More Trees Is Good – But Is Ethiopia’s Target For 4 Billion Planted This Year?

That many countries have lost their forest cover as they developed is entirely true. That those which have developed have regained it is also true – the US now most certainly has more forest cover than it did in the 1920s – the low point in the development process and arguably more than it did in the 1300s, before the arrival of Europeans.

The process being that inefficient agriculture requires a lot of land, efficient much less.…

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What Fun, Ottoman Law Determines Status Of Israelis Killed In Ethiopian Boeing 737 Max Crash

Obviously this isn’t fun for those going through the process but for us outside observers it is rather amusing – it’s the remnants of Ottoman Empire law which determine the status of the (ex-) wives of those Israelis who died in the Ethiopian Airlines crash of that Boeing 737. This really isn’t how we’d think of such things in this modern world. The Ottoman Empire died in 1920 or so, it stopped ruling what is now Israel about then but the law, in its majesty, keeps rolling along.…

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Why Boeing 737 Maxs Fall Out Of The Sky – It’s Complicated

That the Boeing 7373 Max plane might not be the safest ever to take to the skies could be truthfully said. Quite why though is the thing under discussion. We’ve had our own attempt at it a couple of days back and it seems that we had the proximate cause right – the software – but not perhaps the ultimate. It’s the series of design choices which led to the plane itself. Which then had to be compensated for by a change to the software.…

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Ethiopia’s Boeing 737 Max Crash – Probably The Autopilot Software

A reasonable – and as yet unproven – theory for the Ethiopian and Lion Airlines crashes of the Boeing 7373 Max aircraft is something wrong with the autopilot or flight control software. The specific point being that to lengthen the aircraft is to change flight characteristics and did the software upgrade change sufficiently to cope with that?

All-new Echo Dot (3rd Gen) – Smart speaker with Alexa – Charcoal Fabric

This is from The Conversation and is obviously preliminary.…

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Battle Of Adwa – Not First Battle Victory of Blacks Over White Colonisers But First War Won

Ethiopia has been celebrating the Battle of Adwa when Menelik II and his troops took apart an Italian army trying to invade the country. However, it’s worth correcting a point being made in the Ethiopian press – it was not the first victory of black troops over white colonisers, not at all. Not even the first of native troops armed in traditional style against European troops with machine guns and the rest.

Rather, it was something much more important, it was part of the first war in which the colonisers were entirely beaten off, the country not colonised.…

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Ethiopia’s Ethio Telecom Privatisation – Capitalism And Getting The Money Now

The Prime Minister of Ethiopia has been known to say that the governing system in that country is now capitalism. Leaving aside that that’s a description of economic organisation, not governance, that’s good news. Those places which have been even roughly capitalist and market oriented for a decade or three are rich or getting there. Those places which have not been are poor and remaining so. Thus, to the extent that we’d like to see Ethiopia getting rich capitalism is the way to go.…

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Ethiopia’s Government Raises Price Of Houses After They’ve Been Paid For

A standard point economists like to make is that economic development depends upon “institutions”. Things like the rule of law, certainty of contract, the privacy of property and so on. If you can’t be sure of what has been agreed to, who owns what, how it can be transferred, what the price of something is in a contract, then people just aren’t going to put in the hard work to develop an economy. Why do all that labour if you can’t be certain of whether you’ll get what was promised at the end?…

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Ethiopia Doesn’t Own The Patent To Teff – No One Does Now

There’s a slight misunderstanding concerning a court case over teff, the national grain of Ethiopia. There was a dodgy little deal some years back over a patent to it and or methods of making flour from it. That patent has now been invalidated. This does not, though, mean that Ethiopia now owns that patent to teff. It means that no one owns any patent as it has been invalidated. This is good news still, as it means that Ethiopia can export teff to Europe but it’s still not true that the country now owns that now no longer extant valid patent.…

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Well, Who Would You Believe? Ethiopia’s Contaminated Wheat Shipment

An interesting little exercise in who to believe here. Ethiopia is importing wheat, a not uncommon occurrence. It’s a government agency buying the wheat, again not uncommon there even if not quite the way we’d do it ourselves. There’s a claim that the wheat imported wasn’t fit for human consumption. The Ministry responsible denies this and insists that it was just fine. There was some infestation but this was dealt with and all is cool.


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Ethiopia’s Basic Problem, The Exchange Rate Is Too High – So Float it

We could say a lot of things abut the economy of Ethiopia – it takes time to recover from the imposition of idiot socialism for example. But even the most cursory of looks at these numbers will tell us what a basic problem is, the foreign exchange rate is too high. Thus the obvious solution – free the birr and see that problem disappear overnight.

As we’ve pointed out before there are all sorts of problems from getting this one price in the economy wrong:

It’s worth noting that an exchange rate which is too high – which is what that official rate is – is an artificial subsidy towards imports and away from domestic production.

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