Eritrea: Africa's Champion of Progress
In a region plagued with conflict, intermittent droughts and instability, Eritrea has become one of the most efficient and progress driven nations in sub-Sahara Africa. Despite the numerous accomplishments made in the health, economic and educational sectors, the country and its leadership, continue to be vilified in western media in the most demonizing and condescending ways imaginable. But even amid a myriad of slanderous labels, Eritrea continues to lead sub-Sahara Africa in most of the important socioeconomic indicators.
The following data presented below is just a small sample of Eritrea's accomplishments that has some analysts and think tanks starting to regard Eritrea as Africa's champion of progress.
Health in Eritrea
In the health sector, Eritrea has eradicated polio, reduced maternal mortality by 70 percent, declined Malaria infection by 90 percent, slashed HIV/AIDS in half to one of sub-Sahara Africa's lowest of 0.8 percent, and is one of four African countries on track to achieve six of the eight UN Millennium Development Goals by the target date of 2015. Moreover, life expectancy in Eritrea, which gives a comprehensive health measure of a population, has doubled since independence and is now the highest in mainland sub-Sahara Africa.
Hospital Infrastructures Built
- Assab Regional Referral Hospital
- Barentu Regional Referral Hospital
- Akordat Regional Referral Hospital
- Dekamhare Regional Hospital
- Ghinda Regional Referral Hospital
- Mendefera Regional Referral Hospital
- Sawa Military Hospital
- Asmara Orotta Referral Hospital
|Eritrea has the highest life expectancy in mainland SS-Africa|
Eritrea is striving to develop a dynamic economy anchored on self-reliance and full participation of its citizens. Following independence, the country inherited a devastated economy ravaged by decades of war. Since then, resource mismanagement, ecological volatility, energy shortages and the ongoing Eritrea-Ethiopia conflict have hampered growth. Despite these challenges, Eritrea registered the fastest-growing economy in the world in 2011. Driven in large part by higher agriculture output, mining exports, increased infrastructure development, and the passing of new legislation to encourage and grow private entrepreneurship, Eritrea's GDP is projected to grow by an impressive 7-10 percent between the 2012-2015 period.
Education in Eritrea
On the education front, Eritrea went from having less than 186,000 students enrolled in 1991 to over 700,000 today. In that same time period, the government has introduced seven new colleges throughout the country, with the goal of expanding them into full-fledged universities. Currently, the government offers universal education and spends 45 percent of its annual budget on education. Even with a large rural and semi-pastoralist population, Eritrea has nearly tripled its adult literacy rates since 1991.
College Infrastructures Built:
- Agricultural School at Hagaz
- College of Business and Economics at Halhale
- College of Agriculture at Hamelmalo
- Orota College of Medicine
- Eritrean Institute Of Science and Technology (EIST) at Mai Nefhi
- College of Marine Studies at Massawa
- College of Social Sciences at Adi-Keyih
- Sawa College Preparatory Centre
|Rashaida Eritrean students are provided with free schooling supplies and |
on the go mobile classes to fit their parents nomadic lifestyles.
The statistics presented above are not intended to neglect or deny Eritrea's numerous challenges. The country still faces a number of obstacles and threats from exogenous forces. Domestically, the government should implement stronger institutions and transparent laws; including providing rigorous due process for its citizens. Additionally, the government should be more vigilant against nepotism and corruption and hold officials and officers accountable for their actions.
That being said, the negative and distorted image being portrayed of Eritrea in the media are at best unfair, and at worst deliberately incendiary and do not correspond with credible data available of the country. Even with all the obstacles it faces, the country has become an exemplary leader in sub-Sahara Africa in most of the important sectors. As the old saying goes: the numbers don't lie, reporters and politicians do.
 Eritrea finds ways to reach the goal, UNICEF, 2007
 WHO Maternal Mortality
 WHO HIV prevalence rate
 Dr. Tewolde Gebremeskel, Director of the National Malaria Control Program, March 2011
 Africa Research Institute, March 2011, P. 3
 WHO Life Expectancy Averages
 Economist Intelligent Unit, quoted by FinFacts
 Eritrea's response to SEMG's report, Nov. 2011, Page 18, Paragraph 51
 Indian Journal of Science and Technology, Vol. 1 No.1 (Nov. 2007), p. 2
 Education Investment Key to Eritrea Development by Peter Clottey, VOA, July 10, 2012
|Sembel Housing Project|