Will Ethiopia be the next China?

That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column, noting that they have been averaging about ten percent growth for the last decade.  I basically make a “deep roots of state capacity” argument, here is one excerpt:

Ethiopia also had a relatively mature nation-state quite early, with the Aksumite Kingdom dating from the first century A.D. Subsequent regimes, through medieval times and beyond, exercised a fair amount of power. Most important, today’s Ethiopians see their country as a direct extension of these earlier political units. Some influential Ethiopians will claim to trace their lineage all the way to King Solomon of biblical times.

In other words, the process of organized, national-level governance has been underway for a long time. It was this relative strength of Ethiopian governance that allowed the territory to fend off colonialism, a rare achievement. It is also why, when you travel around the country, a lot of the basic cuisine doesn’t change much: Dishes are seen as national and not regional…

Like many Iranians, they think of themselves as a civilization and not just a country. They very self-consciously separate themselves from the broader strands of African history and culture. And, as in China, they hold an ideological belief that their country is destined to be great again.

Do read the whole thing.

Comments

"Some influential Ethiopians will claim to trace their lineage all the way to King Solomon of biblical times."

Ok, then. Proceed.

"It was this relative strength of Ethiopian governance that allowed the territory to fend off colonialism, a rare achievement."

But not fend off murderous totalitarism. They already were China.

"It is also why, when you travel around the country, a lot of the basic cuisine doesn’t change much: Dishes are seen as national and not regional…"
Ok, then.

"And, as in China, they hold an ideological belief that their country is destined to be great again."
Make Ethiopia Great Again! Will Americans ever give up praising totalitarian regimes?

Take your USA v Brazil, agitation from Ohio, and shove it up you're arse.

1) Should "agitation from Ohio" be between commas?
2) I have nothing to do to Ohio.
3) It is funny how Americans can dish it, but can't take it.

Better than Brazil, which has no claims to being a civilization, and hence never was great and never will be great.

Brazil's motto: Disorder and Regression Below the Mean!

"Better than Brazil, which has no claims to being a civilization, and hence never was great and never will be great."

Brazik is a great civilization. It has invented the airplane, the radio, the Walkman, the typewriter and a special kind of X-ray machine. It has revolutioned Physics by discovering the pion. It has a rich Literature.

"Brazil's motto: Disorder and Regression Below the Mean!"
Brazil's motto is "Order and Progress". It is based on the teachings of influential French thinker Isidore Auguste Marie François Xavier Comte.

Google brings up the GDP per capita of Ethiopia compared with Kenya. Kenyan's growth looks better.

https://www.google.com/search?q=ethiopia+gdp+per+capita

That is GDP per capita, not GDP. of course, Kenya will have bigger GDP per capita, they have a much smaller population. but GDP, Ethiopia is ahead, and they are even growing faster, with average Kenyan growth being 4-5% while Ethiopia is double at 10% even though they are bigger in GDP, that shows that they will continue to grow way past kenya.

The graph clearly indicates that Kenyan GDP per capita growth was at least as good as Ethiopia's from 2005 to 2015. Ultimately GDP per capita is more important than GDP growth.

hahaha, no it is not, it is not even comparable, GDP per capita is important but not as important as GDP and GDP growth. GDP shows the production of goods by the whole nation, GDP growth shows how much that has grown from the previous year, GDP per capita is the individual. if Ethiopia had the mas amount of people in Kenya it would have bigger GDP per capita. but that only shows that Ethiopia has a lot of room to grow, while Kenya is coming close to its cap.

You can have a rapidly rising population generating positive GDP growth and actually have falling GDP per capita. That means the country is getting on average getting poorer.

Both metric's are important, and you can't blithely ignore either one. Particularly in a high population growth country like Ethiopia.

as I have already said, of course, it is important, but GDP is far more important.

its like a pizza, gdp is the pizza itself, while gdp per capita is the amount of that pizza going to the population, if x has a pizza and speds all of it on its population, and country y has pizza but uses it to actually make more pizzas, then at the start coutnry x population will have more pizza, but in the long run, country y population will have a much bigger pizza and at any time the country y thinks it enough growining and can dedicate all of the pizza generatod on its population, then it's population will have an infinitly bigger pizza then country x population.

get it?

You couldn't be more wrong

In other words, the process of organized, national-level governance has been underway for a long time. . . . . .There are festering disputes with Eritrea to the north, a place many Ethiopians strongly feel belongs to them.

Right. The nation/state complex allows dopey individuals to believe that they have a legitimate interest in controlling things that belong to others.

I’m a tremendous Cuck

This is a sweet "thank you" note. And that doesn't mean it is wrong!

THANK YOU, THAT IS THE PERFECT TRUTH.

China is investing billions in Ethiopia, including the first modern light railway (tram) system of sub-Saharan Africa in the capital, Addis Ababa, and the Addis-Djibouti railway, connecting the landlocked country to the maritime trade routes of the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. But not everyone is impressed: https://thediplomat.com/2018/02/china-and-ethiopia-part-2-the-addis-ababa-djibouti-railway/ Economic development in Africa has been held back by a lack of transportation infrastructure. Didn't the colonists build transportation networks? Yes and no: they built networks connecting the colony to the colonizer not networks for moving people and goods within Africa. The criticism of the new rail system made me question whether it is intended to benefit primarily Ethiopia or China. Does history repeat? [An aside, the funds for the construction of the new rail system were loaned to Ethiopia not given to Ethiopia.]

rayward - May 29, 2018 at 12:16 pm 13

China is investing billions in Ethiopia, including the first modern light railway (tram) system of sub-Saharan Africa in the capital, Addis Ababa, and the Addis-Djibouti railway, connecting the landlocked country to the maritime trade routes of the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.

Actually Africa used to have a lot of trams. Built by those awful colonialists. But they have mostly closed. By the 1960s at the latest. As with Jo'burg's trams. And the new railway simply runs parallel to the old French Ethio-Djibouti Railway. Construction on that started in 1897. So basically Ethiopia is catching up with where Imperialism left Africa 100 years ago.

Didn't the colonists build transportation networks? Yes and no: they built networks connecting the colony to the colonizer not networks for moving people and goods within Africa.

They linked Africans with suppliers, consumers and international markets? The bastards! Much better that they link some mud huts with some other mud huts 2000 kilometers away.

Domestic trade and trade with neighbouring countries tends to be a lot more useful in stimulating economic growth than international trade.

What is the evidence of that? Did trading with North Korea work for China? Or has the access to the American market been more important?

Your neighbors probably do not want what you have given they have mud huts too. But someone far away is probably dying to buy your quaint folk art.

Will Ethiopia be the next China?

China average IQ: 104
Ethiopia average IQ: 61

Answer: No

Das Raycis!

You should never let hate-facts get in the way of a good Monday morning virtue signaling blog post.

You should never let hate-facts

Richard Lynn might try doing a literature review of work in economics, geography, and sociology the next time he pretends to write a work on economic development. He might try a panel study incorporating economic data before imputing causality to psychological variables. Or, really, anything that would indicate he's something other than a guy with a hammer looking for nails.

Lynn was pretty sloppy with his data. Rindermann was better, and found similar results. One can bet on the question of whether Ethiopia will become the next China, which allows us to see what people really believe.

Well someone did write a book about it... Hive Mind?

Avg Trump voter = 50 IQ

"It is thus no surprise that once Ethiopia abandoned its 1970s communist ideology and put some basic reforms into place, its government was able to rise to the occasion"

Ethiopia per-capita income growth from 1980 to 2017 (PPP) : $312 to $2161 (a factor of 6.9)

India per-capita income growth from 1980 to 2017 : $557 to $7182 (a factor of 12.9)

Yet India is often held up as a "missed opportunity" and as a country that always messes things up with its "weak state", its numerous factions, its messy democracy, its extreme federalism and decentralization.

Yet it is India, a country 10 times larger and 10 times more diverse than Ethiopia, that has done nearly twice as well as the latter over the past 35 years.

As ambassador of internet I honor India with a diploma for "outgrowing Ethiopia between 1980-2017".

lol

Yeah, a few famines will do that.

they started from a bigger pool, and they have more people. no surprise they are growing faster. its like comparing Mexico to America

Hey, you're the guy who postulated above that smaller countries have higher per capita GDP.

no, smaller countries with big population have small GDP per capita, small countries with small population have average gdp PC, big countries big small population have big GDP PC, big countries with big population have average GDP per capita. same if you replace country with GDP, which the case with Kenya.

Ethiopia hasn't done too badly considering the Western world held a giant concert in 1984 since the country was on the brink of starvation. India by contrast has been a stable democracy by decades and growth there is unfavourably compared to China, the other billion-plus polity.

The famines inflicted by Communist governments upon their own people really highlights the China-Ethiopia comparison.

Let's be blunt: India is a disaster as Satanist societies usually are. Cf: Haiti.

Thanks you for your right observation!!

Pleasant idea. (I see you're trolling the krill suspended in the foetid waters of the comboxes of Sailer, Taylor, and Derbyshire).

Other than Israel and Japan has there been a case of a country undergoing abrupt and rapid development in isolation? China had regional precursors and, in addition, is not just a country but a world civilizations.

You’ll never out-Cuck me. Indians win all the Cuck competitions. I graduated from IIC Bangalore.

That's not me.

I see you're trolling the krill suspended in the foetid waters of the comboxes of Sailer, Taylor, and Derbyshire.

Which, strangely, you can't tear yourself away from.

Anyway, I'll bite.

At such a low mean IQ, Ethiopia is not going to be the next China for a long time. Not never, and maybe never, but that is a ways off. God willing intelligent Ethiopians will stay in Ethiopia to make Ethiopia great.

What it can be--apparently is already--is a perfectly decent, secure, and culturally rich place that actually belongs to its people instead of in thrall to some incorporeal, ambiguous universalism. The US could learn some things from Ethiopia.

This is key:

"And, as in China, they hold an ideological belief that their country is destined to be great again."

In order to continue without disintegrating into smaller unit, a nation state has to have some kind of shared belief about itself. It can be a creation myth or ideological myth or something else, but it has to shared.

In the US it used to be a shared belief in the ideas presented in the Declaration of Independence and embodied in the Constitution, but no more.

Good luck to Ethiopia.

This claims seems suspect. There is no majority ethnic group, language or religion in the nation state of Ethiopia. Who is it that has this self-conception?

"It can be a creation myth or ideological myth or something else, but it has to shared."
Will any Voodoo do?

Wrong. Shared belief isn't necessary. Only stability, bureaucracy, and a certain amount of order is necessary. All else is negotiable. All hivemind/groupthink societies have failed, see any history book.

The new train links them to the Red Sea/Suez canal. This reduces costs.

I work in a large engineering consulting company. In two weeks a client from Ethiopia visits us. They want to invest in water infrastructure with their money (not loan). If they don't become super rich, at least famines will not repeat.

I think you're overlooking the negatives of the government's stranglehold on the economy. Did you try mobile internet while in Ethiopia? The one provider is the government and internet speeds are the slowest of any country I've been to by far. The government also dominates finance and interest rates are prohibitive for most small and medium businesses. There's also suspicion of favoritism among borrowers. The government also has a very heavy hand in commodity trading through the ECX, the the chagrin of the private sector. This has been especially problematic in coffee and held back an industry gifted with the some of worlds best varieties and growing conditions.

With other words, just like China!

China
land area: 3.7 million sq mi
1950 population: 550 million

Ethiopia
land area: 426,000 sq mi
2016 population: 102 million

Ethiopia needs to be a lot bigger in terms of land (and natural resources) and population to be in the same conversation

china is like a sub-continant, you would have to compare Africa as a hole against china, not indevidual countries.....which china would still beat, bolth in population and gdp.

when we say china of africa, we mean in africa, not ethiopia against china....or anything outside of africa. but still, a 10% growth for almost 16years now is amazing is outstanding, maybe only beaten by China.

The Sky is the limit there, but what's their MO, "victimhood" or welcome to the 21st Century?

LOL no, China would not beat the continent of Africa in population

They're the same now and Africa is growing MUCH faster

Too insular. No big cities there. Hard to develop good human capital if your average citizen is hundreds of miles away from the next good university.

Will be interesting to see the banks of The Nile recede by 5ft. while they fill up them reservoirs.

No historic precedence for that, inaccessible deductively, an inductive moment.

The Ethiopians I have interacted with express a remarkable degree of enthusiasm for their country and culture. Maybe that isn’t unusual in a rapidly growing nation, but I’ve been struck by how historically rooted these sentiments have been. Ethiopians are acutely aware of their past successes, including their role in biblical history. Like many Iranians, they think of themselves as a civilization and not just a country. They very self-consciously separate themselves from the broader strands of African history and culture. And, as in China, they hold an ideological belief that their country is destined to be great again.

Sounds like these xenophobic supremacists need more diversity.

On the Ethiopia-triumphalism theme, here is another optimistic perspective from someone with a lot of experience there:

https://www.unz.com/akarlin/ethiopia/

Tyler,

The Ethiopians - if we are to compare them to anything, although they are, as they often rightly claim, highly sui generis - are closer to Europe, both socially and in terms of the idea of government they embody.

In particular, the Ethiopian ethos has strong affinities with the more jacobin elements of the French state.

Indeed, had you visited Ethiopia in the first two decades of the 20th century, you would have found French influence everywhere (from the railwayline, to restaurant names in Addis, to the French language itself, that was practised by many, including His Majesty Hailé Sellasié).

This gallic influence has not stood the passage of time.

At the beginning of the tumultuous 30s, the Ethiopian intelligensia made much of the parallels it contrived between Abyssinia and the Empire of Japan (so much so that the modernizers in the monarch's orbit were nick-named 'Japanizers,' and there were several books published by Ethiopians on this theme).

This much lauded similarity is today remembered by few, a quirk of history.

After WWII, the Americans were everywhere (see their listening base in Kagnew, near Asmara and the lasting influence of John Spencer, a US adviser of His Majesty, from the late 30 till the 1950). Spencer's memoir on those years, Ethiopia at Bay, a personel account of the Haile Selassie years, is interesting:

https://www.amazon.com/Ethiopia-Bay-Personal-Account-Selassie/dp/1599070006

The Peace Corps (back in Ethiopia after a decades long hiatus now), was a very strong presence back then.

This US influence continues somewhat today, in terms of Aid, and military presence, and Ethiopia is heavily americanised like the rest of the world (as is China...) but America is no longer the model when it comes to economics and state building.

In the 1970s the Soviet Union stepped up to the plate, and delivered Ethiopia a billion dollars worth of weapons, but for all that their only continued cultural presence today is the lasting impact of Soviet propaganda art, which is mirrored faithfully in posters for the latest Ethiopian federal government campaign.

All this to say, that parters with deep pockets come and go, and that Ethiopia, having incorporated small elements from these friends of the day, then continue on their idiosyncratic path.

The Chinese will also go, leaving some infrastructure, but little else.

"Some influential Ethiopians will claim to trace their lineage all the way to King Solomon of biblical times."

- This is stood up by modern genetics:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002929712002716

"The Ethiopians I have interacted with express a remarkable degree of enthusiasm for their country and culture."

- While this is true, you are also making too much of it as Ethiopian society highly rewards saying what one is expected to say (especially to a visiting foreigner).

"There are new and modern apartment buildings scattered around Addis Ababa, built by the Chinese"

-There are very few appartment blocks built by the Chinese in Addis, as they tend to concentrate on public infrastructure projects. The vast majority of the new buildings in AA have been built by local companies.

"There are prominent statues in Addis Ababa celebrating how the Ethiopians drove out both the Italians and the British."

- I'm not sure what you're refering to here for the British 'being driven out' (perhaps the 'Sebastopol Cannon' on... Churchil Avenue, the latter being named obviously to thank the British for... expelling the Italians from the country... (the Ethiopians, again in ideological lockstep with the French, like to think they carried this out. In fact, Orde Windgate did).

"That said, if you are looking for a special place in Africa, Ethiopia may be your best bet. But to understand its recent success, you have to go beyond policy — it is also a matter of their history, their confidence and, above all, their ideas."

- Could not agree more, which is why the Chinese are a passing fad. And if a few Ethiopian entrepreneurs visit China for inspiration (as do many from the rest of the world), that's a normal thing.

But where do Ethiopians immigrate to? Europe and the US. And where do Ethiopians look to shape their society: Europe and the US.

To resume: Ethiopia, while culturally comfortable with the West, is courting China as an engine of growth.

Which makes good sense.

Ethiopia is the Ethiopia of Africa.

nicely said!
but i disagree on almost everything. first, I hate the fact that because Ethiopia is successful it must mean it is influenced by the west. I hate when they take credit for everything good when we both know that they are the main reason Africa is in its current situation.

and I fully disagree with China being just a "passing fad", the difference between China and Soviet Russia is that one is capitalist, I would imagine that in the future China will have a big cultural and economic impact as America had, but to a greater extent.

Look at the educational systems of both countries. China is moving towards first world standard while Ethiopia is stuck in third world mediocrity. China has a history of strong education. They just need to upgrade their knowledge base while Ethiopia had only religious base education until early 1900's. Ethiopia's focus on education did not really started until 1974. How can one compare a country with over 2000's of education tradition to one that just started in 1974? Ethiopia has a long way to go to be considered China's peer.

Tyler, I'm disappointed with you descending to promoting myth making. I'm happy about Ethiopia's growth. And China's for that matter. But it's not because of the mythology.

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