Monday, 18 July 2011


Issued: 15/07/11

“Interview with Ambassador of Eritrea”

On Tuesday 12th of July 2011, H.E Tesfamicael Gerahtu, came to the Ben TV studio to be interviewed by Mr Ayoub Mzee. During his interview, the Ambassador of the State of Eritrea talked about a range of issues on the country including the economy, drought, involvement with Sudan and issues of democracy.

On the economy, H.E Gerahtu believes that there was no choice but for the country to start from the beginning but explains that “building Eritrea from scratch was not easy”, something he attributes to factors such as political agendas. Despite the setbacks however, the Ambassador believes that the current economic situation is very positive due to efforts made by the government. When asked about why the country has been reluctant to accept outside loans, the Ambassador was quick to assert their stance.

“We do take loans but it has to be balanced but we prefer foreign investments” stated H.E Gerahtu. The reason for this preference has been attributed to the fact that investments create employment and capital.

The Ambassador was positive about the current drought situation in Eritrea. According to him, there have been efforts to promote soil and water which have been redoubled since 2010. He is stated his confidence over the country sustaining growth.

Involvement with Sudan
When asked his view on the allegations that the Eritrea has been involved in the destabilisation of Southern Sudan, the Ambassador regarded it as “fabrication”. In his view, nation building should not be about the politics of ethnicity and race and Sudan should take Eritrea as an example of a country which has diversity.

Issues of Democracy
Whilst discussing the issue of democracy in Eritrea, H.E Gerahtu explained that democracy is not just about elections of parties. To him, it is also about “responsible participation and the empowerment of people”. However, the Ambassador believes that for this to happen the country needs to take a “bottom up approach”.
“We are in the early stages but we are on the right path” The Ambassador assured.

It is believed that regional assemblies have already been established in six regions of Eritrea and according to H.E Gerahtu, national elections will one day eventually take place.

The Future of Eritrea
The interview ended with what the Ambassador felt the future would bring for Eritrea. In his eyes, the last twenty years have been a challenge for the country, citing examples such as sanctions on Eritrea. Nevertheless, the Ambassador was optimistic for the future with nation building being one of the key priorities. This is something he believed would require perseverance.