on economic, social and regional peace were reached. The Eritrean government: who has for long advocated and worked for the cooperation of East African nations in the development and regional peace sector, was more than glad to have welcomed the new political climate. Peace has been attained. It’s time to move on to better things. Once again the investment opportunities in Eritrea are wide open.

Leading sectors for Investment

Potentials in the Agriculture sector: Big strategic dams have been constructed in major river basins and potential catchments for the purpose of increasing the land under irrigation. The nationwide soil and water conservation programs have been ongoing to revitalise the environment and boost the potential of the agriculture sector.  Converting this investment into profitable projects is calling for private sector investment in the agriculture sector in the country. The agriculture of the country offers varied potential, in different agro ecological settings. Major agro ecological zones with big potential for agricultural investment are the sub humid escarpment moist central highlands moist western lowlands and the dry western lowlands.

Potentials in the Mining industry: The Eritrean mining sector has been the area of attraction for many international mining companies and support institutions active in the mining industry. Eritrea is a country where 60% of the rocks belong to the prospective Arabian Nubian Shield. Rich deposits of base metals, industrial and construction mining are prospects that attract private and corporate investments. The exploration activities and the recent commercial mining are operated by different multinational companies in varied commodities. The mining potential in country is diverse ranging from base metals, industrial raw materials such as, potash, silica, gypsum, cement and salt as well as construction materials (marble, granites…) and energy source both from potential carbon deposits and geothermal energy at the Alid geothermal field.

Infrastructure: Infrastructure such as construction, communication and energy are the major sectors that offer near term investment opportunities. Construction of government buildings, residential housing, roads, airports, ports, and hospitals are some of the major projects. Companies are also on the verge of building several housing projects and resorts that include restaurants and shopping malls. There are abundant opportunities in construction contracts and supply of construction equipment and material.

Marine Resources: Eritrea’s marine resources are mammoth; its coastline elongates 1,300 kilometers rich with commercially important marine life. There is a generous opportunity for joint ventures to increase marine export. Export of value added products fish, fishmeal, and shellfish which are becoming a significant sector of the economy. Eritrea produces around 290,000 tons of salt annually out of which 7% is used for domestic consumption. Assab salt works which is located in the port city of Assab has production capacity of 150,000 tons of salt per year and has a potential to increase its production to 250,000 to 300,000 tons per year. According to a preliminary study, the Red Sea coast stretching from Berasole to Rahaita, if developed into a modern mechanised production facility, has a potential to produce more than 6.5 million tons of salt per year.

Tourism: Tourism is a growth industry Eritrea’s close proximity to Europe, Asia and Middle East gives Eritrea an advantage. Eritrea provides a wide range of opportunities and attraction sites for tourists, of varied interests including pristine beach and marine resort tourism, Cultural tourism to archeological remains and historical sites, eco-tourism, and medical tourism to natural hot spas. Some of the major tourist attraction potentials of the country include historical and archaeological sites and remains. Very scenic highlands, diverse and colourful culture of the nine ethnic groups, the forest reserves and wildlife in escarpments as well as endangered wild species in the Danakil desert habitat are sights that could be enjoyed by tourists. Thus, with such potential the tourism sector offers untapped opportunities in all tourist related services.

Summing up; Eritrea’s investment prospects are immense. There is a favorable economic environment especially with the age of austerity, economic decay and Covid-19 in the western countries. 

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