Eritrea suffers from seriously inadequate infrastructure. An extensive road and rail network built by
|Country||Telephones a||Telephones, Mobile/Cellular a||Radio Stations b||Radios a||TV Stations a||Televisions a||Internet Service Providers c||Internet Users c|
|Eritrea||23,578 (2000)||N/A||AM 2; FM 1; shortwave 2 (2000)||345,000||1 (2000)||1,000||4||500|
|United States||194 M||69.209 M (1998)||AM 4,762; FM 5,542; shortwave 18||575 M||1,500||219 M||7,800||148 M|
|Egypt||3,971,500 (1998)||380,000 (1999)||AM 42; FM 14; shortwave 3 (1999)||20.5 M||98 (1995)||7.7 M||50||300,000|
|Djibouti||8,000||203||AM 2; FM 2; shortwave 0||52,000||1 (1998)||28,000||1||1,000|
|a Data is for 1997 unless otherwise noted.|
|b Data is for 1998 unless otherwise noted.|
|c Data is for 2000 unless otherwise noted.|
|SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [Online].|
the Italians in the 1930s was destroyed during the long war of independence. It is now estimated that there are 4,010 kilometers (2,491 miles) of roads, of which 874 kilometers (543 miles) are paved, but they are poorly maintained. The country's Italian-built, narrow-gauge railway, owned by the state, is almost defunct, with only 317 kilometers (196 miles) accessible. The few road and rail reconstruction projects are proving to fall far short of what is required.
Eritrea has 21 airports and airstrips, 3 of which have paved runways. Asmara International Airport was damaged during the war. Assab has a small airport and another is being built in Massawa. Eritrea's 2 major ports, Massawa and Assab, require upgrading.
Energy production is limited in Eritrea. According to 1997 estimates, the country generates and consumes 177.6 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, powered by fossil fuel, and many parts of the country, particularly the rural areas, lack electricity. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have funded the construction of an 84-megawatt power station, and the European Development Bank has pledged a loan for the restoration of war-damaged power infrastructure. Eritrea has a limited oil production (0.55 million tons in 1998), but its main refinery is closed and thus it must import all refined oil products. Imports of petroleum products amounted to 100,000 tons in 1998.
Eritrea's telecommunications system is old and inadequate. In 2000 there were only 23,578 telephone lines in the entire country. The Eritrean government has installed a digital system to improve and expand the service. There is 1 Internet service provider and a growing number of e-mail stations. The country has 1 state-run television channel and 5 radio stations. In 1997 there were only 345,000 radios and 1,000 television sets in use.