ITALIAN ERITREA: THE PRINCIPAL INDUSTRIAL AGENCIES created by ITALIAN ERITREANS Most of Eritrea industrial companies in the 1950s originated during the years of Italian Eritrea, the "Colonia Primigenia" of the Kingdom of Italy.
DITTA FABIO GRAZINI - ASMARA
It is the major eritrean Firm for the working of marble and granite. It has available also means for the artistic working of marble. The laboratory is supplied with one multiple-blades sawing frame to saw blocks and to make slabs; two honing and polishing machines; two electrical hammers. The owner also has two grants for the excavation of blocks: one in Mai Edaga and another in Hocreb.
Valuable marble is normally ordered in Italy. The laboratory is built on property land, which includes an hangar, two sheds, and two villas for dwelling.
The Grazini firm supplied its work to outstanding constructions, built in Eritrea and in Ethiopia. It employs, on the average, 20 native workers
DITTA VIRGILIO MOLINARI - LAVORAZIONE DEL CEMENTO - ASMARA
The industrial activity of the Ditta Molinari includes a large variety of products and machineries. In the working place - nearby modern machinery for the production of grit (Molinari has own marble quarries in Eritrea), for cement and sand mixing, for the manufacture of tiles, their polishing, and many other works - still to be seen, and at times also used, are machineries built locally during the war period and planned by Molinari himself: witness of an ingenuity and of a working will which does not surrender in front of obstacles and which as a matter of fact are a characteristic of the Italians' work in Eritrea.
Virginio Molinari, with his own slogan "everything with cement" has used cement for the most disparate works, from the common tile for the footpaths to those decorated with a coating thickness of coloured marble; from modest sinks to great tanks, from small, large and enormous pipes, to the bellied wine vats; from the benches widespread in the public gardens to the monumental fountains; from the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian capitals to the prefabricated elements for reinforced concrete ceilings.
I.M.L.A.S.A. (INDUSTRIA MINERARIA LATERIZI E AFFINI S.A.) - ASMARA
The firm sprang up a few years ago and, contrarily to the others of the same kind, which are all artisan-based, with production of bricks and hollow bricks, it is on a developing trend on an industrial base, with the purchase of a brick moulding machine of the Officine Reggiane costing about 5,000,000 italian Lira capable of producing 4,000 gasified bricks per hour. The purchase has been determined for the purpose of diminishing the production cost and to provide a reserve for the rainy period , when the excavation is not possible.
The firm avails itself of a Hoffmann kiln with aspirators. The baking capability reaches 300,000 bricks monthly. The employed manpower is of about seventy eritrean workers.
DITTA GAETANO GUERRA - ASMARA
It is a well advanced firm for cement manufactured products and for marble working. It is supplied with two kilns. The effective average production is of 1,200 q monthly. The maximum productive capability is of 70 q daily. The machinery employed is of italian production. The export is directed to Saudi Arabia, in Aden's territory. However, the internal market normally absorbs the production. The Ditta Guerra is represented in loco by the Soc. An. E. HENRAUX of Querceta (Lucca).
DITTA ROSSI E FRANCHETTI - ASMARA
Industry with four kilns available, it has an effective average monthly production of 4,000 q. The maximum productive capability is around 150 q daily. The factory utilises mineral and vegetable coal.
S.A.I.L.A. - ASMARA
This factory too is on an artisan basis for the production of bricks and hollow bricks. The product's amount is of about 100,000 bricks monthly. It has an average of 20 eritrean dependents.
DITTA MANGANO - ASMARA
The factory has available a cog wheel kiln, but it is implanting a Hoffman kiln which will allow it to increase the production from 150,000 to 300,000 bricks monthly.
DITTA GERACI - ASMARA
It has two Hoffman kilns available, with stack. It bakes 300,000 bricks monthly. The firms has about 60 eritrean dependents.
S.A.G.E. (SOC. AN. CHIACCIAIE ERITREE) - MASSAWA
Formed in 1900, it actually has a 20 years contract with the Eritrean Government for the operation and the management of Massawa's plant, having renounced in favour of the said government, to the installations of its own property. It has a social capital of Eth. $. 84,500 and an employed capital of Eth. $. 250,000. It employs about twenty workers, eritrean and italians.
It is the best equipped ice factory of Eritrea. The mechanical implements utilized can be so summarized:
n.2 compressor and ammonia installations; installation by ammonia expansion for the freezer cells; vapor installation, vaporizers and machineries for the production of distilled water, electrical motors and technical equipment for the three productions.
GHIACCIAIA AMILCARE COVEZZI - ASMARA
It sprang up in 1937 for the uses of an agricultural, commercial and industrial enterprise. It has a productive capability of a ton daily of ice bars of 15 kg each. It is located in a building or property of Mr. Covezzi.
FABBRICA DI GHIACCIO - CIGNANI ORLANDO - ASSAB
It is the only ice plant existing in Assab. With an efficient and quite modern equipment, it started its activity in 1955. The countrymen Cignani owns the building and the land where the plant stands. The dependent workers are three natives. The proprietor is a hard working, able and esteemed person.
FABBRICA DI GHIACCIO - LUCIO CABIATI - ASMARA
Installed in a property building, the plant is made up of seven freezer cells capable of producing 50 q of ice daily. The daily normal production is of about 10-15 q which is almost completely absorbed by the American Command of the Kagnew Station.
FABBRICA DI GHIACCIO - EMANUELE CINNIRELLA - ASMARA
A well equipped firm, availing itself of such means such as to produce over 100 q of ice daily, through moulds of the size of 25 kg.
Actually it reduced the production due to the crisis that this industrial sector in particular is going through. The proprietor has available a property building for the plant.
FABBRICA DI GHIACCIO - RICCARDO FRANCESCATO - ASMARA
It is a plant of modest potentiality, which can produce a maximum of 25 q of ice daily. The actual production, for those reasons already hinted at concerning the particular crisis of this industry, does not exceed 2 q of ice daily. The product is made with moulds of 25 kg. The plant is located in a leased building, property of the S.A. FIAT of Torino.
FABBRICA DI GHIACCIO - COLONGO & TONNELLOTTO - ASMARA
Located in a building of property of the firm itself, the plant produces up to 5 q of ice daily, in moulds of 15 and 25 kg. The product is absorbed by the city market.
It is an industry which, in the most substantial and most interesting part, is almost entirely in the hands of Italo-eritrean countrymen.
C.I.I.A.O (COMPAGNIA IMMOBILIARE ALBERGHI AFRICA ORIENTALE). Headquarters in ASMARA.
The major hotels of Eritrea are managed by the C.I.A.A.O. (COMPAGNIA IMMOBILIARE ALBERGHI AFRICA ORIENTALE, created in 1937) that owns the following buildings, supplied with a first-order equipment:
*ALBERGO C.I.A.A.O. - ASMARA
It sprang up in 1937. It employs 8 europeans and 41 natives. The number of the rooms is 66 with 93 beds; each room in complete with bathroom and shower. It has a restaurant which can serve 150 meals at the time.
Each room has its own telephone. In the hall there is also a television set. It is the only hotel authorized to exchange foreign currency.
*ALBERGO HAMASIEN - ASMARA
It sprang up in 1935. It employs 1 european and 6 natives. The number of the rooms is 40 with 71 beds.
*ALBERGO C.I.A.A.O. - MASSAWA
It sprang up in 1938. It employs 6 europeans and 33 natives. The number of the rooms is 61 with 99 beds; each room is complete with bathroom and shower. A section has been ceded to the americans with a contract stipulated as from 11.21.1958, renewable yearly. The restaurant can serve 250 meals at the time. It is equipped with a swimming pool and various gymnasiums.
Besides the above mention hotels, managed by the C.I.A.A.O., the following other premises used as lodging-houses and boarding houses are existing in Asmara:
*ALBERGO ITALIA - ASMARA
Owner and manager is the countryman Menghetti. The hotel goes back to 1899. It has 35 rooms available, some of which are provided with a bathroom. The premise is supplied with restaurant, cafe' and billiards.
It has 15 national and eritrean dependent persons.
*ALBERGO ROMA - ASMARA
Beyche Ghebre Street n. 4
Manager, since about four years, is the countryman Morandini Federico. It sprang up in 1914. It has 12 rooms with bathroom and shower available. It has 4 attendants on service. A restaurant is annexed.
*ALBERGO-PENSIONE DIANA - ASMARA
Avenue Haile' Selassie' n. 70
The manager is Mr. Bianchi Onello. The boarding house exists since about 20 years. It has10 rooms with bathroom and shower available. It has 4 dependents. It has a dining rooms for its own customers.
*ALBERGO-PENSIONE VITTORIA - ASMARA
Avenue Haile' Selassie' n. 54
Since about three years the countryman Zacconi Rocco is its manager. The boarding house exists since about 20 years. It has 16 rooms available, with bathroom and shower. It has 5 dependent attendants.
The boarding house has also a restaurant-hall.
*ALBERGO-PENSIONE BRISTOL - ASMARA
Sebhatu Tesfamichael Street n. 2
It is managed by Mr. Massalin Domenico. The boarding house sprang up in 1941. It has 15 rooms available. It has 4 dependent attendants.
*ALBERGO-PENSIONE ASTORIA - ASMARA
Via Sacconi n. 14
Managed by Mr. Massalin Domenico. It has 8 rooms available, with bathroom and shower. It has 3 dependents at its own service.
*ALBERGO-PENSIONE AUGUSTUS - ASMARA
Via Lorenzini n. 5
Managed by Mrs. Trini Maria. The boarding house sprang up in 1940.It has 4 dependents. It has a kitchen service for its own clientele.
*ALBERGO-PENSIONE IMPERIALE - ASMARA
Avenue Haile' Selassie' n. 145
It is managed by Mrs. Menegaz Erminia. The boarding house exists since 1939. It has 11 rooms with bathroom and shower available. It has 3 dependents at its own service. It has a dining room for the clients.
*ALBEGO-PENSIONE CENTRALE - ASMARA
Via Carrara n. 11
Managed by Mr. Greco Filippo. It sprang up in 1939. It has 3 dependents. It has a dining room for its own customers.
*ALBERGO PIETRO RULFI - ADI QWALA
It is supplied with three or four rooms, for the eventual clients. Is has also a restaurant and cafe' service available. The premise is quite decorous and clean.
*ALBERGO RISTORANTE "BELLAVISTA" - ADI UGRI
It is managed by Mr. Bossi Enrico since 1942. It has 12 rooms available. It has 4 dependent attendants at its own service.
ALBERGO SENAIT - KEREN
The manager is the countryman Cangi Amleto. It exists since 1938, and it has restaurant and bar available. It has 6 dependents. The rooms with bathroom and shower are 8 in all.
*PENSIONATO FEMMINILE - KEREN
The countryman Aldo Maderni is the owner. It is managed by Mrs. Vecchia. It is a private villa, adapted to boarding house for families. It has 15 rooms available, comfortably grouped into small independent apartments made up of two or three rooms each. It is equipped with bathrooms and showers.
It has a charming park available.
*ALBERGO SICILIA - KEREN
It is managed since 1935 by the widow Albergo Maria. It has 10 rooms available. It has 4 dependents. The premise is provided with a restaurant.
*ALBERGO PATRIA - DECAMEHARE
Managed by Mr. Pagotto Pietro since about three years. It is provided with restaurant-cafe' with billiard rooms. It has 15 rooms available with bathroom and shower. It has 6 dependents at its own service.
*PENSIONE DRUSI MARIO - SENAFE'
It is provided with 7 rooms. It has restaurant and cafe' service. It has 5 dependents.
CONCERIA E. BALDINI & C. - S.A. - ASMARA
It is set in the Temenai zone (Villaggio Paradiso) of Asmara. Manager is the countrymen Luigi Berrone, partner of Mr. Baldini The product finds collocation on the local market. Before the Federation of Eritrea with Ethiopia, the Firm exported moderate amounts of semi-tanned hides also in Italy. The tannery imports prevailingly from Italy the chemical products inherent to the industry.
CONCERIA DI DEBAROA DEL DOTT. CARINI - ASMARA
It was constituted in Asmara in 1938 for the tanning of hides and shoes production. The establishment, all covered by masonry and reaching an area of 200 sq m, has a monthly productive capability of 350 q of sole-leather and of 10,000-12,000 sq ft of chromium calves (vitelli al cromo ??) and tannin. It employs a working team of 7 italian specialists and 130 eritrean workers. The establishment has a potential productivity of 400 q of tanned hides monthly, but the product' sale is much inferior due to the internal market's crisis and export difficulties.
The company's capital is of Eth. $. 350,000; the employed capital is of Eth. $.355,000; the annual business' volume is of Eth. $. 100,000.
Eritrea holds 11 furniture factories of a certain importance (10 of which italian) and many other minor laboratories, these too for the main part italian. The yearly production, which is calculated to exceed, in value, Eth. $. 300.000, is for almost two thirds absorbed by the internal eritrean market; less than a third is directed towards other ethiopian centres and only a small percentage is directed toward Aden, Arabia and Djibouti.
The eritrean furniture industry utilises mostly imported wood (from Italy and on a smaller extent from Scandinavia) and, only in small quantities, ethiopian and eritrean woods.
An import movement of finished furniture is also existing, calculated around Eth. $. 70,000 yearly, of which about Eth. $. 60,000 from Italy.
The most known italian furniture factories are the following: Sambrini, Ritorto, Varisco e Corbisiero, Satta, F.R.E.A.,Palma, Petrignani, Cianci, Paluzzi,
There are also furniture importers, like Nastasi (from Italy), Calestrini (from Czechoslovakia), Valentini (from Italy). The latter imports exclusively chairs.
ITALIAN BUILDING CONTRACTORS
It is deemed necessary to make known the following italian building contractor enterprises, which actually operate in Eritrea and in Ethiopia, in every branch of the building activity. It concerns serious Firms, all of which have accomplished an uninterrupted series of magnificent realizations, in all the construction's fields:
*Varnero Luigi e Giovanni - Via Nino Bixio 26 - Asmara1
*Fanano e Mezzedimi - Avenue Addis Ababa 63 - Asmara2
*Tringali e Mazzetti - Avenue Empress Menem 120-122 - Asmara
*Fedi Bruno - P. O. Box 801 - Asmara
*Raffone Aniello - Via Suez 10 - Asmara
*F.lli Plazzi - Via Bianchieri 34 - Asmara
*Pollera Gabriele - Via Adi Ugri 21 - Asmara
*Pagano Saverio - Via Marconi 22 - Asmara
*Merante Antonio - Avenue Ras Maconnen 31-34 - Asmara
*Tardivo Luigi - Avenue Addis Abeba 305 - Asmara
*Tarantino Nunzio - Viale della Vittoria 44 - Asmara
*Ritacca Vincenzo - Via Tasso 6 - Asmara
*Chiarle & Togliani - Via Bianchieri 34 - Asmara
*Alessandra Enrico - Via Vicenza 32 - Asmara
*Tolli Costanzo - Via Orero 10 - Asmara
*Alfano Francesco - Viale della Vittoria - Asmara
*Cortese Umberto - Avenue Ras Alula 45 - Asmara
*Furlanetto Giuseppe - Keren
*Di Stefano Carmelo - Massawa
*Rizzi e Rossi - Assab
*Tedone Alfredo - Assab
(1) - Serious Firm and of remarkable economical capabilities and sure reliance. During the year 1959 the Firm Luigi e Giovanni Varnero secured the tender for the construction of the "Africa Palace", which will host the Panafrican Conferences in Addis Ababa and which will serve as Permanent General Headquarters for the United Nations Economical Commission for Africa. The inaugural stone for this important building was laid down by H.I.M. the Emperor on November 3rd, 1958. The tender was committed to the Varnero Firm for the amount of Eth. $. 2,679,000, which constituted, among the bidding firms, the lowest offer. "The Quotidiano Eritreo", the local Government's printed information organism, with the following wording reported the tender's awarding on 12 June 1959: "The Varnero firm does not need to be introduced. In the past it has carried out some of the most demanding public works, besides realizing grandiose edifices. It constitutes an absolute guarantee in respect to what is referred to the new work granted to it, which, once completed, will result to be as one of the most representative palaces of the entire African Continent".
(2) The Technical Studio of Engineer Mario Fanano and Architect Arturo Mezzedimi enjoys the particular estimation of the Federal Government. The two aforementioned countrymen are, as a matter of fact, the reliance technicians of the Administration of the Ethiopian Empire. Many are the works carried out: Schools, Hospitals, Colleges, Churches, Mosques, Palaces and various buildings and many more should be quoted, from 1952 to 1959, in many centres of the country. It is the work of the Studio Fanano and Mezzedimi also the project - to which we referred to - relating to the magnificent building of the "Africa Palace" being actually realized in Addis Ababa. The official newspaper of the Eritrean Government, so expressed itself in meritoriously praising the project of the two above mentioned technicians: "In this really exceptional work it is dutiful to recognise the capability of the two technicians of Asmara, Fanano and Mezzedimi, whose professional seriousness, besides the gusto for the beautiful and for the modern, has addressed toward them the study, as well as the successive elaboration of the demanding project".
SALUMIFICIO TORINESE - S.A. - ASMARA -
The Society constitution's date goes back to 1940 and later to 1943. The head office is in Asmara with a branch in Addis Ababa and agencies in Djibouti, Khartum, Nairobi.
The Firm started its activity in 1943 in order to face the alimentary situation, quite impoverished by the war period and for the lack of imports, soon establishing itself for the products' bounty and the accurate manufacturing.
In the following years, besides the local consume, the firm had the opportunity to stipulate supply contracts both with the A.R.A.M.C.O. for Saudi Arabia as well as with the British Administration , then in Eritrea.
So as to supervise better the increased production rhythm and with the purpose of getting in line with the most modern systems of european processing, the Firm transferred itself to new and larger premises, where it could modernly organize itself, importing from Italy all the necessary machineries, hence installing that which nowadays can be considered the most modern and best equipped Pork Factory throughout the Ethiopian Empire and the nearby Countries.
Being and Industry typically based on the processing of raw materials grown and bred locally (swines and bovines), whose production requires a particular care and selection, is has been necessary to make own breeding sites distributed in different zones of Eritrea.
Presently the Industry has available over 1,200 swines and 200 bovines which follow a periodic cycle of felling and of regeneration.
Since the above mentioned property cattle does not, on regeneration, satisfy the total request for swines, the Industry avails itself also of other local breeders while for the bovines if avails itself of Asmara's Market. The Salumificio's products are mainly based on the typical italian production. Two thirds of the local consume are today covered by the Salumificio's products. The sales organization is in a position to provide to the supply of all the centres of the vast Empire, so that the products which are to be found at Asmara and in Addis Ababa, can be found also at Dire Dawa, Harar, Djimma, Gondar, etc.
50% of the production is also exported to the nearby countries, such as Aden, Djibouti, Khartum, Nairobi, utilizing mainly - for these shipments - air services.
Completing the products of its own production and with the purpose to satisfy the clientele's requests, the Industry has also taken up the sole agency for the marketing of the dairy products of the Casciani's Dairy Factories of Elaberet and of the Zootechnical Consortium of Asmara and, so as to have a quite complete assortment in so far as cheese is concerned, it also imports from Italy several typical products, not manufactured or produced locally.
INDUSTRIA MIELE MILANI - ASMARA
The Industria Miele Milani (created in 1941) has two fundamental merits: that of having been the first industry of the kind in the territory and that of having reached, after a long experimental phase, the demonstration of the optimal possibilities existing in the country for a rational apiculture.
This activity can be considered to have been founded about two decades ago by the apiculturist Pietro Milani.
After about eight years, that is, after having acquired a personal experience concerning the real possibilities offered by apiculture, the old apiculturist started a rational breeding which required novel methods due the climate's diversity, seasonal cycles, bees' behavior in their nutrition, in their development, in their reproduction and in their diverse attitudes: for which the italian experiences of Mr. Milani served just as a basis to a study and to an absolutely different adaptation.
As a matter of fact, the apiculture of the eritreans, prevailingly practiced in the zones situated at a medium altitude - that is, at least at 1,000 metres below Asmara's altitude - retains the ancient character of family breeding with a scarce and low-quality production of honey; production which had dissuaded whoever else dedicated himself to this type of activity. Instead, after three years of researches and experimentation, the Industria Miele Milani succeeded in obtaining as much as 190 kg of honey from two families of bees: more than a record production if it is considered the european average, notoriously of 20-25 kg per bee family.
To reach these results the apiculturist has, among the other things, created an all-special beehive, thicker in the wooden partitions, and smaller than the standard ones used in Italy and elsewhere. This special beehive is able to attenuate the effect of the sudden temperature's variations and, with the so-called hot-honeycomb internal arrangement, it gives an almost constant ambient's conditioning, even in the night and during the rigid winters.
New life conditions, to which, by groups the bees have been educated, have been created. Their nourishment has been directed toward the eucalyptus' flower, abundant in the highlands from January to June, and hence suitable to give a constant type of production, while from July to December, as here the bees do not undergo lethargy, the nourishment is directed toward a selected seasonal flora.
Once reached a constant production, of optimum quality and with several hundreds of beehives, Pietro Milani has moved over to the commercial organization for selling the honey, the liquid one in jars and the solid one in loaves and canned.
This marketing has gradually taken over the internal market with particular reference to the european consumer, formerly forced to mistrust the local product, unrefined, not centrifuged and with a distasteful smoke' smell.
After another period of experimentation, in 1954, the Industria Miele Milani could introduce in commerce other two products: the hydro-honey, alcoholic beverage rated at 11o, of an agreeable taste and similar to the "marsala" wine under many aspects and to the local "tec" for some other aspects; and the "Gele' Royal", the energetic cure, among the most efficacious, which has been experimented by several hundreds patients with immense benefits.
In the Industria Milani pollen too is gathered, requested in Europe by many firms for the manufacture of cosmetics besides than for nourishment, as the pollen contains a remarkable quantity of vitamins.
The same Industry is also equipped for the manufacture of implements for apiculture.
E.C.C.E. S/A - CENTRALE DEL LATTE - ASMARA
Born in 1941, with an installation partially fabricated in Eritrea, so as to face the population's needs in the war period, the Centrale del Latte has continually improved and developed its own installations, with the purchase in Italy, England and Germany, of modern machineries (pasteurizers, freezers, bottle filling machines).
From the Centrale del Latte, which works through a municipal tender and which is supplied by the Eritrean Zootechnical Consortium, 4,500 l of pasteurized and bottled milk are produced daily, directed mainly to the centres of Asmara and Massawa, to the hospital and various institutes while the remnant goes to the Kagnew Station for the american personnel on duty in Eritrea, for whom as of recent a purchase contract has been signed.
On June 1st the Centrale del Latte, by now with its new equipment and very modern installations, has been visited by HE the Chief of the Government of Eritrea and by the country's major authorities.
The Centrale del Latte, which gives work to about 40 workers and 5 italian technicians, has own transportation means and workshop.
MAR ROSSO S/A - MASSAWA
Constituted in 1950 from an older company, this Society by now linked with the vaster commercial organization of the Fratelli Casciani, in particular dedicates itself to the production of fish-flour for fodder and, an a minor scale, to the gathering of the "trocas" and of the mother-of-pearl.
All of this Firm's production is exported to the markets of Germany, Switzerland and, in greater quantities, of Israel.
The fish-flour of the S.A. Mar Rosso reaches a yearly production varying between 20,000 and 30,000 q, as related to the results of the fishing season which lasts from 6 to 7 months.
The Society employs - besides that, indirectly, numerous fishermen which supply it of raw material - about 70 eritrean workers and 3 italian technicians.
PRODEMAR S/A - FABBRICA DI BOTTONI DI MADREPERLA - ASMARA
Constituted in 1944 for the working of "trocas" and mother-of-pearl buttons, the Society has available a productive capability of 30,000 gross, actually reduced to 7,000.
The workers employed reach the number of 70. During full working potential the establishment employed up to 250 workers monthly.
The employed raw material (trocas and mother-of-pearl) is fished exclusively in the Red Sea by a fleet of fishing boats (sambuqs), which altogether give work to about 1,000 eritrean fishermen of Massawa. The buttons' industry in Eritrea has so perfected itself so as to reach the point to be able to compete with the european industry. The capitals of this industry are entirely italian. However, this product is not easily marketable for a complex of economical factors insidious toward the production's development, besides the competition of similar and more economical products, even if of an inferior quality.
VARIOUS MINOR INDUSTRIES
*ALUMINIUM WORKS - DITTA AMBROGIO DRAGHI - ASMARA
This industry has a notable production for objects for domestic use destined for the greater part to the eritrean consumer's market itself.
It has a press for the manufacturing of pans of various sizes; some lathes for the production of templates and a small foundry department. It gives work to about 20 eritrean workers.
*FABBICA DI CHIODI - F.LLI TEODORO AND FRANCESCO MAGNOTTI - ASMARA
Born in 1942 for the manufacture of welding electrodes and afterward of nails, with chance machinery and recovery materiels.
With the upcoming of the Eritrean-Ethiopian Federation and the ensuing imports freedom, the Ditta Magnotti found itself in need of improving its production so as to face the foreign competition which offered an undoubtedly better product.
The machinery, purchased in Italy in 1956 and of a total cost of about Eth. $. 100,000, includes a wire drawing machine for working the wire rod coils in the desired diameters and 12 machines for nails production of various measures: from 1 to 15 cm, with a production which varies from 550 to 180 pieces per minute, depending on the size.
The total production is of about 500 q monthly, 440 q of which directed toward the Addis Ababa market and 100 q to Asmara's market.
The workmanship in the factory is all eritrean. 80 workers are employed who carry out continued turns throughout the 24 hours.
Besides the factory has its own electrical supply voltage transformation cabin, and italian machinery for the production of packing boxes which are obtained from eucalyptus trunks.
On the 29 July 1959 the Chief of the Government of Eritrea visited the Fabbrica di Chiodi Magnotti and addressed to the industrial owners "warm words of gratitude and encouragement - so as reported by the official print organism of the local Government - for that which they had performed by creating an industry unique in all the Ethiopian Empire".
*S.A.R.I.C.E. - SOC. AN. RAPPRESENTANZE INDUSTRIE COMMERCI ERITREI - ASMARA
The Society' seat and the industrial installations are on a plot of land of about 2,850 sq m. The Society has available a section for processing tin plates, a section for canning alimentary products, and a products' warehousing and shipping section.
The section for working the tin plate is equipped with all the machineries, and other articles (splitting, cropping, roller, side seaming and spilling machines; presses, pivots, punching machines, etc.), for transforming tin plate into cans The canning section is made up of a freezer cell, a shearing machine (spolpatoio ?), a heater's room.
The warehouse section includes large premises for the preservation of the products, for preparing the boxes and for strap binding.
The value of the installations is of about Eth. $. 130,000. The factory can produce from 4 to 5 thousand cans of meat and an equal amount of other products during a working round of eight hours.
*E.M.C.O. (YE ETHIOPIA MEGHIB CO.) - ASMARA
The employed capital is of Eth. $. 210,000. The productive capacity ranges from 9,000,000 to 10,000,000 cans annually. The dependent personnel includes 6 italians and 150 eritreans, in the active season. In the meager months the workers reduce to an average of 80.
The whole processing is carried out for on behalf of the A.C.S.A.L. ( Azienda Carni Societa' An. Lissonese) of Lissona (Italy) which sends the empty cans, the card board boxes and other necessary raw materials, all in temporary export. The Ethiopian (dovrebbe essere Eritrean Federal Government !!!) Federal Government releases the temporary import permits through a security deposit.
*FABBRICA SAPONE - LORENZO FANTOZZI - ASMARA
Since its difficult inception this interesting industry slowly, but progressively, transformed itself so as to present itself nowadays at a level of high commendation not only for the laborious owner, but for the territory's economical life as well.
The product which the factory can nowadays place into the market - not only the local one - has by itself all those merits which make of it a soap greatly appreciated and of wide consume.
Besides all, the vast number of eritrean workers which the plant can absorb must not be forgotten, and this is a further merit of this industry for the advantage of the local populace.
On July 31st of the current year the plant was visited by the Chief of the Government of Eritrea, who expressed his own admiration for this further work of the italian labour.
*"LABORATORIO ARTIGIANATO ERITREO" - RUGGERO RAVASINI - ASMARA
The owner is holder of the licence "Jewelry - Goldsmith - Watchmaker" shop and laboratory and of the artisan licence " Eritrean Artisan Laboratory". The sale premises, now compounded in a single shop, are at n. 32-34, Avenue Haile' Selassie'.
He dedicates himself to the artisan workmanship of gold and silver since 1945 and he gave an impulse to the creation of objects of local style, suitable to the request of the international tourism. Expert of oriental pearls, with the cooperation of Ali Nahari of Massawa he dedicates himself to the gathering of the Read Sea pearls which on the european markets are considered among the most beautiful.
The Eritrean Government has willed to give him a recognition for his merits by entrusting him with the task of Eritrea's gift to H.I.M. the Emperor on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee: a gold and silver equestrian statue of the Sovereign.
Since 1965 Mr. Ravasini manages the "Eritrean Artisan Laboratory" where also prized woods, ivory, horns and mother-of-pearl are worked. Among the woods, in the first place, Eritrea's wild olive, which is gathered from the trunk died trough old age for hundreds of years, an heavy wood, of compact fibre and aesthetically beautiful.
He has introduced into this type of work the porcupine's bristles, obtaining ornamental items of a beautiful effect, by now known as characteristic only of Eritrea. He taught to exploit, for decorative ends, the hippopotamus and the wild hog's tusks and among the prevailing objects are to be remembered candle-holders, gongs, cigarette lighters, paper cutters, etc. He gave a start to the cutting of the hard rocks - agate from the Danakil Country.
It is the only eritrean firm specialized in the collecting and valorization of typical local objects.
*INDUSTRIA MAGLIERIA - ASMARA
The Industria Maglieria di Asmara was born about five years ago through the enterprise of the actual administrators, Messrs. Bruno Panesi and Domenico Gargano, the former caring for the administrative part and the latter the commercial organization, the purchases, the production and the sales.
The initial difficulties overcome. thanks to the two administrators' tenacity and with the investment of a conspicuous capital, Asmara now vaunts another useful industry, whose production has nothing to envy to the competition's articles, be they locally manufactured or imported.
With six old-model machines and eight workers, this industry started to work, as we have already mentioned, five years ago. Within this few years, the machinery equipment has become modern. As a matter of fact the Firm now has available 45 knitting machines, 6 coil winders, 15 refinishing machines, 1 automatic ribbon machine, two vapour mangles.
The manpower reaches a total of 130 workers and clerks, and 66 girls are included among the workers.
The daily production is of about 220 finished pieces (that is, pullover garments, jackets for men and women, clothes, overcoats, "Juliet and Romeo", children's whole garments, etc.), which brings the total to about 5,000 pieces monthly, in a wide range of colours and designs.
The Firm is planning the construction of a modern industrial plant, rationally elaborated so as to quicken the services in favour of the production. For this purpose a plot of some thousands sq m of land has already been acquired, where within a short time the starting works for the building's construction will start.
In the future activity's program the production's increase, which is requested not only by the Ethiopian Empire, but also by other countries such as Sudan, Kenia, Rhodesia and South Africa, is prospected.
The Chief of the Government of Eritrea has visited the Panesi - Gargano factory during the last month of August, with eulogy to our two countrymen for the praiseworthy activity which they carry on.
*I.F.A. - ISTITUTO FARMACOTERAPICO AFRICANO - ASMARA
The Society avails itself of an establishment in Asmara and of another in Massawa; the first for the production of medicines, while instead the second is used for the production of fish-flour, shark's liver oil and of all the other by-products of fishery. It has a social capital of 30,000 sterlings.
The medical products are marketed in the internal market, while those from fishery on various foreign markets (North Europe, Middle East, Ceylon, Congo, Italy).
*ETHIOPIAN ENGINEERING DEVELOPMENT LTD. - MASSAWA -
Following the association of the two Societa' Anonime, Impresa di Costruzioni Sebastiani and Cantiere Navale Sebastiani, the "Ethiopian Engineering Development Ltd." ensued in 1955, with the purpose to continue the work of the ceased Societies, which had already affirmed themselves in the field of naval and maritime constructions. Head of the Society is the countryman Eng. Aldo Brunello and it has the purpose to supply assistance to the ships in the harbour, offering an optimum naval yard. Indeed E.E.D. is in particular suitably equipped for mechanical constructions related to its own specialty, for the installation and revision of fixed and nautical Diesel engines, for the construction of harbours' and industrial installations. Its own organization allows it to deal out a precious assistance to those ships in transit at Massawa.
The social capital is of Eth. $. 35,000. The employed capital is of Eth. $. 250,000. The annual business volume is of about Eth. $. 500,000. The number of the employed european workers if normally of 15 persons while that of the eritrean workers is, on the average, of 60.
The following can be particular reference data: actual hauling capability: up to 600 ton displacement; average ships repaired every year: n. 18; equivalent SL (SL abbreviazione per ???) 6,500 ton; the ships provenience is disparate: the Yard serve ships of Ethiopia, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Israel and other fleet in transit at Massawa harbour. The society is planning the building of new workshops and of a dry dock for ships up to 2,000 tons tonnage.
Following, Asmara's two main foundries, property of our countryman, are indicated:
- Fonderie Eritree di Zacche Mentore - Asmara
- Pantano e Schiavi - Asmara
Various are the typographies of property of our countrymen in Eritrea. Undoubtedly the most important is that heading to the "Societa' Anonima Corriere dell'Eritrea" which publishes, among other things, the daily newspaper "Giornale dell'Eritrea" in the italian language.
*SOCIETA' ANONIMA CORRIERE ERITREO - ASMARA -
This Society is the proprietor of a typographical establishment in Asmara, located in property's building, as well as of a palace for dwelling use, also this in Asmara.
The Society, which constituted itself before the war, principally for the publishing of a daily newspaper, practically ceased to carry out such activity in the month of April 1941, with the requisition of all the properties existing in Asmara, by part of the british occupying authority, who entrusted the typography's management to the Custodian of the Enemy's Property (C.E.P.).
The typography was handed back to the Society on September 1952 following the fact, which had been acknowledged in Paris, that it was a private enterprise.
All the Society' shares are in Rome, possession of a known juridical person. The Society's patrimony can be evaluated to Eth. $. 150,000 and is constituted, besides the immovable properties' by the typography's machineries and equipment.
The typography itself, when it was restituted by the C.E.P. in 1952, was in an appalling working state, with machineries to be revised and without characters and paper reserves. During these years of new management, with the incomes derived from the typographical works, machineries have been renewed through the acquirement of new machines and a good supply of characters, paper and ink has been stored.
The typography employees about 30 persons, clerks and workers, italians and eritreans.
The typographycal work is very accurate and appreciated by the clientele. It can be said that it is the only typography which can provide also to the exigencies of artistic publications. In addition to the printing of the italian afternoon's newspaper, the typography also has a good commercial clientele and during the past years it has printed school text books in the amharic language for the Imperial Ethiopian Schools. It is the sole typographical establishment in the Ethiopian Empire which is qualified to print these books.
Following, is the list of the other typographies:
Tipografia Francescana del Vicariato Apostolico - Asmara
Tipografia Zuco - Asmara
Tipogragfia G. Tringali & F.lli - Asmara
S.A.T.E.G. (ex Fioretti) - Asmara
Tipografia Bianchi - Asmara
Tipografia Rivellini - Asmara
*CINEMA AND THEATRE INDUSTRY
Although this industry has suffered a remarkable contraction and a tangible functional receding adequate to the moment's necessities, it can however be affirmed that the premises used as cinemas' show-rooms and for public entertainment - almost all property of our countrymen - are modernly equipped and they meet, under every aspect, the necessities of the public more politely exigent.
Following is the list of the cinema halls, managed by italian societies and enterprises:
Cinema "IMPERO" - Asmara
Cinema "ROMA" - Asmara
Cinema "CROCE ROSSA" - Asmara
Cinema "CORSO" - Massawa
Cinema "IMPERO" - Assab
Cinema "IMPERO" - Keren
The italian societies distributing the cinematographical films in Eritrea are the following: ASTRA (Asmara) and GENOFILMS (Asmara).
*ITALIAN COMMERCE INDUSTRIES
We have already hinted at the economical crisis which Eritrea is traversing. It is worthwhile, here, to recall that which the President of the local Chamber of Commerce, the countryman Raffaello Mangani - in the Members' General Assembly of 27 March, 1960 - has related concerning the Country's economical activities, in balance seat for the exercise January 1st - December 31st 1959:
"The new Government's decrees of the State Bank of Ethiopia, enforced on September 1st, 1959, which exact the down payment of 100% of the value of the single orders at the moment of requesting the currency exchange permit for numerous categories of import merchandises, have caused a remarkable contraction of the import's commercial dealings.
These dispositions have stressed the already existing obligation for the importers not to place any order for goods before obtaining the pertinent import permit, a condition which was, until September 1st, very loosely applied.
In virtue of the new restrictions, the State Bank has cautioned the importers that such condition would have been literally applied, with no annulling possibility, and henceforth, all the goods arrived at Massawa or embarked priorly to the date of the release of the import permit, would have been rejected and returned, together with the embarkation documents, to the supplier.
The Presidency has engaged itself concerning the numerous cases brought forward by some importers, whose goods risk to be rejected as they are not in order with the import permits.
The long conversation exchanged with the Bank's Managers and the attempts to obtain a legitimation (sanatoria ??), at least for a part of those cases for which the reasons for non-compliance presented some sort of justification, haplessly have not brought to any favourable result, given the absolute and uncompromising instructions received from the higher competent Authorities of Addis Ababa.
Other dispositions issued in the same period have also excluded from the release of the exchange currency import permits some foreign commodities of normal consume.
From the reports of the State Bank of Ethiopia, published in the months of September and November 1959, is indeed evident that the ethiopian currency reserves have sustained a pointedly marked reduction, whose main cause is to be sought in the reduction of the coffee's price on the international markets.
From the published data it appears that during the last two months the price has fallen from 50 to 35 cents of US dollar per pound which, calculated on an annual average of 41,000 tons of crops, it signifies a yearly loss of about Eth. $. 34,000,00.
It must be noticed that, during these last years, from a fifth to one eight of the custom duties consisted in customs' proceeds from the export of coffee.
The disconfortable situation, due to this loss, has been softened, until February 1959, by the State Bank of Ethiopia which has managed by withdrawing from the reserves of foreign currency for an equivalent amount of Eth. $. 25,000,000.
Between 30 June and 30 September the reserves have further diminished of Eth. £. 15,000,000, - in a greater measure in respect to what happened during the same period of the previous year - and it has been the too fast and continuous reduction which, as from what appears from the reports of the State Bank, has made necessary the measures suitable to stop the output of foreign currency.
These are the reasons adduced for the restrictions actually enforced, which logically have caused the strong contraction of the import trade.
As for what concerns the traders, the deposit of 100% - or more - of the goods' value at the moment of the release of the import permit, has strongly shaked all the category, because the movement of the single capitals has been limited in such a way so as to markedly reduce the imports' volume.
Hence the solution has to be searched for in the direction to give to agriculture, which of necessity will have to forcedly direct itself toward new products to forward to the export, so as to be enabled to support the unfavourable leaning of the coffee market.
It is perceived that, for some export goods, the transportation cost from Asmara to Massawa is seen to be higher than the cost of transportation from Massawa to the mediterranean ports, with the latter including also the transit rights through the Suez canal.
The activity of the export marked as compared to 1953 has shown a greater movement. It is indeed evident, from the State Bank's data, that, in respect to 1958 Eritrea has exported in 1959 over 7,000,000 dollars more. This is really reassuring because the increasing growth of the exports will give a sound contribute to the solution of the serious problem, already hinted at, of the foreign exchange."
*JEWELERS AND WATCHMAKERS
We hereby name the following italian Firms in the fields of jewelry, goldsmiths and watchmaking:
Fumis Giovanni - Asmara
Gioielleria Cataldo - Asmara
Orologeria Svizzera - Asmara
Salek Alberto - Asmara
Gioielleria Lo Po - Massawa
The following pharmacies are property of our countrymen and are managed by italian technical personnel:
Farmacia Asmara - Asmara
Farmacia Centrale - Asmara
Farmacia Civile - Asmara
Farmacia Hamasien - Asmara
Farmacia Impero - Asmara
Farmacia S. Giorgio - Asmara
Farmacia I.F.A. - Massawa
Farmacia Meresi Mardeisio F. - Massawa
*FLORICULTURE, SEEDS AND PLANTS
The trade of plants and seeds is notably supplied by specialized italian floriculturists. The principal Firms which particularly interest us in this sector are the following:
Ditta Chiarle Sebastiano - floriculture
Ditta Vincenzo Irtinni - floriculture
Ditta Gennaro Irtinni - floriculture
Ditta Ivo De Blasi - floriculture
Ditta Ferruccio Trevisiol - floriculture
Ditta Anna Rainone - flowers shop
Ditta Pietro Favi d'Ispica - seeds
Consorzio Agrario dell'Eritrea - seeds