Atlantic Council: Rethinking Eritrea

December 8, 2016, the Atlantic Council held a discussion on Eritrea with the Council’s Bronwyn Bruton, Seth Kaplan (Professor at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies),  Anthony Carroll (senior associate in the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies) and Dan Connell (visiting scholar in the African Studies Center at Boston University and outspoken enemy of the Government of Eritrea).

Eritrea, often portrayed in the news as a pariah state, isolated and repressive, has always gotten the cold shoulder from western governments. Now, the truth about Eritrea seems to slowly be creeping out. “Over the past eighteen months, Atlantic Council researchers have been permitted to access the country and its leadership. The results of this research have culminated in two reports. The first, authored by Bronwyn Bruton, examines the deterioration of the US-Eritrean relationship since the country gained independence in 1991 and makes the case that it is in the best interest of the United States to re-engage with Eritrea at a critical time in the Horn of Africa. The second report, authored by Seth Kaplan, examines the interplay between the ideology of Eritrea’s leaders, the state of its economy, and the human rights and migration issues that capture news headlines. The report lays out how the Eritrean leadership’s ideological emphasis on self-reliance and sustainability has produced a stagnating, inward-looking economy and how these financial woes have reduced Eritrea’s ability to grow, create jobs, and reform its controversial national service program. Finally, Kaplan argues that, while Eritrea has a number of sectors that are ripe for development, much reform is needed, and the country can learn from successful reform processes undertaken by countries with similar ideologies, such as Rwanda and China.”

Here’s a video recording of the discussion on Rethinking Eritrea


Bronwyn Bruton’s report ” Eritrea Coming In From The Cold” –

Seth Kaplan’s report “Eritrea’s Economy. Ideology and Opportunity” –






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