Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Re-examining Local Governance in Eritrea: The Redrawing of Administration Regions

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of African and Asian Studies
For more content, see Journal of Asian and African Studies.

AbstractThe post-independence government of Eritrea introduced Proclamation 86/1996 to redraw the administrative structure of the newly independent territory. The principle behind the redrawing was pronounced to be to serve decentralised governance system where considerable power is devolved to the regions. According to this principle the regions were provided with legislative, executive and judiciary bodies of local governance. Further the regions were also to be divided into sub-regions and village/area units with provisions of legislative, executive and judiciary organs that would enhance the local governing system where the local communities are provided both legally and practically the autonomy to run their political, economic, social and cultural life with less central interference. In practice however the governance system that was introduced following independence proved to be highly centralised. This became glaringly obvious following the outbreak of the second war (1998-2000) between Eritrea and Ethiopia. The paper critically re-examines local governance in Eritrea. It examines the various stages of redrawing of the regions over the historical trajectory of the making of Eritrea until the redrawing following independence. It examines the corresponding power structures and local governance systems. It also examines the modality of the redrawing and the political intentionality behind it. Through text interpretation and analysis the paper examines the connection between local governance and decentralisation. The paper draws the conclusion that the legal mechanism put in place and the discretionary power arrangement between the executive and legislative bodies could not provide ample space for local governance.

Affiliations: 1: The Nordic Africa Institute P O Box 1703, SE-751 47 Uppsala Sweden, Email:, URL:


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Adeyemo D.O. "‘Local Government Autonomy in Nigeria: A historical perspective’" Journal of Social Science 2005 Vol vol. 10 no. 2 77 87
2. Beall Jo "Decentralisation and Engendering Democracy: Lessons from local government reform in South Africa" 2004 Crisis States Programme, Working Papers no. 54.
3. Bereketeab Redie Eritrea: The Making of a Nation, 1890-1991 2000 Uppsala Uppsala University Press
4. Bereketeab Redie Englund Harri , Nymnjoh Francis B. "“Perilous Dualisms: Language, Religion and Identity in Poly-Ethnic Eritrea”" Rights and the Politics of Recognition in Africa 2004 London and New York Zed Books
5. Bereketeab Redie Eritrea: The Making of a Nation 2007 Trenton, Asmara Red Sea Press
6. Bereketeab Redie "‘When Success Becomes Liability: Challenges of state building in Eritrea (1991-2005)’" African and Asian Studies 2007b Vol vol. 6 no. 4 395 430
7. Bereketeab Redie State Building in Post-Liberation Eritrea: Challenges, achievements and potentials 2009 Trenton NJ and Asmara The Red Sea Press
8. Bereketeab Redie "‘The Politics of Language in Eritrea: Equality of Languages Vs. Bilingual Official Language Policy’" African and Asian Studies 2010 Vol vol. 9 nos. 1-2 149 190
9. Clapham Christopher Furley Oliver , May Roy "“Ethiopia and Eritrea: Insecurity and Intervention in the Horn”" African Interventionist States. 2001 Aldershot Burlington USA Singapore Sydney Ashgate
10. Connell Dan Conversation with Eritrean Political Prisoners 2005 Trenton NJ The Red Sea Press
11. Crook Richard , Manor James Democratic Decentralisation, OED Working Paper Series, no. 11. 2000 Washington, D.C. The World Bank
12. Crook Richard "‘Decentralisation and Poverty Reduction in Africa: The politics of local-central relation’" Public Administration and Development 2003 Vol vol. 23 77 88
13. Elias Tseggai Functions, Practices and Capacities of Local Government in Eritrea: with respect to decentralisation and community-based initiatives. 2000 MoLG and UNCDF
14. Eaton Kent "‘Designing Subnatnional Institutions: Regional and municipal reforms in postauthoritarian Chile’" Comparative Political Studies 2004 Vol vol. 37 no. 2 218 244
15. EPLF " A National Charter for Eritrea: For a Democratic, Just and Prosperous Eritrea. " Third Congress of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) 1994 Nacfa, February 1994.
16. Favali Lyda , Pateman Roy Blood, Land, and Sex: Legal and political pluralism in Eritrea 2003 Bloomington & Indianapolis Indiana University Press
17. FO 371-69370 The Administrative and Judicial System Chapter 6.
18. Gebre-Medhin Jordan Peasants and Nationalism in Eritrea: A critique of Ethiopian Studies 1989 Trenton The Red Sea Press
19. GoE Proclamation No. 86/1996, for the Establishment of Regional Administration (PERA). 1996 April 15 Asmara
20. Habte Selassie Bereket The Making of the Eritrean Constitution: The dialectic of process and substance 2003 Lawrenceville & Asmara The Red Sea Press
21. Hansson Göte Eritrea 1999: A Bleeding Country that Never Kneels Down, Country Economic Report 2000:5. 2000 Lund University Department of Economic and Institute for Economic Research
22. Houtart Francois Davidson Basil , Cliff Lionel , Selassie Bereket Habte "“The Social Revolution in Eritrea”" Behind the War in Eritrea 1980 Nottingham Spokesman
23. Iyob Ruth The Eritrean Struggle for Independence: Domination, Resistance, Nationalism 1995 UK Cambridge University Press 1941 1993
24. Iyob Ruth "‘The Eritrean Experiment: A cautious pragmatism?’" The Journal of Modern African Studies 1997 Vol vol. 35 no. 4 647 673
25. Longrigg S. H. A Short of Eritrea 1945 London Oxford University Press
26. MacroPolicy "Document of Government of Eritrea. Asmara, Eritrea." 1994
27. Mebrahtu Simon Eritrea: Constitutional, Legislative and Administrative Provisions Concerning Indigenous People 2009 Geneva ILO/ACHPR
28. Mengisteab Kidane , Yohannes Okbazghi Anatomy of an African Tragedy: Political, Economic and Foreign Policy Crisis in Post-independence Eritrea 2005 Trenton NJ and Asmara The Red Sea Press
29. Migdal Joel S. Strong Societies and Weak States: State-Society Relations and State Capabilities in the Third World 1988 Princeton, New Jersey Princeton University Press
30. Nadel S. Freddy "‘Land Tenure on the Eritrean Plateau’" Africa 1946 Vol vol. 16 no. 1 London Oxford University Press 1 21
31. National Charter A National Charter for Eritrea: For democracy, just and prospective future. Approved by the Third Congress of the Eritrean People’s Front (EPLF) 1994 Nakfa, February 1994
32. Naty Alexander Environment, Society and the State in South western Eritrea 2000 Michelsen Institute Development Studies and Human Rights WP 2000: 12. Chr.
33. Naty Alexander "‘Memories of the Kunama of Eritrea Towards Italian Colonialism’" Africa 2001 Vol vol. LVI no. 4 573 589
34. Olowu Dele , Wunsch James S. Local Governance in Africa: Challenges of Democratic Decentralisation PUUTTUU PAINOPAIKKA, KUSTANTAJA. 2004
35. Pollera Alberto Ghebre-Iyesus Aba Yisac "Le Popolazioni Indigene dell’Eritrea ( Dekebat H’zbetat Eritrea " Bologna Manuali Coloniali
36. Pool David From Guerrilla to Government: The Eritrean People’s Liberation Front 2001 James Curry and Oxford Ohio University Press
37. Tesfai Alemseged Doornbos Martin , Tesfai Alemseged "‘Issues of Governance in the Eritrean Context’" Post-Conflict Eritrea: Prospects for reconstruction and development 1999 Lawrenceville NJ and Asmara The Red Sea Press
38. Trevaskis G. , Kendy N. Eritrea: A Colony in Transition 1941-52 1960 London New York Toronto Oxford University Press
39. Tronvoll Kjetil "‘The Process of Nation-Building in Post-war Eritrea: Created from below or directed from above?’" The Journal of Modern African Studies 1998 Vol vol. 36 no. 3 461 482
40. Wanjohi Nick G. Sustainable Local Governance and Globalization: The case of Africa, with special reference to Kenya 2000 International Conference: Globalization-Sustainable Development-Local Government: Challenges of the 21th Century 13-14 September Berlin
41. Weinstock Daniel M. "‘The Real World of (Global) Democracy’" Journal of Social Philosophy 2006 Spring 2006 Vol vol. 37 no. 1 6 20
42. Winter Mike Local Government Initiative: Pro-poor infrastructure and service delivery in rural sub-Saharan Africa, a synthesis of case studies 2004 New York UNCDF
43. WO 230-106 BMA, Half-Yearly Report, for Period 1st January to 30th June, 1942 1942
44. Wunsch James "‘Decentralization, Local Governance and “Recentralization” in Africa’" Public Administration and Development 2001 Vol vol. 21 277 288

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    African and Asian Studies — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation