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Regions of Eritrea

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

The regions of Eritrea are the primary geographical divisions through which Eritrea is administered. Six in total, they include the Maekel/Central, Anseba, Gash-Barka, Debub/Southern, Northern Red Sea and Southern Red Sea regions.


  • Overview 1
  • Regions 2
  • Sub-Regions 3
  • References 4


Regions of Eritrea

At the time of independence in 1993 Eritrea was arranged into ten provinces. These provinces were similar to the nine provinces operating during the colonial period. In 1996, these were consolidated into six regions (zobas). The boundaries of these new regions are based on catchment basins.

Critics of this policy contend that the Government of Eritrea was erasing the historical fabric of Eritrea while proponents believe that these new Regional boundaries would ease historical land disputes.[1] Furthermore proponents of this policy argue that basing boundaries on an important natural resource would ease the planning of its use.

Each region has a locally elected regional assembly while the local administrator is appointed by the President of Eritrea. During Cabinet meetings the President also meets with the Regional Administrators who report on the activities of their regions.

The Regional Assemblies are charged with developing a budget for local programs and hearing the concerns of the local populations. Local programs included cultural events, infrastructure such as feeder roads, and to promote afforestation.


Region Map number Population Capital Governor ISO code Former province
Maekel Region,

ዞባ ማእከል

1 1,053,254 Asmara Ramadan Osman Awliyai ER-MA Hamasien
Anseba Region,

ዞባ ዓንሰባ

2 893,587 Keren Gegrgis Ghirmai ER-AN Senhit, Hamasien
Gash-Barka Region,

ዞባ ጋሽ ባርካ

3 1,103,742 Barentu Fesehaye Haile ER-GB Barka, Gash-Setit, Seraye, Hamasien
Debub Region,

ዞባ ደቡብ

4 1,476,765 Mendefera Efrem Gebrekristos ER-DU Seraye, Akele Guzay, Hamasien
Northern Red Sea Region,
Semienawi Keyih Bahri

ዞባ ሰሜናዊ ቀይሕ ባሕሪ

5 897,454 Massawa Tsigereda Woldegiorgis ER-SK Semhar, Sahel, Akele Guzay, Hamasien
Southern Red Sea Region,
Debubawi Keyih Bahri

ዞባ ደቡባዊ ቀይሕ ባሕሪ

6 398,073 Asseb Osman Mohammed Omer ER-DK Denkalia


The regions, followed by the sub-region, are:

No. Region (ዞባ) Sub-region (ንኡስ ዞባ)
1 Maekel
(ዞባ ማእከል)
Asmara, Berikh, Ghala-Nefhi, Semienawi Mibraq, Serejaka, Debubawi Mibraq, Semienawi Mi'erab, Debubawi Mi'erab
2 Anseba
(ዞባ ዓንሰባ)
Adi Tekelezan, Asmat, Elabered, Geleb, Hagaz, Halhal, Habero, Keren, Kerkebet, Sel'a
3 Gash-Barka
(ዞባ ጋሽ ባርካ)
Agordat, Barentu, Dghe, Forto, Gogne, Haykota, Logo-Anseba, Mensura, Mogolo, Molki, Guluj, Shambuko, Tesseney, La'elay Gash
4 Debub
(ዞባ ደቡብ)
Adi Keyh, Adi Quala, Areza, Debarwa, Dekemhare, Mai Ayni, Mai Mne, Mendefera, Segeneiti, Senafe, Tserona
5 Northern Red Sea
(ዞባ ሰሜናዊ ቀይሕ ባሕሪ)
Afabet, Dahlak, Ghel'alo, Foro, Ghinda, Karura, Massawa, Nakfa, She'eb
6 Southern Red Sea
(ዞባ ደቡባዊ ቀይሕ ባሕሪ)
Are'eta, Central Dankalia, Southern Dankalia, Assab


  1. ^ "Eritrea to have 6 administrative regions". Eritrea Profile. 1995-05-20. 
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