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What Foreigners Are Saying About Eritrea

Pushkin Square in Asmara

What Foreigners Are Saying About Eritrea

When it comes to foreigners describing Eritrea, you will get different opinions based on their profession. For journalists and authors such as Michael Wrong and Dan Connell, they will describe Eritrea as being the worst place on Earth even though they haven't been in the country in years. And when they did visit Eritrea, they didn't describe the country the way they are describing it today.

So what changed?

The main reason why Wrong and Connell hold extreme negative views about Eritrea that goes against their own experiences when they did visit the country is because they are being motivated by financial gains. These individuals have written dozens of books and articles about Eritrea for profit. They learned early on the more sensational the story;  the more profit they can potentially earn. As a result, Wrong and Connell's descriptions of Eritrea went from "Africa's little Italy" to "Africa's North Korea". Their descriptions of Eritreans went from a "patriotic and proud people" to "a nation of slaves". These extreme descriptions are given by the same individuals separated by less than half a decade. Either Wrong and Connell are bipolar or they learned extreme negative descriptions pays more.

Beyond the monetary gains, another thing that is motivating these individuals to not only lie about Eritrea but also arrogantly think they are vital to the success of the country could be because they suffer from the White Savior Complex. These individuals support brutal policies against Eritreans in the morning (sanctions), fund charities/NGOs to lure migrants out of the country in the afternoon, and receive awards/pats on the back for writing stories about the ordeal in the evening. In essence, they are being rewarded for their human rights violations (supporting sanctions) and human trafficking (luring people out of the country), all because they sell stories soccer moms in the West like to read. In many ways, these middle aged slacktivist are Eritrea's version of the phony Kony 2012 movement.

For the foreigners whose profession does not involve selling stories, they typically have positive things to say about Eritrea. They tend to describe the country with a balanced perspective; giving the good and the bad. In fact, for many of them, their experiences in Eritrea is the main reason that led them to invest in the country. So when it comes to foreigners' opinions about a country, those that do business inside the country are the ones who are tend to be the most genuine since they wouldn't risk their own money on a country if they didn't believe the country wasn't how they were describing it.

The following are quotes mostly made by foreigners who are doing business in Eritrea or reporters quoting what foreigners working in Eritrea told them. As you can see, these people's version of Eritrea is completely different from the extremely negative descriptions Wrong and Connell are selling for profit.

"....the feelings and views shared by folks who live and work there [Eritrea] are far different than the opinions of outsiders. One gentleman said he feels safer in Asmara than he does at some places in the UK." — Daniel T. Cook

"Google 'Eritrea', read all the trash, and then go see for yourself. You'll be pleasantly surprised." — Unnamed Tourist

"A visit to Eritrea defies many of the preconceived notions and stereotypes surrounding the country. We believe that Eritrea is a more favourable destination for foreign investment in mining than it is given credit.” — Raymond James

We really trust the [Eritrean] government. We really like working in Eritrea. There is no petty theft. There is no underhandedness. It's a straight forward place to operate. — Michael Horley

Asmara is considered to be one of the most beautiful and safest capital cities in Africa and I can certainly attest to that. — Michael Horley

"Higher ups point to the lack of corruption. Nearly "corruption-less" sounds like a stretch, but that's how many are advertising Eritrea." — Daniel T. Cook

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What Foreigners Are Saying About Eritrea Reviewed by Admin on 9:01 AM Rating: 5


  1. Majority of the folks you presented also are being motivated by financial gains so not sure what point you are trying to make?

    Raymond James- Analysts who have an Outperform Rating on Nevsun Resources Ltd. Conflict of interest…

    Michael Horley- Sunridge Gold CEO- What is he going to say? Investing in Eritrea is terrible?? Conflict of interest…

    Daniel T Cook & Partners Llc is a financial investment advisory firm headquartered in Florida. The firm manages 10 accounts totaling an estimated $220,000 of assets under management. His assets under management are only $220K?? I have more money that this fool and willing to bet he has never been to Eritrea.

    How about we allow independent media to report on what’s going in Eritrea, rather than listen to propaganda from EriTV/Haddas Eritrea.

    Also why don’t you get footage of the refugee camps in Sudan/Ethiopia and get first hand reports on why individuals feel the need to escape Eritrea. I trust Eritrean opinions instead on foreigners.

  2. "As a result, Wrong and Connell's descriptions of Eritrea went from "Africa's little Italy" to "Africa's North Korea". Their descriptions of Eritreans went from a "patriotic and proud people" to "a nation of slaves"

    This quotes make me think about some individual with "mental distorted illness", called in psychology Borderline personality disorder (BPD), or Dissociation. And according to the definition is said: whose essential features are a pattern of marked impulsivity and mental instability of affects, interpersonal relationships, and self image. The pattern is present by early adulthood and occurs across a variety of situations and contexts.

    What we see here is that these persons flow between to edges bad and good, white and black, in brief the are not said also BPD used to be considered untreatable. We forget to talk about the effect of the illness which say: Impulsive behaviors are common, including: substance or alcohol abuse, eating disorders, unprotected sex or indiscriminate sex with multiple partners ect..

  3. Three of them lost their credibility. They stand clearly against stability, prosperity, peace and cooperation of Eritrea with the world.

  4. Are you in the right website?

  5. Eritrean with a BRAINMarch 21, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    The only one with Borderline personality disorder is Issais Afewerki. Since day one he has been known to have pproblems with regulating emotions and thoughts, Impulsive and reckless behavior and unstable relationships with other people. In addition he has been to have alcohol abuse.

    The reasons Wrong and Connell's descriptions of Eritrea went from "Africa's little Italy" to "Africa's North Korea" is clearly documented in history.

    It all went downhill when President Isaias Afewerki postponed elections and failed to implement the constitution. Then we had the most useless war over Badme which has in resulted in the current no war no peace situation.

    This is what foreigners are saying about Eritrea:
    Torture, arbitrary detention, and severe restrictions on freedom of expression, association, and religious freedom remain routine in Eritrea. Elections have not been held since Eritrea gained independence in 1993, the constitution has never been implemented, and political parties are not allowed. There are no institutional constraints on President Isaias Afewerki, in power now for twenty years. In addition to ongoing serious human rights abuses, forced labor and indefinite military service prompt thousands of Eritreans to flee the country every year. Access to the country for international humanitarian and human rights organizations is almost impossible and the country has no independent media.

  6. Many of the people commenting here are Ethiopians. Some are upfront about their identity, others not so much..

  7. Hey Berhane, I like how you covered all the sound bites that Dan Connel and Mrs Wrong like to make but I think you're forgetting some key facts:

    Fact #1. More people are fleeing Ethiopia than any country in Africa. In fact, thousands if not tens of thousands of Ethiopian refugees are in Eritrea today (we're going to write an article about this soon). In 2012 alone, around a million Ethiopians left their country. When it comes to people fleeing their country, Ethiopia is the 800 pound gorilla in the room no one is talking about. Although Ethiopia has the largest number of people fleeing their country in Africa, this problem isn't limited to it. Every developing country in Africa has migrant Issues. Selectively pointing at Eritrea's migrant issues only highlights how biased these story sellers are. You can't really say it's an Eritrean problem when all its neighbors have it worse than Eritrea, now can you? That's why they never bother to mention it.

    Fact #2: Tourists, businessmen and people not associated with journalism or Kony 2012-like slacktivisim are saying the same thing about Eritrea. It's only the people who don't visit Eritrea or have ties with Ethiopia that are making these outrageous description about the country. Go read tourist reviews about Eritrea, most of them are writing great reviews about it because that's the reality on the ground.

    Fact #3: I used businessmen/women as an example as people with genuine opinions since they wouldn't risk their own money on a country if they didn't believe the country wasn't how they were describing it. There's an old saying of "put your money where your mouth is" to prove things. They say Eritrea is this way and are putting their money (investment) in Eritrea as proof.

  8. He knows where he is, this woyane is abusing Eritrean web sites tolerance.

  9. Fact 1: I never mentioned Ethiopia in any of comments. Not sure why you assume it's the country I think Eritrea should strive for. Don't try change topic of discussion which is foreigner opinion of Eritrea.

    Fact 2: If you have money or are in PFDJ inner circle life is great. So same thing would be expected for tourists. Water is also wet and the sky is blue.

    Fact 3: The individuals you mentioned have very little of their own capital invested in the Companies they work for. Don't have me research further to prove my point.

    You want foreigner opinion open up the country to scrutiny from international observers. Everyone here knows reality on the ground is direct opposite of the fantasy land you portray.

  10. Well said!

    This Berhane guy brought up the migrant issue and now is trying to back track after realizing his Ethiopia is the biggest exporter of migrants in Africa. What a weirdo.

  11. I misspoke :)

    Ethiopia has 92 million they are supposed to have more migrants than Eritrea ( ~6 million). Not sure which country has more on an per capital basis. Would welcome any valid source you have on this topic. I dont know of any Ethiopian refugee camps in sudan/Kenya ? Why do they only head to Eritrea?

    EPRDF does same things as PFDJ expect to a lesser extent. Foreign media is allowed to operate in Ethiopia as an example.

    Anyway I am Eritrean and don't want to discuss issues facing Ethiopia.

  12. Just reading the Incipit of your message is clear that you are not honest. President Isayas Afewerki is the best leader that Africa have at this very moment.

  13. Despite being on internet, some how hidden, why they hide further by using Eritrean nick names is beyone my comperhension; perhaps they know that even their masters can not out wit Eritrean Government and the people.

  14. Berhane, just to clarify on those people who invested in Eritrea at least they are putting their money for good or bad results, don't you wonder those the likes of the Apparthide boy Martin Plaut, Micheala Wrong a Fashists doughter and the imbecile Dan Connell did not put in a dime on Eritrea, so who is fool and who is living in a fantasy world? perhaps only YOU and your three messiahs!!!

  15. Eritrean with a BRAIN!

    How big is the size of your brain? It seem that, your borderline personality disorder is associate with alcohol abuse and the size of your brain: How many ml of alcohol do you drink daily?
    When you come down from the hills of Nakfa what has happened to you?
    Are you dependent or independent journalist of woyane?

    "You are educated more than your intelligence"

  16. Berhane!
    These foreign journalists are the arch enemies of the Eritrean people. They stand clearly against stability, prosperity, peace of Eritrea.
    Why don't you condemned them if you are really an Eritrean citizen?
    Why don't you tell them to write about their country instead of Eritrea? Do you think they are doing better? Racism!!!segregation!!!
    Why don't they advocate on behalf on the immigrants who are already with them?
    Why do we need to depend on them?
    Don't pretend to be an Eritrean:
    However, you are welcome to share our website, you can learn something about Eritrea and Eritrean people.

  17. Well Berhane, you state you're Eritrean, good, I'm Eritrean as well, you want listen my view? I work with an international company, for this reason I use to go to Africa now and then, and at the moment i been in eight countries..As an observer, I can assure you that comparing in many aspects, what Eritrea is doing, I generalize saying is wise, unique, comparing to others..Believe me detached with objectivity, we Eritreans are particular..I don't even expect no one assert this..I'm 100% aware of the fact..while of the stereotypes said about my beloved country, i know is FAKE, i know also how media are distorted in general in our Planet, and i know also how they work..Just read this book, then we might get to the point: INVENTING REALITY, written by Michael Parenti, an american professor, who clearly document in detail how media of his country are Distorted, out of partiality and objectivity, in fact INVENTING REALITY..the same LIE which MY COUNTRY IS FACING OF THIS lier WORLD of which i feel shame to be part. Of course, what is difficult to admit is mixing personal interest with common visions.

  18. why did you erase my comment from last week even do it wasn't bad comment I said that we as an Eritrean we shouldn't pay attention to the so called expert foreigners what they think about us and the country long live Eritrea and it is people a wet nehafash

  19. No foreigner would tell me how good Eritrea or my beloved city Asmara is.
    I know we have a good culture and I don't give credit to the regime for our good culture. That culture is inherited from our great great great grandfathers. As a matter of fact, this regime in Asmara have destroyed that good culture where every body was respecting everybody. My first attention to that was when in 1995, when i was a kid, one TEGADALY (remember I have also many TEGADELTI families and that includes them) called my father Atta Sebay! On another occasion another one called my Grand Mother " Atti Sebeyti". This become norm in a country where always elder people were respected.
    What happen during those years? The culture "Finw tsotawi Rikib" became common in Eritrea. "Wegah Tbel Leyti" was also become a norm where kids uncontrolled start going to clubs and festivals. Since I liked to sit with elder and wise people at home, I started to become aware the cultural change that was spreading around the city.

    My beloved Asmara used to be very modern city. I don't forget my childhood in Asmara. Clean buildings, nice streets, well maintained roads.... How could anyone forget Cinema Capitol, Roma, Impero.... How clean it was at least until 1993.
    When I went to Asmara last year I was shocked to see the whole city looks like Nakifa trenches.
    The culture of hard working is replaced by the culture of hustling.
    The culture of respect is replaced by the culture of rudeness.
    The culture of sympathy is replaced by the culture of antipathy

    Go to youtube and looks at "cry my beloved Asmara" and maybe then you will open you locked brain.

    Have a nice day.

  20. Cane Libro,
    Why do you try to compare us with Ethiopia? When some one is critisizing Eritreas behavior toward justice, human right, freedom... You come out swinging your tongue "what about Ethiopia" , Ethiopia this and Ethiopoa that! Only a weak person compares himself with a weak. There are countries that we should compare ourself with. There are countries that we should learn from with. We should learn from countries like Chile who used to be like us immigrating all over the world, had economical, human right.... Problems similar like us. Look at them today, they emerged out from that position and are in the same standard like many Europian countries. Majority of Chilians have returned back home and serving their country. They used to be one of the top immigrants in Sweden, but today you don't see any from Chile in Sweden or other Europian countries.

    Please don't compare yourself with the poorest country in the World!

  21. morone, i know it was a matter of time before you confess, and in deed you had held long; "you" from a tegadalai offended you? of course you are good for nothing preaching democracy and equality? hard to really hide yourself isn't it? moron is moron does indeed!

  22. I came up with the comparison that Eritrea is the North Korea of Africa independently of any foreigners. I'm not trying to claim credit for the analogy but it is clear that their are similarities aplenty. The Fascist regime has clearly been influenced by Il Duce and it is not for the benevolence of people. The article talks about how it is the fault of others that their is human trafficking. If open immigration from the country were allowed their would not be a human trafficking problem.

  23. that doesn't say much. I would say though that Michel Djotia was the best recent leader to come from the mother land.

  24. I know little about Michael Djotodia, even though i been in his country on the late 2011 (and probably at that time he been as rebel , it's difficult to compare him with PIA.

  25. mr Moronon
    You have to recognize , that Esayas afeowrki is one of the first, best builders of Eritrean culture, heroism, steadyfastness, perseverance, unwavering political and foreign policy that makes Eritrea to be the only country that declared, self reliance and independence. Culture is everything , the way of life, and the style of doing things. so when you say culture it does not depend only on things that we herited, but all the activities that we are doing now under the Esayas regime itself is our culture. There was no Hero as Esayas. Esayas led the country to freedom planning and organizing the country to standup together. Esayas removed any negative sentiments like awraja, religious and tihiti hagerawnet. all this is culture built by Esayas the great. When you people talk it is good to see what you are saying.
    Esayas is the first and most wise Eritrean leader who is leading the country with out much foreign aid, this is slef reliance. Eritreans are not beggars. Esayas is helping them to produce enough to feed themselves. But there are people like mr Moron who are not abiding by the law of the nation and choose to behave like woyane foot lickkers, woyane stooges, like their fore fathers who sold Eritrea for Gasha meret , in shesehmane, and for office work like the andnet group.
    You mer. Moron if you are denying what esayas does then you are woyane stoog. and that is what you are .

  26. berhane
    Mr hopley is going to say good about Eritrea because investing in Eritrea is good for him because Eritrea meant business, peace and good governance. No corruption, No threat, no Problem with working with the government. That meanse the government is good for business, International relations, diplomacy, Foreign relations and foreign policy are favourable for investors, which is the first most important factor for investors.
    The Eritrean government policies are sound, clear and standard and also allow business to flourish. that is good governance. That is why investors admire the government and the people of Eritrea.
    If the country was a land of bandits, the government was corrupt, they would not come to Eritrea to do business. Do you understand this? you need to make sense of what you talking about. Talk like what you have done is simple, easy . But telling the truth is hard for you that is why you write and say things that have no meaning to business world.

  27. mr Moron.
    I know when something fact is being taold about Ethiopia it hurts you so deep and you try to divert the topic. Eritrea is not to compare with Ethiopia because we are two different countries with different back grounds and circumstance. But enemies like you try to paint Eritrea knowing well what they are talking about is the opposite.
    2ndly, most people who comment are Ethiopians, so we tell them to mind their business. If it hurts you much assaying about Ethiopia, you leave this pleace and to Geza tegaru where there is much say about tigray or Ethiopia.
    Here it is our room we can write and talk about any country if the topic is rlated to other countries.
    Ethiopians, mostly Tegaru come here commenting and defaming my country , I can tell them who they are. what is your problem if we reply to the Tegaru comentators here. if you do not like it, you can leave this room.


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