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Eritrea's early stages in monetary and banking development


  • Arnaldo MAURI



Eritrea is listed among those countries of Africa, whose independence has been lately achieved. Notwithstanding the monetary and banking history of Eritrea goes back to the Italian colonial settlement on the Red Sea shore of 19th century. The paper offers an overview of the early stages of the Colony's monetary development up to mid-thirties and of the problems met in the substitution of Italian currency for the traditional money. A branch of the Bank of Italy was established in Asmara in 1914 and this event marked the first introduction of banking into the country. The Asmara branch was followed by branch offices of the Italian central bank in the four main centres of the Colony. The Bank of Italy was involved also in commercial banking and fulfilled the functions of banker and fiscal agent for the colonial government as well. Furthermore it worked to promote the creation of local banks and the take-off of the Eritrean banking system. Due attention is given to attempts of the colonial government to develop a suitable agricultural credit system in Eritrea and to the critical issues involved

Suggested Citation

  • Arnaldo MAURI, 2003. "Eritrea's early stages in monetary and banking development," Departmental Working Papers 2003-28, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  • Handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2003-28

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Adrian E. Tschoegl, 2001. "Maria Theresa's Thaler: A Case of International Money," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 27(4), pages 443-462, Fall.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rena, Ravinder, 2007. "Insurance Industry In Eritrea - Achievements And Challenges," MPRA Paper 10762, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item


    Eritrea; Financial Development; African Banking;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • N27 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Africa; Oceania

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    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. Império Italiano in Wikipedia Portuguese
    2. Banca per l'Africa Orientale in Wikipedia Italian
    3. Banking in Eritrea in Wikipedia English
    4. Banca per l'Africa Orientale in Wikipedia English
    5. Eritrea in Wikipedia Italian
    6. Eritreia in Wikipedia Portuguese


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