France and Eritrea


Political relations

Relations between France and Eritrea developed fast: Mr Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Health and Humanitarian Action, was the first European Minister to visit Eritrea in August 1992, and President Isaias Afworki’s visit to France in in May 1994 was his first official trip to a European country. A dialogue channel is maintained with 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 on 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: 10 June 2017