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France and Eritrea

Political relations

Relations between France and Eritrea developed from August 1992 with the visit of Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Health and Humanitarian Action, who was the first European Prime Minister to visit Eritrea after the war of independence.
This visit was followed by President Isaias Afwerki’s visit in May 1994, his first official visit to a European country. Dialogue channels have been maintained with Eritrea through France’s embassy in Asmara.

Economic relations

Trade between France and Eritrea is very limited and stood at a mere €4.5 million in 2015. French exports mainly consist of industrial and agricultural equipment, chemicals and cosmetics. Arabic gum accounts for 98% of our imports from Eritrea. Similarly, the only French investments in Eritrea date back to Total’s arrival in 1994 in the Marketing and Services branch. It is the market’s second-largest operator with a share of 46%, behind the Libyan company Tamoil.


Our cultural cooperation relies on the instruments of the Alliance Française branch in Asmara, which is the country’s only non-Eritrean cultural institution.

Updated: December 2017