Not to invest in Eritrea‼ Why?

Dear compatriots, it had been about two months since the government of Eritrea has started the new drama of investment. Surprisingly it has more questions than answers why the Eritrean government has started propagating about investment.

Dear compatriots, it had been about two months since the government of Eritrea has started the new drama of investment.

Surprisingly it has more questions than answers why the Eritrean government has started propagating about investment. Some of the questions are:

1)      The main reason why the economic activities in Eritrea were on hold and no constitution was proclaimed was because the boundary between Eritrea and Ethiopia was not demarcated. If that was the case then:

  1. Has the boundary issue that was the main reason or excuse for that been resolved?
  2. Has the Ethiopian army left Badme?
  3. Is there any relaxation on the part of the EDF because the issue is solved? If the old reason is there unsolved then why is the Eritrean government getting inconsistent with its excuses suddenly???

2)      The main elements of economic development are :

  1. Rule of law
  2. Transparency
  3. Free press.

None of the above is available in present Eritrea. Then what has changed and why are we investing without any security and constitution?

3)      Putting the right people in the right place is a critical management skill. That is why we failed the last 22 years. If that is the case, then what change will the new investments bring to improve the same bad management?

4)      There are many Eritreans who have bought land (bond) and some have even constructed residential houses. Some of these houses although finished 6 yrs ago but have not been supplied with electrical, water and sewage systems up to now. Some Eritrean investors have only seen their land on computer list. They have not seen their land physically at all.  If what has been promised has not been delivered for the last 10 years, then what is the guarantee that they will deliver this time? They should remember that it is “once beaten twice shy‼”

5)      Many Eritreans have bought shares of Asmara Brewery and some others bought shares of National Insurance but though some got a negligible dividend from NICE, no one has got (any annual profit distribution) anything from Asmara Brewery. But the worst part is the share holders have no say on the institutions that they have shares in. As always they are managed by lackeys of the system without any transparency. According to DIA Investors have only to buy the share and have no say in the companies. It is just bring your money and shut up‼ If you ask it is perceived you are against the government‼

6)      Apart of being mismanaged the institutions are not transparent and Share holders are not invited to The General Share Holders Meetings, or they are provided with annual Financial Reports of the Co.

7)      The management of these institutions was politically assigned and they were neither given full responsibility to work freely nor are they accountable for their wrongdoings.

When all the truth is as per the above then why is the Eritrean government initiating the Investment Conference at this particular time?

1)      The Eritrean defense forces have been weakened due to nonstop defection of the youth because of the endless National service.

2)      The Eritrean government has serious economic problems and has started to reduce the ration of the Eritrean defense forces from its already unacceptable level and that has created resentment within the EDF.

3)      The incursion of the Ethiopian defense forces 20 kilometers inside Eritrea to attack the Eritrean based Ethiopian opposition without being noticed by the EDF was a slap on the face to DIA. To add insult to injury the Ethiopian government announced the incident officially and this was reverberated in the international media and that was demoralizing to DIA.

4)      The refusal of the Eritrean generals to obey orders from DIA in order to revenge for the attack was an indication that DIA is no more respected or feared by the EDF.

5)      The CNN report about the victims of Sinai and its impact to the international public about the causes of the influx of the Eritrean youth was very evident. Eritrea was named as the biggest producer of refugee per capita in the world. This had an adverse effect to the irresponsible government of Eritrea.

6)      The mismanagement of the Eritrean government reached its peak and was not able to provide electricity, water, bread and fuel during the most critical time.  Last year’s summer vacation when many Eritreans from the Diaspora were visiting their homeland to pass their vacation. Usually the Eritrean government was doing all the necessary preparations to avail all the necessary things to show that all is well. Unfortunately this time the failure was not easy to cover. All his innocent supporters were shocked to face the realities of the mismanagement of HIGDEF. Before this incident telling the truth or criticizing the situation in Eritrea was considered defamation of the Eritrean government.

7)      Many innocent Eritreans were expecting the Eritrean Economic situation to improve after the gold exploration. Historically there is no country that makes any progress using its natural resources as such. The main recipe of a real progress and prosperity of any country is fully dependant on good governance. There is no transparency without good governance. No transparency means corruption and responsibility without accountability.  The best example is Nigeria. Regardless how much oil is explored the Nigerian people has been always under poverty. Similarly, the situation of the Eritrean gold mining has so far followed the Nigerian example. The life of the Eritrean people is going from bad to worse even though hundreds of millions from the dividend of the gold sales was cashed. Due to lack of transparency no one knows where these payments are deposited?  Prior to this incident it was very difficult to convince some innocent Eritreans that DIA and his group are bunch of thieves but now the situation has become very clear and everyone has understood how corrupted DIA is and how Eritrea is run by bunch of bandits. The dividend of Gold Exploration which is USD 400 million and it’s disappearance in the coffers of HIGDEF and similarly the illicit (commodities) transit trade from Massawa to Sudan and back to Asmara via Teseney of DIA with the management of Wedi Bekit has changed the picture of DIA in the eyes of all Eritreans for good.  Truly he is a wolf under the guise of sheep skin.

Thieves and corrupt dictators are always smart. When they sense that things are getting outside their control they should create a situation to steal the attention of the people.  To do that DIA came up with a new idea to create havoc and confusion to the public.  So:

1-      Immediately, he instructed his stooges to organize Investment Conference contradictory to his old reasons and excuses‼

2-      He started to distribute firearms to the Eritrean public (even though there was no imminent fear of aggression from any neighboring nations). This has no reason of any imminent aggression from Ethiopia or any other that party that uses to brand as the enemy‼

Both the above moves I consider to be a grace in disguise for the Eritrean people. Why?

–          The biggest majority of the participants, particularly the participants from the Gulf Countries attended the conference or HIGDEF Drama because:

a) They are all holders of Eritrean passport and if they refuse to attend they are afraid the unpredictable Bandits may take away their passports. This is very illogical but possible. What logical things happen in Eritrea in the first place?

b) Some of them have properties in Eritrea and they attended due to the fear for their properties. All people in Eritrea know that the HIGDEF generals are notorious of breaking villas and taking it by force.

c) Some have issues and were not able to return back to Eritrea for the fear of persecution. The Embassies gave them a guarantee that no one will touch them and it was a good opportunity for them to visit their families safely.

 

Same goes to the distribution of arms. DIA’s intention is and has been always to create Somalia situation in Eritrea but the malady of the Eritrean people is only ISEYA and his stooges. The Eritrean people had never been and will never be divided by region or religion as he is working hard to do in order to divide and rule but it will never happen‼! We the Eritrean people believe our strength and beauty is in our diversity.

What was the expectation of the Eritrean government?

–          The Eritrean government was expecting everyone to ignore their previous misdeeds all the last 12-13 years and trust them. But that did not and will not happen.

–          The Eritrean Government was expecting to sell the shares of some of the government run companies without any obstacles. This will not be successful either. The good comments and criticisms of the attendants was a shock to the government.

–          Due to the naivety of the Eritrean government and the underestimation of the Eritrean people’s frustration and luck of trust towards them they were expecting their investment ideas to fly and all to be happy for their offers and start to buy shares immediately but the public were more scared than happy.

Let us analyze if the government is doing any “Favor “to the Eritrean investors? Will it be possible to trust snake acting like a chicken? Not at all‼

This new move is a cry of a wolf for the Eritrean people because they don’t trust the Eritrean government at all‼  Why?

1)      Asmara Brewery:

  1. This plant has sold shares of about 40% of its value already. This is according to the value given by the government but the main thing is:

i.      What is the audited value of the factory?

ii.      How old is the factory?

iii.      What is the depreciated value of the plant?

iv.      Is it worth buying shares of such an old plant even if the government was reliable and there was a constitution?

v.      Is it not better to buy a new modern factory instead of these old ones?

vi.      Are the value given and the shares to be sold for the “Brand name”, “Land value” or “rotten equipment?”

–          I am saying that because it is cheaper, safer and more efficient to start a new factory than to buy the run down old plant.

–          Hence, true investment opportunity is not to dictate people to buy shares from the already inefficient institutions but to give freedom of investment and leave to the people to decide either to start a new plant or buy shares from the old plants.

2)      Same goes with all the remaining plants like :

  1. Red Sea Bottlers Share Company,
  2.  Asmara Milk Factory,
  3. Alfa Food Factory,
  4. Dekemhare Pasta Factory,
  5. The Children’s Food Factory in Dekemhare,
  6. Red Sea Food Products and Red Sea General Mills

3)      What about ERITEL?

  1. EriTel is not efficient too
  2. The government has planned to sell 4.3 million shares with the price of USD 50.00 per share. It is a sunlight robbery‼! Why?

i.      What is the value of Eritel? What does ERITEL own more than the Satellite posts and the license?? We all know it is selling air service then why the open robbery?

ii.      This is said to be 40% of the shares‼ The duty of any reasonable government is to have proper laws and tax people and not steal poor people but our bunches of bandits are plundering the Eritrean people left and right without any rules and they try to make it legal by calling it “Investment‼”

iii.      Investment for a new mobile phone and internet service provider is not more than 20% of the 40% shares to be sold. If that is the case then why continue with STATE MONOPOLY when the people are capable financially as well as providing a professional service much better than the bureaucratic and inefficient ERITEL. It was a joke that the General Manager of ERITEL was boasting for a big profit but the total annual profit he was claiming is not even equal to the 50% of the monthly profit of any decent country of our size. What a joke‼!   To Add insult to injury he was saying “ I was not willing to sell shares of Eritel but when the government insisted to help the Eritrean Investors I agreed “ Monkey cannot be a lion and not the vice versa too. Who will trust HIGDEF for their words? I think you are far away from the public? Are you telling us you don’t know how much the people hate and mistrust you? Don’t be fooled by the people who attended your conference. Everyone has his own reason and they have understood very clearly that you are band of bandits more than any time‼ So, as the old Asmarinos use to say “ Shitarakum da dewiru” In other words ”Fool others,”

  1. The investment drama without the Rule of Law and freedom of the Eritrean people to venture new companies to compete the corrupt HIGDEF institutions is just a lip service and foolish.

4)      What about NICE?

  1. NICE is comparatively better managed than all the HIGDEF institutions only because it is run by a professional. But is the G.M of NICE able to do what he wants? NO‼ Does he have any responsibility with accountability? NO! He is working on a profession that he likes but as long as they are paying him his USD salary why should he care? Can anyone blame him for not doing better? NO! Why not? We know he is lead by the thief and blind‼
  2. They are planning to sell 1.3 million shares at USD 7.00 per share. It is the same robbery in here too.

i.      Could we not have a new Insurance company without the interference of HIGDEF with the capital of 10 million? Yes‼

ii.      Does any insurance pay any claims by itself? It is reinsuring itself all its liabilities and get compensated accordingly. So, why is it difficult to have another insurance to compete the service and price with NICE for the advantage of the Eritrean people?

iii.      It is a disadvantage to the Eritrean people having one monopolistic Institution than competing companies? If there is a government at all it should think for the advantage of the Eritrean people and that means allowing competition with a rule of law.  Therefore, selling shares of NICE far above its real value when you are able to do better with a capital less than the value of the shares ready for sale, is cheating the ignorant buyers.

Therefore, to sum up all my above comments, investment in Eritrea is not recommended at present and it is for the disadvantage of the Eritrean people because:

A)     No business can exist without :-

  1. Rule of law (to govern all equally and to know your duties and responsibilities)
  2. Transparency  (to be able to identify any misdeeds by working without any monopoly)
  3. Free press (to be able to tell the public of who is good and who is bad from whatever corruption and good achievement is done. Media is supposed to be the mirror of all the daily activities of any country.)

B)      Stop having animalistic behavior. In psychology people who cannot learn from other’s mistakes like a child or animals are termed as having “Animalistic behavior” For example a child cannot stop touching hot staff or anything that can cause him any damage regardless how much you tell him until he touches or experiences it. When you tell anyone of how corrupt our “government “ is and that people should avoid dealing with them they assume that you either hate the government or you don’t want your friend or whoever you are warning not take an advantage.  Some even assume that you are against the government. The “government” has taken back properties from the people who bought old government factories without any reason. I don’t want to name any one of them but these guys have developed it and made it successful but the government took it back without any reason. Who is immune from the same fate tomorrow, you invest in a nation where there is rule of law.

C)      We all remember the case of Mohammad Hagos (Omo) who is immune from the same fate?

D)     All people know about the drama of Fikre and the Civil General and the corruption of DIA? How are you immune to that tomorrow, when there is no law in the country?

Therefore, even though I will be happy to see Eritrea flourishes, but that cannot happen without, constitution, transparency and free press.

God bless Eritrea and its nice people‼

Atewebrhan from Asmara.

aseye.asena@gmail.com

Review overview
33 COMMENTS
  • Meron March 7, 2013

    The article is in general a sheet. The analysis are just speculative not factual. Overall, how in the world is opposing to the government become opposing to the nation and the people. Come on guys, do separate your hate to the government from the people and the nation. And pray for the prosperity of the country – if really you feel Eritreans- under any circumstance.

  • Genet March 7, 2013

    Meron, Meron,poor meron, WHAT IS FACT TO YOU? FACT #1 OUR PEOPLE LIVING WITHOUT RUL OF LOW.AT ANY GIVEN TIME, THEY CAN BE THROWN IN A SHEEPING CONTAINERS IN THE DESERT.FACT #2 OUR YOUNG PEOPLE ARE DRIVEN OUT OF THIER COUNTRY TO THE HAND OF HUMAN TRAFFICKERS. FACT #3 WE HAVE A MAD MAN WITH UNCLEAR BACKGROUND KILLING OUR PEOPLE.FACT #4 THERE IS NO FREE SPEECH/PRESS IN ERITREA.FACT #5 FORMER FREEDOM FIGHTER ARE HELD INCOMMUNICADO FOR YEARS. DENIED THEIR DAY IN COURT. ARE THESE FACTS ENOUGH FOR YOU? DO YOU REAL FEEL ERITREAN SUFFERING? IF SO, THEY ARE SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER IN THE DESERT. IF YOU REAL ERITREAN, PLEASE COME TO YOUR SENSES AND DO THE RIGHT THING. STAND UP FOR YOUR PEOPLE NOT FOR THE DICTATOR. DON’T YOU THINK THAT IT IS UNFAIR FOR OUR PEOPLE TO FEEL UN SAFE IN THEIR OUN COUNTRY? DOES IT CROSS YOUR MIND THAT OUR PEOPLE ARE BECOMING LOST SHEEP IN THE DESERT? THEY ARE IN NEED OF A SERIOUS, KIND AND COMPETENT LEADER? DON’T YOU THINK OUR PEOPLE DESERVE A LEADER WHO CAN LEAD THEM TO PROSPERITY NOT TO DESPAIR. AFTER 30+ YEARS OF UNDER FOREIGN OCCUPATION, DON’T YOU THINK OUR PEOPLE NEED SAFTEY AND SECURITY?
    ERITREA FOR EVER!
    Genet

  • berhane March 8, 2013

    Dear Atewebirhan thanks for your well versed article. It is really an expose of a government that is run by incompetent self appointed dictator, who does or say any thing to stay afloat in power. Like you have alluded in your posting, Eritreans are not suffering of amnesia; it is still fresh in the memories of many, who were swindled to invest their hard earned money in an out right deceptive investment scheme—fool me once your are the fool, fool me twice I am the fool, as the saying goes. Therefore, I salute you for taking your valuable time to inform and alert us, your compatriots, from being taken for a ride one more time by the corrupt HIGDEF thugs.

  • said kahssay July 7, 2013

    Dear Ateweberhan. That was a well written and very informative article. Thanks for exposing this corrupt government. Even though by now, I would think no one is an aware about this government, but there could be people who either ignored the truth or fooled by the new technique which they are using to trap the innocent people again in the name of investment. Yes, no one should invest. As you said, “Rule of law” must be established first.

  • Aman December 29, 2013

    Let us see the truth. Eritrean Govt. has produced nothing but confusion, hatred, more jails than schools, closing university, no future for young Eritreans (that is why we see them choosing Sinai and Sea on search for better life), no religion and press rights, no ownership to anything but you are own by HGDEF, the same regime is in power after 30 years(no election)…etc. These are part of the truth and if investment comes by our dear brother “Atewebrhan” He is right. He reflects what is right and those who benefit from the bad regime will of course oppose it and burn in their hearts and insult the truth. Any way I thank you Atewebrhan for his article and may God bless you. Eritrea needs changes from A-Z. in Eritrea Nothing contains any elements of truth.

  • Esu April 19, 2018

    Wow, I did not know there is a factory in dekemhare, so dekemhare is not a village,amazing that is the only thing I learned from this article.
    Thanks

  • Mawicha August 2, 2018

    Interesting read. I am from Ethiopia. I don’t think it would be great idea to invest in Eritrea for now. Hopefully that will change in the near future.

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