Eritrea as a political entity

Erina - Erina

Italy had a dream to colonize the Horn of Africa and North Africa. Thus the landless Eritreans from all nationalities became the backbone of the Italian army in the conquest of Libya, Ethiopia and Somalia. In 1939, about 70,000 Eritreans were conscripted to wage a war against Ethiopia alone. The Italian military sector, therefore, became the meeting spot of all ethnic groups. This helped Eritreans to share common experiences, exchange views and strengthen their national outlook and integrity.

Italy had a dream to colonize the Horn of Africa and North Africa. Thus the landless Eritreans from all nationalities became the backbone of the Italian army in the conquest of Libya, Ethiopia and Somalia. In 1939, about 70,000 Eritreans were conscripted to wage a war against Ethiopia alone. The Italian military sector, therefore, became the meeting spot of all ethnic groups. This helped Eritreans to share common experiences, exchange views and strengthen their national outlook and integrity.

The militarization process, development of commercial farming and import and export activities led to urbanization. This was favorable in places where soldiers, workers and their families live and in sites where goods were stored and distributed. Gradually many houses, shopping centers, repair shops, cottage industries and others were set up. This led to the rise of towns and cities.

Italy’s preparation for invading Ethiopia brought about rapid development of roads and railways. The sea ports of Massawa and Assab expanded too. Asmara and Massawa were linked with cable ways. Airports of Asmara and Gurae were established. To meet the growing demand of urban population, many public utility establishments (post-office, telegraphic lines, telephone services, electric power, etc) were put in place.

Industrialization in Eritrea also began during the Italian colonization. To satisfy the local demands for consumer goods about 2198 industrial and 2690 commercial firms were set up until 1939. The industries used to produce variety of goods such as leather goods, cement, shoes, matches, canned food, fish oil, alcoholic beverages, etc. The Italian colonization, therefore, brought about political, economic and social changes. It had a big role in bringing national integrity and solidarity among the people. Italians thus introduced modern transportation, trade and farming, formal education and urbanization.

Source: New World History Outline