Why is Ethiopia poor even though it was never colonized?

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
24,138
Lago Maggiore, Italy
#11
China was actually weaker than most European powers at the second half of the 19th century. What made them not colonize the country, just as India was colonized, it's because they could gain more by recurring to "soft colonialism" instead of a "hard" one. By all effects, China was indeed subjugated to foreign powers by that time.
It's a matter of fact it hadn't colonized and that the European powers had forced to decide to recur to "soft colonialism" which actually wasn't colonialism. An economical control is not colonialism [it's today that there is something talking about "new colonialism"].
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,358
Benin City, Nigeria
#13
Which is the relation between a colonial past and being a poor or a rich country? It's obvious that it's not easy to colonize a rich or powerful country ... Europeans have never been able to colonize China, just to say ... it was to poweful. The colonial Empires colonized weak countries [at least weaker than them].
This is misleading, at least in the case of Africa. The Sudanese Mahdists were probably stronger than the Ethiopians in the late 19th century, but were colonized while Ethiopia wasn't. I also don't think the Ethiopians were more powerful than Samori Toure's empire (the Wassalou empire) at all, but they were able to gain access to better weapons in a way that Samori's troops never could.
 

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,391
Stockport Cheshire UK
#14
Lack of resources.
It's very difficult to build up info structure if the vast majority of the population are surviving on land only fit for subsistence farming.
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
24,138
Lago Maggiore, Italy
#15
This is misleading, at least in the case of Africa. The Sudanese Mahdists were probably stronger than the Ethiopians in the late 19th century, but were colonized while Ethiopia wasn't. I also don't think the Ethiopians were more powerful than Samori Toure's empire (the Wassalou empire) at all, but they were able to gain access to better weapons in a way that Samori's troops never could.
They were ... I've got Senegalese friends who agree with me about this [they think that their country should avoid to exploit oil fields not to give an excuse to the French to intervene ... so imagine ...

Personally I was quite impressed knowing a guy from Mali who works in Italy: his family is still seeing the French troops in his country!!!!! What if Malian troops enter France? How would Macron react?

The point is simple: French troops are not going to enter Egypt or South Africa, but Mali, Libya and similar.
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,358
Benin City, Nigeria
#16
They were ... I've got Senegalese friends who agree with me about this [they think that their country should avoid to exploit oil fields not to give an excuse to the French to intervene ... so imagine ...

Personally I was quite impressed knowing a guy from Mali who works in Italy: his family is still seeing the French troops in his country!!!!! What if Malian troops enter France? How would Macron react?

The point is simple: French troops are not going to enter Egypt or South Africa, but Mali, Libya and similar.
"They were" what? I am not sure if you are agreeing with me about the Mahdists being stronger, or if you are disagreeing and you are arguing that Ethiopia was definitely stronger.

As for Mali, I don't see the argument there. Part of the reason it (the Republic of Mali) was/is so weak is precisely due to the decline in the region's economic relevance and prospects after the elimination of regional trade following colonization, and the replacement of militaristic empire building figures (like Samori) with mere politicians or bureaucrats (after independence) with little ambition. For west Africa, Samori's state is another case (like Asante) of "it might have been". Arguing that the state is weak while ignoring the role of the French in replacing stronger pre-existing states with something much weaker is to just ignore the historical background entirely.
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,358
Benin City, Nigeria
#17
I know it was occupied for 5 years but did that 5 years really made it poor?
The five years was nothing nice of course - famines due to the occupation, the systematic burning of homes, the elimination of a substantial part of its intelligentsia by the Italians (in the Addis Ababa massacre), etc. I'm sure this had certain long-term effects. But I would actually look at Ethiopia's 16 year civil war as one of the main causes, plus the partial political instability that existed for some years even after that war came to an end.

That said, the country actually is improving in recent years - a lot of growth is going on there if you look at the most recent reports.
 
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AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
24,138
Lago Maggiore, Italy
#18
"They were" what? I am not sure if you are agreeing with me about the Mahdists being stronger, or if you are disagreeing and you are arguing that Ethiopia was definitely stronger.

As for Mali, I don't see the argument there. Part of the reason it (the Republic of Mali) was/is so weak is precisely due to the decline in the region's economic relevance and prospects after the elimination of regional trade following colonization, and the replacement of militaristic empire building figures (like Samori) with mere politicians or bureaucrats (after independence) with little ambition. For west Africa, Samori's state is another case (like Asante) of "it might have been". Arguing that the state is weak while ignoring the role of the French in replacing stronger pre-existing states with something much weaker is to just ignore the historical background entirely.
Substantially I agree with you. Anyway there was a "first time" ... when the Europeans arrived. If they [we, I'm not going to play the role of the angel] were able to colonize those African countries ... we should wonder why.
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
24,138
Lago Maggiore, Italy
#19
To go back to the OP and to make a comparison ... a meaningful comparison ... also Belgium has been really poor for decades even if it has never been colonized [on the contrary ... Belgium has been a colonial power]. In Italy Belgium was proverbial ... "to be as poor as Belgium". We didn't say "to be as poor as Niger".
 

kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,131
USA
#20
The thing is that the country is still fairly unurbanized, with the village folk still living like in the middle ages (especially in the southwest). The population explosion is also a challenge.


What's with its native culture?
You have pretty much explained what I meant by Ethiopian native culture. It is also tribal in the South.
 

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