What led to the current African poverty?

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,514
Benin City, Nigeria
Anyway, if Ethiopia can create an ethnic federation (even if, for the moment, it isn't much of a federation in practice), why exactly can't other African countries do the same thing?
Do you know how many ethnic rebellions and separatists Ethiopia has had to forcefully suppress? What are you even talking about?

If you are talking about creating states within the country that correspond to ethnic divisions or cultural divisions, that has already happened in many African countries. For example Nigeria is already divided into 36 federal states, which largely conform to linguistic/cultural lines (with a few notable exceptions) and it did that decades ago, so if that is the sort of thing you are talking about that has already been done. If you are talking about actual full autonomy within a country for specific states or regions, that does not exist in Ethiopia, and if such a thing were implemented in a country with unequal distribution of resources (and access to the sea), it would likely result in the eventual breakup of that country (unless some sort of elaborate resource sharing agreement was worked out).
 
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Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,514
Benin City, Nigeria
It's entirely possible that the author of that blog was mistaken about some of what she wrote. If so, I suspect that it was an honest mistake considering that she genuinely does appear to be concerned for the well-being of Africans considering that she (it's a she) offers various solutions to help Africa improve.

Still, one does wonder whether there was some truth in what she said. After all, even a broken clock is right twice a day. For instance, would you deny that Sub-Saharan Africa currently has a low average IQ? Or do you consider analyses such as this one to be "racist pseudoscience"? :

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/0c14/de5a9f7de7f6e09d55752b4dc736026b3e61.pdf

The reason that I am focusing on average IQ here is that both the economist Garett Jones and the blogger Anatoly Karlin previously wrote about the correlation between average IQ and economic prosperity. For instance, here is an Anatoly Karlin post about this topic:

Education as the Elixir of Growth III

Is there any truth to what they say on this topic? If not, why not? (Also, please keep in mind that one can talk about average IQ without speculating about the causes of this.)
The author of the blog is an American that does not like African-Americans and tries to find ways to denigrate them for any area in which they are behind other American groups. That is beyond obvious. It is outright hostility to them as a group which is the animating factor behind all the stuff in the post about African Americans and why she gets into the issue of IQ. It is a deep-seated racial animosity toward African Americans as a group - something which is hardly rare in the U.S. Even in the comments section of her post it becomes blatantly obvious just how severe her racial bias is, with the comments about the phenomenon of "baby mamas" (that is, single motherhood) that she and others take from the African American case and try to apply to the Nigerian case, not even realizing that most of Nigeria has a relatively low single motherhood rate (with the exception of perhaps Borno state, but even that state's supposed single motherhood rate of 35% is still nearly half of the current single motherhood rate among African Americans).

African American single motherhood rates resemble those of southern African countries, not those of the west African countries whose various peoples African Americans are actually more closely related to. A disinterested observer, who is not simply animated by hatred toward African Americans, might try to figure out why African American single motherhood rates closely resemble those of African countries that went through apartheid, or which saw large scale male labor migrations create a single motherhood trend, and why African American single motherhood rates do not resemble the single motherhood rates of the groups of people (west Africans) that they are more closely related to. But to stop and engage in any sort of informed thought about that issue is apparently too much work. Even the first step - to actually ascertain how single motherhood rates are distributed in Africa and why - which is something that can be accomplished with a few searches in a search engine, apparently requires too much effort for someone blinded by bias.

She also seems unaware that west African immigrants to the U.S. (such as Nigerians & Ghanaians) perform at a somewhat similar level in terms of scholastic achievement as most other immigrant groups that are viewed as academically and economically successful in the U.S. Why she thinks the middle or upper class descendants of more recent Asian immigrants into the U.S. should be compared with African Americans (who have only had better opportunities for socioeconomic improvement since the 70s) in terms of achievement in this or that test in order to draw conclusions about Africa is incomprehensible. If she was going to talk about the implications of this or that test in the U.S. in terms of what it means for Africa, then conveniently skipping over the academic performance of African immigrants or their children in the U.S. while including the performance of Asian immigrants or their children to make her argument is just baffling. Not that any of this is so relevant to the issue of African development, but her side-stepping of anything about the scholastic performance of African immigrants/children of immigrants which might go against her narrative, while including information about Asian immigrants/children of immigrants is either deliberate or just due to ignorance.

I am not going to get into the whole issue of the IQ stuff. I am not aware of any really thorough study on IQ that has been performed in Nigeria. The paper that you provided a link to is basically something aimed at refuting some of the wild claims (like "the average IQ in Nigeria is 67" and so on) from Richard Lynn, a British pseudoscientist. But just because it goes to some length to debunk years of Lynn's academic diarrhea about IQ scores, that does not mean I agree with the notion that all of the studies reviewed there are truly representative and useful enough to draw definite conclusions from. You would need something far more rigorous and thorough than anything cited there to make a more definite statement.

The work of Garrett Jones, Anatoly Karkin, etc. is not historically informed. There is nothing worth addressing there. On Karkin's graph you can see where Ghana is in terms of GDP right? Well have you read what I posted in this thread about Ghana? Read through the whole thread. Some people just didn't want Ghana to be great. The result of Ghana aligning itself excessively with the West after 1966 and reversing all that had been done prior to that was massive decline - they had 1 million of their people in Nigeria (which was itself not even well run) by the early 1980s in search of economic opportunities, at a time when Ghana's population was less than 12 million, because of how badly their country was doing. That's nearly one-tenth of their population having to leave. They were in spectacular decline once they went down the path they did of abandoning their attempt at industrialization, and although Jerry Rawlings (himself an admirer of Nkrumah, even if not an outright Nkrumaist) was able to stop the bleeding for a while (after bringing an end to the series of unsuccessful governments that had come into power since Nkrumah's overthrow), they have only started to recover from that decline in the last two decades.
 
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Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,514
Benin City, Nigeria
That's a good point, but it is worth noting that border redrawing--at least within a country--can be done peacefully. For instance, look at the Soviet Union or post-1991 Ethiopia. In both of these cases, this border redrawing appears to have been peaceful. Heck, even the collapse of the Soviet Union was relatively peaceful.
I don't understand the repeated comparison with the peaceful breakup of the Soviet Union and the restoration of the sovereignty of formerly independent eastern European states, or the creation of new states in central Asia along cultural lines by the Soviet Union (for example, Uzbekistan was created from territories that had formerly been incorporated into the Russian empire, by the "People's Commissariat of Nationalities" headed by Stalin, as part of the Soviet Union's policy of "razmezhevanie"), and the subsequent independence of those created states following the Soviet Union's breakup.

The analogous case to what happened with the Soviet Union would be if, for example, Britain and France, upon the breakup of their empires, restored such states as Benin, Asante, Wassoulou, Tukulor, Sokoto, Bornu, Wadai, Damagaram, etc. to existence as sovereign states, in addition to creating multiple other new states along cultural lines (a Tiv Republic, a Kikuyu Republic, an Igbo Republic, etc.). To a very limited extent they did do the latter (for example, Botswana is basically a Tswana country; it is one of the most culturally and linguistically homogeneous countries in Africa), although it was not done to the extent that was necessary, but they didn't really do the former at all.

Africans redrawing the map after the fact - now that the colonial countries have been established - while still avoiding conflict seems far more difficult. It's not impossible, but once again it is not likely to be any walk in the park.
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,514
Benin City, Nigeria
If you are talking about actual full autonomy within a country for specific states or regions, that does not exist in Ethiopia, and if such a thing were implemented in a country with unequal distribution of resources (and access to the sea), it would likely result in the eventual breakup of that country (unless some sort of elaborate resource sharing agreement was worked out).
So, looking at this post again, I see that I Ieft off something important: there would not just be an "eventual breakup". There would most likely be a war. A war to determine whether the country does actually break up or not (a civil war).
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,514
Benin City, Nigeria
I read that the GDP per capital of Ghana has fluctuated a lot; why?
If South Korea and Ghana were on equal footing in the 1960s, what have rendered one a developed country today, and the other a lower middle income country (that is barely above the LDC)?
Vietnam and Ghana may have similar GDP per capital today; then, why is literacy rate so much higher in Vietnam than in Ghana?
Nkrumah's Industrialization Policy ....

The people who took over after Nkrumah was overthrown were woefully incompetent, as I have alluded to in other posts.
 
Jul 2018
13
Poland
The main reason for Africa being the poorest continent in the world is corruption. Zimbabwe is a really good example of a country that was doing well until the imbecile Robert Mugabe threw the white farmers off the land and gave his best friends the farms. Of course he helped himself to 31 farms. None of these dimwitted idiots knew how to farm and that is why Zimbabwe is a basket case begging Western countries to feed them.

Although South Africa has one in four people unemployed, the government takes billions of tax payers money and spends it on themselves. Corruption is rife with government members and others in positions of power placing their friend's and families in positions they have no qualifications for. Everything the government runs hits the shitpile. The Post Office, South African Airways the Nation TV stations all run at a extreme loss because of corruption.

Many Asian countries were colonised but are not doing as badly as Africa. Maybe it because they don't tolerate their government's bullshit.
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,514
Benin City, Nigeria
I've already discussed Zimbabwe in other threads. I'm not going to go over it again in detail (even if someone responds; they might get a brief response, but I can't be bothered to go into greater detail every time), but in brief: Zimbabwe's main agricultural export was and is tobacco, not food crops (such as maize) or meat, and that had been the case for decades, even before the land seizures happened. Agricultural exports of food (beef, maize, etc.) formed a much smaller portion of its agricultural exports for decades. The biggest cause of food insecurity was the series of increasingly bad droughts in certain years in the 2000s and 2010s. During the 1991-1992 drought that badly affected Zimbabwe there was serious food insecurity, and this was at a time when no land seizures had happened. Of course no one blamed white farmers then - and rightly so. One can make the case that the land seizures may have had a negative effect on Zimbabwe's GDP growth for several years (until about 2009, when Zimbabwe's GDP growth rate stopped declining and in fact picked up steadily), but with regard to food security, drought has always been the biggest factor, even before the land seizures.
 
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Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,514
Benin City, Nigeria
Sure, I agree with the sentiment. He is being very polite about what's going on of course, and he probably knows that it might be the case that the restructuring won't happen precisely because it will lead to greater regional autonomy. Of course such greater autonomy is in both the immediate and the long-term interest of all the groups in the south. For the north, while I feel that autonomy would be in their best long-term interest, it's hard not to see that they would probably take a serious hit in the short term. Plus, while I can see pretty clearly why it would actually be in their long term interest to move toward autonomy and away from dependency, their actual leadership (northern leadership) might not see it, or might be so averse to change as to not want to take a possible risk.
 
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Oct 2018
57
Bangalore,India
Historically speaking,this is the biggest problem. Geographically hostilities. Lack of diverse lands like you have in the other parts of the World makes it possible to make a living primarily based on subsistence farming and smaller tribal settlements/empires. No much exposure to the mostly civilized parts of the World so as to incorporate different things is an another.
Coming to modern day,the ones who lived as tribes and on subsistence farming have been quite abruptly forced to urban life. As the tribal boundaries remain and the various disorganized borders,colonization and decolonization have all played their role. Both Historical and modern factors play in concert to make SubSaharan Africa such a poor region.