Eritrea’s information minister says President Isaias Afewerki’s government has a protective and transparent policy towards local and international investments that can rival any country on earth.
Ali Abdu says Eritrea has been attracting lots of investors despite recently imposed United Nations sanctions.
“It was proven that previous investments were very successful, and we do believe that all you need to invest in Eritrea is just one step to knock the door and be welcomed in a very conducive atmosphere,” he said.
Analysts project that Eritrea will soon experience a mining boom that will rival its oil-rich neighbors following Asmara’s modest stake in any mining project.
Minister Abdu said Eritrea in 2008 set its stake in any mining project at 10 percent, with a choice to buy a further 30 percent, which he said is encouraging to international investors.
“We are very cautious on how to handle our natural resources, be it in the land or on the sea. We are lucky enough to take experience from a number of African countries with their huge natural resources, but which is not seen on their output. The bottom line of our objective is to have the result of social justice in our natural resources,” Abdu said.
Observers say Eritrea seems to be enjoying a boom in international exploration companies that have expressed interest in its natural resources.
Minister Abdu says Asmara is fair with potential investors.
“The rationale is we want to be fair and just. I mean, that is our principle… it should serve the interest of the people and it should be handled as a blessing, not as a curse to the people and to the economy of that country,” Abdu said.
The United Nations recently imposed sanctions on Eritrea after accusing the Horn of Africa country of supporting hard-line Islamist insurgents who have vowed to overthrow the internationally-backed administration in Somalia. It’s a charge Eritrea denies.
Abdu notes that Eritrea’s investment drive has not been affected by the sanctions.
“Not at all, because everybody knows that (those sanctions) were politically motivated. I wouldn’t say that one of their objectives is to harm our economy…Nevertheless …we are not subsidized economically and politically by any power. We stand on our own foot. We’ve been for a long time working for our food security, (and) our economy is as independent as our political stance,” Abdu said.