| Share


Massawa (məsäˈwə) [key], city (1984 pop. 15,441), Eritrea, a port on the Red Sea. Before Eritrean independence (1993) it was the main port for N Ethiopia and is linked by rail with Asmara. Agreements with Eritrea gave Ethiopia continued access to its port facilities, but after the border war (1998–2000) between the two countries Ethiopian use of the port ended, severely affecting the local economy. Major industries include meat processing and the production of cement and salt. Fishing is also important to the economy. Long a commercial port, Massawa was part of the kingdom of Aksum (c.1st–8th cent. A.D.). In 1577 it was captured by the Ottoman Turks, who in 1868 transferred it to Egyptian control. In 1885, Massawa was taken by Italy, and from 1889 to 1900 it was the capital of the Italian colony of Eritrea. Until Etritrean independence it was the main base of the Ethiopian navy, which had a naval training school there. The secessionist Eritrean movement was involved in fighting against the Ethiopian government in the city. Massawa's port was especially important for receiving arms shipments and the city was heavily damaged during the 30-year war of independence. Its name is also spelled Massaua and Mitsiwa.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Massawa from Infoplease:

  • Eritrea - Eritrea Eritrea , officially State of Eritrea, republic (2005 est. pop. 4,562,000), c.48,000 sq mi ...
  • James Bruce - Bruce, James Bruce, James, 1730–94, Scottish explorer in Africa. He explored Roman ruins in N ...
  • Dahlak Archipelago - Dahlak Archipelago Dahlak Archipelago , island group, Eritrea, in the Red Sea off Massawa. There ...
  • Asmara - Asmara Asmara , city (1996 est. pop. 400,000), capital of Eritrea, at an altitude of c.7,300 ft ...
  • Encyclopedia: Eritrea Political Geography - Encyclopeadia articles concerning Eritrea Political Geography.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Eritrea Political Geography

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring