Is Africa a "Shithole"? (Let's Find Out)

"I have given my life to try to alleviate the sufferings of Africa. There is something that all white men who have lived here like I must learn and know: that these individuals are a sub-race. They have neither the intellectual, mental, or emotional abilities to equate or to share equally with white men in any function of our civilization. I have given my life to try to bring them the advantages which our civilization must offer, but I have become well aware that we must retain this status: we the superior and they the inferior. For whenever a white man seeks to live among them as their equals they will either destroy him or devour him. And they will destroy all of his work. Let white men from anywhere in the world, who would come to Africa, remember that you must continually retain this status; you the master and they the inferior like children that you would help or teach. Never fraternize with them as equals. Never accept them as your social equals or they will devour you. They will destroy you." — attributed to Dr. Albert Schweitzer, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (for his humanitarian work in Gabon) in 1952, from his African Notebook 

     OK, yeah, I know, that is one very harsh quote, especially considering that it (allegedly) comes from a Nobel laureate who dedicated his life to living in Africa and helping the people there. But obviously, Dr. Schweitzer didn’t abominate the people of Africa if he was so committed to living amongst them and helping them, and really, I don’t abominate them either. Don’t get the wrong idea. I didn’t quote myself.

     Since quoting that quote and writing that paragraph, I have tried to verify the authenticity of the quote. It apparently is not found in English translations of the African Notebook; so it is either spurious or, as is very possible, the passage has been edited out of the book by later editors, for obvious reasons. So here’s another quote by Schweitzer, not nearly so harsh and not nearly so questionable with regard to its authenticity:

“A word in conclusion about the relations between the whites and the blacks. What must be the general character of the intercourse between them? Am I to treat the black man as my equal or as my inferior? I must show him that I can respect the dignity of human personality in everyone, and this attitude in me he must be able to see for himself; but the essential thing is that there shall be a real feeling of brotherliness. How far this is to find complete expression in the sayings and doings of daily life must be settled by circumstances. The negro is a child, and with children nothing can be done without the use of authority. We must, therefore, so arrange the circumstances of daily life that my natural authority can find expression. With regard to the negroes, then, I have coined the formula: I am your brother, it is true, but your elder brother.’” —Dr. Albert Schweitzer

That one’s not quite so bad.

     Nevertheless, this is rather a ruthless, heartless sort of post. It’s mainly just a means to an end—it is laying a foundation for other posts I’ll probably write, insh’allah, concerning two big subjects: colonialism and human evolutionary biology, the latter especially with regard to genetic psychological differences among the various races of the human species. Also, it conveniently addresses some of the new anti-Trump hysteria erupting on the propaganda scene lately: the idea that some countries are “shitholes.”

     So, below I have compiled a list of all the countries of mainland Africa, plus most of the nearby island nations, with a few recent statistics and a very brief historical synopsis for each nation after it attained political independence from European colonial powers. Also I have distinguished sub-Saharan African countries from north African ones, mainly to see if there are any noticeable differences in the trends for each group. 

     According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), there are 46 sub-Saharan African countries; although of these I have omitted from the list the island nations of Mauritius and the Seychelles, as I consider them to be too anomalous (for example, Mauritius is the only “African” nation with Hinduism as the predominant religion). In fact it seems that all island nations considered to be part of Africa deviate from norms of the mainland in some respect or other; those off the west coast, Cabo Verde and São Tomé and Príncipe, were uninhabited when Europeans first arrived, so the black inhabitants of these nations are descended from displaced slaves from various tribes on the mainland, not from a pre-existing aboriginal culture. They may more closely resemble black-majority nations of the Caribbean, like Jamaica, more than they do those of the African continent. And even Madagascar is anomalous in that most of the inhabitants have Southeast Asian ancestors and speak a language related to Malay. But of course some mainland nations also are anomalous in some respect or another, South Africa being a pretty obvious example. For that matter, each nation is of course unique. The exclusion of Mauritius and the Seychelles was an arbitrary judgement call.

     The Human Development Index (HDI) data included for each country (except Somalia, for which it was not available) is derived from the UNDP’s Human Development Report for 2016, accessible here. It is used as a means of gauging a country’s economic development—its wealth or poverty—using mathematical parameters that I don’t bother to pretend to understand. Instead of citing the actual HDI figure, which would be a meaningless cipher to most, maybe all, readers, I simply include the relative ranking in comparison to all other nations given an HDI number in the UN report, with ties ranked in alphabetical order. A nation’s HDI is also usually included in any Wikipedia article with the nation’s name as the title of the article.

     The average (or more technically, mean) IQ data is derived mainly from the published work of Richard Lynn, a British psychologist, and Tatu Vanhanen, a Finnish political scientist, who analyzed IQ studies from 113 countries, as found in their 2002 book IQ and the Wealth of Nations. For countries not specifically sampled, they used averages with sampled, surrounding nations, assuming an approximately smooth gradient, which I suppose could be considered controversial, even setting aside their outrageously non-PC findings. Their data was later modified and supplemented by Jelte Wicherts, a Dutch psychologist, for example in his 2009 paper, “A systematic literature review of the average IQ of Sub-Saharan Africans,” in the journal Intelligence (38: 1-20). Wicherts disagreed with Lynn’s and Vanhanen’s low estimates, and modified them upwards (giving a sub-Saharan average in the low 80s instead of the high 60s), with both sides accusing the other of bias. For example, Wicherts allegedly used IQ score data from tests given to university students, which would naturally inflate a national average with scores from people already selected for intelligence. So the IQ data must of course be considered controversial, but may be accepted, by those with the stomach for it, as crude estimations. The test scores are calibrated so that the UK has an average IQ of 100; the USA is at 98, and the world average is approximately 90. Anyway, the list is a standard one that can be found easily on the internet, for example here. As with the HDI rankings, ties are ranked in alphabetical order.

     The historical data of wars and rumors of wars, etc., is derived mostly from the Wikipedia articles on each nation. Consequently if the information is biased it is probably biased in favor of the nations discussed, as apparently the articles are written in part by people of African birth (often the articles are written in substandard English, suggesting that the author used English as a second language). And also, Wikipedia tends to lean toward the left and towards political correctness whenever it is convenient to do so. I have emphasized civil wars and coups d’état partly because they are easy to quantify as “shithole factors,” so to speak. There is some ambiguity in counting them, however, as, for example, there must be a more or less arbitrary cutoff point between mere insurgencies, uprisings, and intertribal conflicts on the one hand, and full-blown civil war on the other. Also I am assuming that coups include incidents described as “overthrows,” except when an overthrow is simply a leader ousted by constitutional means such as a landslide election result, or by foreign powers. Only successful coups are counted, although unsuccessful ones are mentioned a few times. The counts are rather conservative, and are more likely to be low than high.

     Sub-Saharan nations are marked with an asterisk (*), and {former} or (alternate) names for a country are included in brackets.

HDI 83rd/188 (highest in Africa)
IQ 83, 115th/187
Independence from France in 1962 after a brutal war of independence beginning in 1954; at independence almost one million European colonists fled the country due to intense hostility from the native Algerians, resulting in the loss of most of the educated professionals and skilled workers in the country; in 1963 all remaining property of Europeans was confiscated, and a new constitution was ratified, effectively creating a dictatorship; a low level civil war began in 1964, and a military coup d’état overthrew the dictatorship the following year; military rule until 1976, when a third new constitution was ratified; another constitution in 1989 allowed opposition parties; the military’s refusal to acknowledge an election victory of a fundamentalist Muslim party in 1991 has resulted in another low level civil war that continues to this day (civil wars: 2; coups: 1)

HDI 150th/188
IQ 68, 167th/187
Independence from Portugal in 1975, followed by decades of corrupt one-party Marxist government and civil war; ceasefire in 2002; new constitution in 2010, but still an authoritarian regime; rich in natural resources, including petroleum (civil wars: 1; coups: 0)

*Benin {Dahomey}
HDI 167th/188
IQ 70, 158th/187
Independence from France in 1960; until 1972 a series of 5 military coups and overthrown governments, after which a more or less Marxist-Leninist dictatorship prevailed until democratic elections were established in the early 1990s; the country has been a relatively stable democracy since that time (civil wars: 0; coups: 5)

*Botswana {Bechuanaland}
HDI 108th/188 (highest in sub-Saharan Africa)
IQ 70, 159th/187
Independence from Britain in 1966; a relatively stable constitutional democracy remaining within the British Commonwealth since independence; location of the richest known diamond field on earth, with diamonds being the primary export; as of 2013 more than 20% of the population aged 15-49 were HIV positive (civil wars: 0; coups: 0)

*Burkina Faso {Upper Volta}
HDI 185th/188
IQ 68, 168th/187
Independence from France in 1960, governments overthrown by coups in 1966, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1987, and 2015; slavery still exists unofficially; one of the highest fertility rates in the world, with each woman bearing an average of 6 children; as of 2008 Burkina Faso had the lowest literacy rate in the world, at 25%; national economy largely based on international aid (civil wars: 0; coups: 6)

HDI 184th/188
IQ 69, 162nd/187
Independence from Belgium in 1962 as a monarchy, the king deposed by a military coup in 1966, becoming a socialist dictatorship supported by China; racial civil war (Tutsi vs. Hutu) and genocide (80,000-210,000 Hutu killed) in 1972; another genocidal civil war began in 1992, resulting in approximately 300,000 deaths (mostly Tutsi); war, dictatorships, and instability continued until 2005, at which time a cease fire had been instituted and a new democratic constitution installed; flareups of violent insurgent activity have continued to the present day (civil wars: 2; coups: 1)

HDI 153rd/188
IQ 64, 182nd/187
Independence from France in 1960 and from Britain in 1961; in 1972 the French and English portions abandoned federal union and became united under a one-party, relatively stable authoritarian government (civil wars: 0; coups: 0)

*Cape Verde Islands (Cabo Verde)
HDI 122nd/188
IQ 76, 144th/187
Independence from Portugal in 1975; multiparty democratic government established in 1990; one of the most developed, stable, and democratic nations in Africa; like Sao Tome and Principe, the islands were uninhabited until discovered by the Portuguese; most of the inhabitants are of mixed African and European descent (≈56/44%) (civil wars: 0; coups: 0)

*Central African Republic
HDI 188th/188 (lowest in the world)
IQ 71, 152nd/187
Independence from France in 1960, followed by a series of dictatorships, gradually phasing into a more representative government through the late 80s and early 90s; abandoned by the Peace Corps from 1996 to the present due to political instability; civil wars began in 2004 and continue to the present day; rich in natural resources, but the least developed and unhealthiest nation in the world; approximately half of the adult population is illiterate (civil wars: 1+; coups: 0?)

HDI 186th/188
IQ 68, 169th/187
Independence from France in 1960, the president banned opposition and assumed dictatorial powers in 1962; civil war followed in 1965, alternating with dictatorships until at least 1990; another civil war in 2003; has one of the most corrupt of all governments, is also one of the poorest nations, due partly to poor agricultural land and very high population growth; has the world’s highest rate of infant mortality; one of the eight nations designated by President Trump for restricted immigration, due to association with terrorist groups (civil wars: 2; coups: 0)

HDI 160th/188
IQ 77 142nd/187
Independence from France in 1975; since independence there have been more than 20 coups d’état and attempted coups (approximately 6 successful ones), including a military coup less than a month after independence, and numerous assassinations of heads of state; in addition to chronic political instability, the country has the greatest income inequality of any nation on earth (civil wars: 0; coups: 6)

HDI 135th/188
IQ 76, 145th/187
Independence from France in 1960, immediately followed by political instability and mass violence; government overthrown 1963, becoming a one-party socialist regime; coup d’état in 1968; president assassinated and replaced by military-appointed leader in 1977; first multi-party democratic elections in 1992; civil war 1997-2003; very corrupt government ruled by a dictator (pretending to be democratically elected) since the civil war; pygmies owned by Bantus as slaves or “pets” (civil wars: 1; coups: 2?)

*Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
HDI 171st/188
IQ 69, 163rd/187
Independence from France in 1960 (at which time it was by far the most prosperous nation in West Africa); remained friendly toward former French colonists, so that the European population actually increased after independence; military coup in 1999; civil war 2002-2007, second civil war 2010-2011, both fought mainly between northern Muslims and southern Christians (civil wars: 2; coups: 1)

*Democratic Republic of the Congo {Zaire}
HDI 176th/188
IQ 78, 139th/187
Independence from Belgium in 1960, civil war and government overthrown by a military coup the same year; several governments in succession during the 1960s; another coup in 1965 aided by western powers, after which (1971) the country was renamed Zaire; disenfranchisement of the Tutsi ethnicity resulted in an invasion by Tutsi-ruled Rwanda and Uganda in 1996, beginning the First Congo War, resulting in the overthrow of the dictatorship and a Tutsi president, who restored the original name of the country; Second Congo War, based on ethnic tensions, 1998-2003, involving approximately half of Africa, during which more than 5 million people died as casualties and the president was assassinated; the country’s name has been changed six times since independence; known as the “rape capital of the world”; sporadic riots and tribal warfare continue to this day (civil wars: 2?; coups: 2+)

Djibouti {French Somaliland}
HDI 172nd/188
IQ 68, 170th/187
Independence from France in 1977; intermittent civil war throughout most of the 1990s; the nation has a very substandard human rights record (civil wars: 1; coups: 0)

HDI 111th/188
IQ 81, 128th/187
Independence from a British protectorate in 1922 as a monarchy (although a British military force remained in the country until 1956), formerly a province of the Turkish Ottoman Empire; monarchy overthrown by a coup in 1952, establishing a new constitution and civilian government which lasted less than a year, followed by a sort of socialist dictatorship under Nasser; joined with Syria and Gaza to form the United Arab Republic from 1958 to 1961; Nasser died in 1970, succeeded by Sadat, who abolished the socialist state and allied with the USA, but who encouraged the growth of Islamism; Sadat assassinated by Islamists in 1981, replaced by his vice president Mubarak; public insurrection resulted in a military coup and Mubarak’s resignation and flight from the country in 2011, resulting in dissolution of the constitution and parliament; since that time the country has been ruled by another autocratic regime with strong support by the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood (civil wars: 0; coups: 2)

*Equatorial Guinea {Spanish Guinea}
HDI 136th/188
IQ 59, 187th/187 (lowest in the world)
Independence from Spain in 1968, becoming a one-party quasi-Marxist dictatorship in 1970, resulting in the genocide of approximately one quarter of the population and another quarter fleeing the country as refugees; government overthrown and the dictator executed in a coup d’état in 1979, and replaced by a new dictator who continues to rule to this day; the national economy is based mainly on petroleum exports, resulting in the president’s wealth being estimated by Forbes to be around $600 million in 2006; the country has one of the worst human rights records in the world (civil wars: 0; coups: 1)

HDI 179th/188
IQ 85, 90th/187 (highest in Africa)
Independence from Ethiopia in 1993 (formerly a colony of Italy, then a protectorate of Britain), with establishment of a one-party authoritarian regime; a new constitution in 1997 allows opposition parties, but no national elections have been held since independence; the nation has one of the worst human rights records in the world (civil wars: 0; coups: 0)

HDI 174th/188
IQ 69, 164th/187
Independence from Italian occupation in 1941 (although reputed to be one of the two African nations never colonized by Europeans); new constitution in 1955 granting greater authority to Parliament; civil war (Eritrean War of Independence) from 1961-91; Marxist military coup d’état in 1974; Emperor Haile Selassie allegedly murdered by Marxist government in 1975; massive purge of alleged anti-communists, called the “Red Terror,” 1977-78; new Soviet-style constitution in 1987; a second coup, inspired partly by drought, famine, and the atrocities of the Marxist government, overthrew said government in 1991, after which the former president was officially found guilty of genocide; new constitution in 1994, now a relatively stable, functional democracy (civil wars: 1; coups: 2)

HDI 109th/188
IQ 64, 183rd/187
Independence from France in 1960, followed by dictatorship till around 1990; economy based mainly on petroleum exports (civil wars: 0; coups: 0)

HDI 173rd/188
IQ 66, 181st/187
Independence from Britain in 1965; bloodless military coup in 1994; officially left the British Commonwealth in 2013; international military intervention in 2016 when the president refused to step down after losing the election; government decided in 2017 to reenter the Commonwealth (civil wars: 0; coups: 1)

*Ghana {Gold Coast}
HDI 139th/188
IQ 73, 150th/187
Independence from Britain in 1957; democratic government overthrown by a military coup in 1966; a series of alternating military and civilian governments ensued until 1981, at which point a military officer came to power, suspended the current constitution, and banned all opposition parties; a new constitution and a multi-party system were established in 1992; thus far in the 21st century the nation has been a relatively stable democracy; nevertheless, the country still maintains prison camps for accused witches (civil wars: 0; coups: 1)

HDI 183rd/188
IQ 67, 174th/187
Independence from France in 1958; autocratic socialist state until ended by a military coup d’état in 1984; return to civilian rule began in 1993, although with the same leader, Col. Lansana Conté, retaining dictatorial powers; second military coup immediately following Conté’s death in 2008; return to democratic civilian government in 2010 (civil wars: 0; coups: 2)

*Guinea-Bissau {Portuguese Guinea}
HDI 178th/188
IQ 67, 175th/187
Independence from Portugal in 1974, with the country governed by a Marxist revolutionary council until 1984; first multi-party democratic elections in 1994; military coup and civil war 1998-99; second military coup in 2003; third military coup in 2012; since independence in 1974 no president has ever successfully served an entire 5-year term of office (civil wars: 1; coups: 3)

HDI 146th/188
IQ 80, 135th/187
Independence from Britain 1963, relatively stable, partly due to adopting pre-existing colonial government systems and retaining British officials, although with a one-party system for almost 3 decades; largest, most advanced economy in east and central Africa (civil wars: 0; coups: 0)

*Lesotho {Basutoland}
HDI 161st/188
IQ 67, 177th/187
Independence from Britain in 1966; ruling party refused to relinquish power after losing the first free general election in 1970, resulting in civil war; military coup in 1986; return to democratic government in 1993; another military coup in 1994; as of 2009, approximately 23% of the population was HIV positive (civil wars: 1; coups: 2)

HDI 177th/188
IQ 67, 178th/187
Never colonized, except by freed black slaves from America; constitutional republic established 1847, denied citizenship to natives until 1904, military overthrow of dominant political elite in 1980, new constitution 1985, followed by elections denounced internationally as fraudulent, civil war 1989-96, with more than 200,000 dead and 1,000,000 refugees, 2nd civil war 1999-2003, has been reliant upon foreign aid since its inception (civil wars: 2; coups: 1)

HDI 102nd/188
IQ 83, 117th/187
Independence from Italy in 1951 (although under foreign domination for most of its history) as an Islamic constitutional monarchy; military coup in 1969 overthrowing King Idris and establishing Muammar Gaddafi as dictator; official adoption of a socialist Islamist totalitarian state in 1977; civil war and overthrow of Gaddafi in 2011, followed shortly thereafter by his execution; a semblance of democracy established after Gaddafi’s overthrow, although sectarian violence has continued, with a civil war beginning in 2014 and continuing to the present day (civil wars: 2; coups: 2)

HDI 158th/188
IQ 82, 126th/187
Independence from France in 1960, government overthrown by coup in 1972, followed by military leaders and then a Marxist Second Republic, followed by collapse of the economy; new government (Third Republic) in 1992; coup d’état in 2009, followed by new constitution and Fourth Republic the following year (not a typical African nation, as the people are of mixed Asian and African ethnicity) (civil wars: 0; coups: 2)

*Malawi {Nyasaland}
HDI 170th/188
IQ 69, 165th/187
Independence from Britain in 1964, followed by a stable, authoritarian one-party state until 1994, when a multi-party system was established, along with increased corruption and instability, but at least no civil wars or military coups; reliant upon foreign aid since independence (civil wars: 0; coups: 0)

HDI 175th/188
IQ 74, 148th/187
Independence from France 1960, becoming a one-party socialist state; military coup in 1968, followed by another coup against the dictatorship in 1991; civil war and another military coup in 2012; slavery still established, with an estimated 200,000 owned slaves in the country (civil wars: 1; coups: 3)

HDI 157th/188
IQ 76, 146th/187
Independence from France in 1960; authoritarian one-party regime 1964-78; coup in 1978 due largely to social unrest and near collapse of the government from war, with the military government overthrown and replaced by a different military government the same year; another coup in 1984 deposing one military leader for another; return to multi-party democracy in 1991 and civilian government in 1992; another military coup in 2005; new constitution and elections in 2006; yet another military coup in 2008, in which the president, prime minister, and minister of the interior were all imprisoned; resignation of military leader and civilian elections in 2009; the country is rich in natural resources, but still poor, with iron ore being the primary export; slavery nominally outlawed in 1981, making Mauritania the last nation on earth to do so, although it was not actually illegal to own slaves there until 2007, and an estimated 4-20% of the population are still enslaved (making Mauritania first in the world in percentage of population enslaved (even with the 4% estimate), but only 31st by absolute number of enslaved individuals); homosexuality is punishable by death, and human rights violations including torture have been standard procedure since independence (civil wars: 0; coups: 5)

HDI 123rd/188
IQ 84, 104th/187
Independence from French protectorate status in 1956, with additional territory recovered from Spain shortly thereafter; constitutional monarchy until the monarch overruled the constitution in 1965 and became autocratic; new constitution in 1970; quasi civil war in Western Sahara beginning in the late 1970s and still unresolved; accession of a politically more liberal king in 1999 has resulted in reduced human rights violations and improved democracy and relations with western countries (civil wars: 1; coups: 0)

HDI 181st/188
IQ 64, 185th/187
Independence from Portugal in 1975 following ten years of armed revolt, followed by a civil war against the constitutional government by opposition forces until 1992 (civil wars: 1; coups: 0)

*Namibia {South West Africa}
HDI 125th/188
IQ 74, 149th/187
Independence from South Africa in 1990 (formerly territory of Britain, taken from Germany in WWI), becoming a stable multi-party democracy; mostly desert, although policies of ecological conservation are written into the national constitution; the population is approx. 5% white, down from 14% in 1960, with another 8% of mixed race (civil wars: 0; coups: 0)

HDI 187th/188
IQ 69, 166th/187
Independence from France in 1960 under a single-party regime; military coup in 1974, new constitution and Second Republic in 1989, reform to multi-party democracy in 1991, further reformed and relatively free, but economically declining Third Republic founded in 1993; armed rebellions of tribal groups 1990-95; second military coup ending Third Republic in 1996; Fourth Republic 1996 to 1999, when it was ended by a third military coup; Fifth Republic begun 1999; another tribal rebellion in the north 2007-08; new constitution and Sixth Republic in 2009, accompanied by political and social turmoil, resulting in a fourth military coup; another new constitution and the Seventh Republic established in 2010; literacy rate less than 30% (civil wars: 2; coups: 4)

HDI 152nd/188
IQ 84, 105th/187
Independence from Britain in 1963, violent military coup three years later, civil war 1967-70, new constitution in 1979, overthrown by another military coup four years later, another constitution instituted in 1993, which lasted three months before another coup, fourth republic established 1998 (civil wars: 1; coups: 3)

HDI 159th/188
IQ 70, 160th/187
Independence from Belgium in 1962, shortly after violent overthrow of Tutsi monarchy by the Hutu majority; civil war between Tutsis and Hutus began even before independence, eased somewhat after a military coup in 1973, and erupted in 1990, with more than half a million people, mostly Tutsis, slaughtered in a government-supported genocide campaign in 1994, with most of the slain being killed with machetes, and more than a million fleeing the country; a new government dominated by the Tutsis established the same year (civil wars: 1; coups: 1)

*São Tomé and Príncipe
HDI 142nd/188
IQ 67, 180th/187
Independence from Portugal in 1975; multiparty, democratic government established in 1990; a military coup in 2003, although the nation is one of the most stable and democratic in Africa (or rather off the coast of Africa); the islands were uninhabited when discovered by the Portuguese, and its inhabitants are mostly the descendants of African slaves (civil wars: 0; coups: 1)

HDI 162nd/188
IQ 76, 147th/187
Independence from France in 1960, with division into Senegal and Mali 4 months later; a low-level civil war with southern separatists (the Casamance conflict) has been going on since 1982, but otherwise the nation is politically stable (civil wars: 1; coups: 0)

*Sierra Leone
HDI 180th/188
IQ 64, 184th/187
Independence from Britain in 1961 (originally the coastal areas were a refuge for freed slaves of Britain, similar in purpose to Liberia); independent Sierra Leone began as a multi-party democracy which, after the death of the first prime minister, began degenerating toward authoritarian one-party rule by 1967; 2 military coups in 1967 and a third in 1968; new constitution in 1972, another in 1978 outlawing opposition parties, and another in 1991 reinstating them; a fourth military coup in 1992 resulting in suspension of the constitution and establishment of martial law, a fifth in 1996 promising democratic reform, and a sixth in 1997 re-suspending the constitution; this government overthrown by Nigerian forces and attempts at democracy reinstated; civil war from the early 1990s to 2002, with the fighting ended through military intervention by UN peacekeeping forces and the British, and democracy re-reinstated; British military forces remain in the country to this day, and Tony Blair is considered a national hero for sending them; the economy is based mainly on subsistence agriculture, and the primary export is diamonds (civil wars: 1; coups: 6)

HDI (not available, but low)
IQ 68, 171st/187
Independence from Britain and Italy in 1960; assassination of the president and military coup in 1969, followed by one-party socialist dictatorship; eventual alliance with USA against communist Ethiopia in the late 1970s resulted in a new, but still socialist, constitution; civil war from late 1980s to present, and collapse of central government from 1991 to around 2012 (civil wars: 1; coups: 1)

*South Africa
HDI 119th/188
IQ 77, 143rd/187
Withdrawal from the British Commonwealth and establishment of an independent Republic in 1960, with apartheid and white nationalist government; expelled from the UN in 1974 on the grounds that apartheid was a crime against humanity; conversion to multiracial democracy, after intense international pressure, in 1991, at which the nation was readmitted into the UN, and with the first multiracial democratic elections held in 1994; a new, more socialist constitution instituted in 1996, including policies for redistribution of land; an estimated 20-25% of the white population have left the country since the end of apartheid, mainly out of considerations of personal safety, contributing to national economic decline and instability; government corruption and incompetence since the end of apartheid have also contributed to a decline in prosperity and an increase in violence; HDI was steadily increasing until the mid-1990s, after which it has been decreasing; approximately ⅛ of the population are HIV positive, almost all of them black (civil wars: 0; coups: 0)

*South Sudan
HDI 182nd/188
IQ (same as Sudan, since testing was done before partition)
Independence from Sudan in 2011, tribal conflicts continuing since before independence to the present time; more overtly political civil war began in 2013, which also continues, with approximately ¼ of the population misplaced as refugees; it is estimated that more than half of females are married as children, and as of 2011 the country had the highest maternal mortality and female illiteracy rates in the world; attempted genocide, torture, mass rapes, recruitment of child soldiers, and other human rights violations/atrocities are relatively common; the nation is considered by the UN to be one of the most unstable in the world (civil wars: 1; coups: 0)

HDI 165th/188
IQ 71, 156th/187
Population mostly Arabic; independence from Britain 1956; first Sudanese Civil War between Muslim north and largely Christian south broke out before independence, lasting 17 years, 1955-72; military coup in 1958, return to civilian government in 1964; 2nd coup in 1969, establishing a one-party Marxist dictatorship; briefly successful communist coup 1971; another military coup in 1985, then another in 1989, resulting in a radical Islamist state; second civil war 1987-2005; after the government made an alliance with al-Qaida in the early 90s, the US government declared Sudan a sponsor of terrorism, and bombed the country in 1998; genocide during the 2nd civil war intensified in 2003, with an estimated 200,000 people captured as slaves; new constitution in 2005; death penalty for crimes including homosexuality and apostasy from Islam; independence of South Sudan in 2011; sporadic conflicts between north and south continue to this day (civil wars: 2; coups: 5)

HDI 148th/188
IQ 68, 172nd/187
Independence from Britain in 1968, after which it became an absolute monarchy; the military is employed mainly for putting down civil protests; more than 25% of the population are HIV positive (civil wars: 0; coups: 0)

HDI 151st/188
IQ 72, 151st/187
Independence from Britain in 1961 as Tanganyika, combined with Zanzibar after its overthrow of an Arab dynasty in 1963, a relatively stable socialist state, with only one legal party till 1995; ranked as “alarming” in the 2010 Global Hunger Index (civil wars: 0; coups: 0)

*Togo {Togoland}
HDI 166th/188
IQ 70, 161st/187
Independence from France in 1960, followed by the abolition of opposition parties in 1961; military coup in 1963, another coup and dictatorship in 1967; another coup in 2005, after the death of the previous dictator; humanitarian aid from the EU stopped in 1993 due to human rights violations; mass protests in 2017 against corrupt totalitarian government (civil wars: 0; coups: 3)

HDI 97th/188
IQ 83, 121st/187
Independence from France in 1956 as a constitutional monarchy; overthrow of the monarchy in 1957, with the establishment of a more or less benevolent dictatorship; the president/dictator overthrown and replaced by a military general in 1987, who was in turn overthrown in 2011; a democratic system of government finally established in 2014 (civil wars: 0; coups: 3)

HDI 163rd/188
IQ 84, 111th/187
Independence from Britain in 1962, constitution abolished and dictatorship established in 1966; military coup in 1971 led by Idi Amin, under whose dictatorship anywhere from 80,000-500,000 people were killed; Amin’s rule ended in 1979, after war with Tanzania; another coup in 1986; war with Democratic Republic of Congo starting in 1998; restrictive though mostly stable one-party system ended in 2005; ongoing civil war with the Lord’s Resistance Army, with reported mass atrocities perpetrated by both sides (civil wars: 1; coups: 2)

*Zambia {Northern Rhodesia}
HDI 140th/188
IQ 79, 138th/187
Independence from Britain in 1964; one-party rule 1972-91; near collapse of the national economy from the mid 1970s to the 2000s, due to the decline in the value of copper, Zambia’s chief export commodity, but overall the nation has been relatively stable, with no successful coups, only one failed one, and no civil wars (civil wars: 0; coups: 0)

*Zimbabwe {Southern Rhodesia, Rhodesia}
HDI 154th/188
IQ 82, 127th/187
Unilateral independence from Britain as Rhodesia in 1965; universal democratic enfranchisement as Zimbabwe, after 15 years of relative prosperity despite international pressure and guerrilla warfare, in 1980; Marxist dictatorship under Robert Mugabe; civil war until at least 1987; confiscation and redistribution of farmland owned by whites starting in 2000 helped bring about collapse of national economy accompanied by runaway hyperinflation exceeding 11,000,000% in 2008; one fourth of the population had fled the country as refugees by 2007; in 2002 suspended from the Commonwealth of Nations for the land confiscations and electoral corruption; country declined from being the “breadbasket of Africa” and the prosperous “Jewel of Africa” to a net importer of food and humanitarian aid; in 1998 approximately 40% of the population were HIV positive; military coup overthrowing Mugabe government in late 2017 (civil wars: 2; coups 1)

cumulative data
number of African countries: 52
number of sub-Saharan African countries: 44
civil wars all Africa since independence: 37
civil wars sub-Sahara since independence: 28
coups all Africa since independence: 81
coups sub-Sahara since independence: 67

average African country
year of independence from European colonial status: 1963 (not including Liberia)
HDI: 154/188
average IQ: 72.7 
civil wars 0.7
coups 1.6

average north African country
year of independence: 1955
HDI: 122/188
average IQ: 77.6
civil wars 1.1
coups 1.8  

average sub-Saharan country
year of independence: 1965 (not including Liberia)
HDI: 159/188 (or about 85% of the way to last place)
average IQ: 71.8
civil wars 0.6
coups 1.5   

Here are a few more statistics before wading into a discussion of this (politically incorrect, merely alleged) information:

     The bottom 19 Least Developed Nations (LDC, i.e., the nations with the lowest HDI rankings) are in Africa, with 34 of the 47 nations designated as LDCs by the UN located in sub-Saharan Africa. Only 16 of 52 African countries have a Human Development Index rated by the UNDP as above “low,” and only 3 are rated above “medium” (Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia, all located on the Mediterranean coast).

     With regard to mean national IQ scores, of the 20 lowest scoring nations, 16 are in Africa, with the other four being black majority nations in the Caribbean (Haiti, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Lucia). In fact, the lowest 46 national average IQs are in Africa and the Caribbean (with majority populations of African ancestry), until we arrive at the 141st of 187, Qatar, with an estimated average IQ of 78. Not a single African nation, above or below the Sahara, has a mean IQ that is at or above the global average of 90.

     40 of the 50 most prolific countries—that is, with the highest ratio of babies born per woman—are in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the Wikipedia article “Sub-Saharan Africa.” This results in national populations doubling as quickly as every 25 years. One of the causes of this high fecundity is females getting married while still children. Another is humanitarian aid from developed nations, for the sake of alleviating hunger—which, however, contributes to a population explosion and even greater hunger, poverty, and environmental destruction, and fuels the overflow of hungry Africans into other countries, especially the countries of the EU. Most African countries are chronically dependent upon foreign humanitarian assistance.

     One may see that common themes throughout post-colonial Africa are civil wars, military coups, tyrannical dictatorships, gross corruption and human rights violations, grinding poverty often despite a wealth of natural resources, disease, squalor, and dependence upon humanitarian aid…which many would no doubt associate with the word “shithole.” Or, if that word seems too harsh, “hellhole.”

     It is somewhat interesting that north African countries have, on average, about the same numbers of coups d’état and more civil wars than those south of the Sahara: evidently the more Berber/Arab, more Muslim nations of the north are slightly more inclined to overthrowing governments, and almost twice as prone to civil war, as the more negroid, more Christian south. A biological anthropologist might guess that this is more a genetic matter of hot-bloodedness, plus a cultural one of a more warlike religion, than a genetic one of low intelligence. I’ll get back to the issue of intelligence shortly though.

     Why is Africa’s record, for the north and the south, so bad? Well, obviously, the politically correct answer could be given in two words: Blame Whitey. But setting aside the “correct” answer, the factual answer is not nearly so simple.

     After simply rejecting with indignant horror the IQ figures, it could be argued that the large numbers of civil wars and overthrown governments, and so on, are due to aftereffects of colonialism, for example quite arbitrary borders, or a colonial strategy of keeping the country socially divided and thus easier to rule (as allegedly was the case with the British in Burma). The evidence, however, doesn’t necessarily bear this out: one would expect most of the upheavals to have begun shortly after independence (as was the case in Burma), which happened in some places, but with wars and coups occurring much later in others (like the recent coup d’état in Zimbabwe). Previous colonialism is presumably a factor, but hardly likely to be the only one—Liberia technically was not colonized, except by other black people, but turned out no better than others; in fact the history of Liberia is pretty damn squalid. Continual warfare and murdered/overthrown kings and chieftains were pretty much standard even before European colonialism entered the picture.

     It is too easy to blame modern European colonialism for anything bad, much like slavery and discrimination is blamed for black marginalization, gang violence, and black crime in the USA. It’s certainly a factor and should not be ignored, but blaming Whitey for absolutely everything is not helpful to anyone.

     Lack of natural resources is no doubt a factor contributing to “backwardness” in some African countries, especially the ones that are grotesquely overpopulated and/or located in deserts; but lack of natural resources didn’t stop Britain, the Netherlands, or Singapore from becoming economic powerhouses. Meanwhile, some countries that are economic disasters or virtual non-starters are rich in resources, like Tanzania and Gabon in Africa, and Venezuela and Myanmar elsewhere.

     It is extremely likely that cultural and also genetic factors are involved in Africa’s economic and political woes, regardless of the fact that acknowledging this is unfashionable to the point of being damnable heresy among leftist academics. And the genetic factors almost certainly include general intelligence.

     Although I’m not sure how to verify this (my skill at working out statistics problems is extremely rusty), I have read that mean national IQ statistically correlates at 0.73 with living standard, which is a high and definitely significant correlation; even a correlation of 0.2 would be significant. It does make sense; less intelligent people may do fine in a non-technological village culture, and may be quite happy, but they would no doubt be less capable of maintaining a highly complex urban, technological western-style society. No doubt the politically correct would retort that it’s the other way round: poverty causes low IQ scores (if it’s not simply all lies and hate speech); low intelligence can’t cause badly run societies because we’re all the same! Races don’t exist! It has to be the fault of cis-normative white males!

     But, empirical evidence indicates otherwise. For example in Rushton and Jenson’s outrageous, extraordinary article “Thirty Years of Research on Race Differences in Cognitive Ability” (Psychology, Public Policy, and Law 2005, vol. 11, no. 2, 235-294), the authors demonstrate in exhaustive, withering detail evidence indicating that cognitive ability, as measured by standard IQ tests, is not merely a cultural construct, nor merely a consequence of malnutrition and endemic disease. For example, such tests are specifically designed to exclude formal education, and even relatively privileged, well-off university students in sub-Saharan African countries tend to show a tested IQ in the low to mid 80s.

     A pretty obvious example of the fact that 20th-century colonialism does not necessitate 21st-century 3rd-world squalor is Singapore. Singapore gained independence from Britain in 1963, and separation from Malaysia in 1965; there was considerable political turbulence during the 1960s especially, although there have been no overthrown governments or civil wars. At independence Singapore had a 3rd-world economy, whereas now it is one of the most developed countries on earth, despite being a small island nation with almost no natural resources. Its HDI is 5/188 (that is, 5th most developed nation on earth), and its population’s estimated mean IQ is 108—the highest in the world.

     For the sake of a little more clarity of perspective, plus to make this monstrously long post even longer through sheer perversity, I include the HDI and mean IQ figures for a few more countries:

USA HDI: 10th/188; IQ: 98, 32nd/187

UK HDI: 16th/188; IQ: 100, 15th/187

Norway HDI: 1st/188; IQ: 100, 14th/187

Russia HDI: 49th/188; IQ: 97, 35th/187

Poland HDI: 36th/188; IQ: 99, 22nd/187

China HDI: 90th/188; IQ: 105, 5th/187

Japan HDI: 17th/188; IQ: 105, 4th/187

Indonesia HDI: 113th/188; IQ: 87, 78th/187

We may assume that China is as undeveloped as it is because 1) it is extremely overpopulated and 2) it is a Communist regime, more or less. We may also assume that the average intelligence of the USA, UK, and Norway will gradually decrease as migrants from relatively low-IQ nations increase, whether that is politically correct or not. And in all probability economic development will also decrease to some degree as, after all, there is reportedly a 0.73 correlation between IQ and prosperity. Those who endorse multiculturalism should also endorse a certain amount of poverty and squalor.

     As for the question of whether the above data indicates that Africa, or some of its constituent nations, would qualify for “shithole” status, well, that’s something you may decide for yourself. You may prefer to assume that shitholes simply cannot exist at all because racism, or hate speech, or something. Or you might assert that only a white-majority nation could possibly be a shithole, for essentially the same reasons. Suit yourself. One may say it is an issue of definitions of terms, and a matter of opinion.

may she be well, happy, and peaceful
regardless of her cognitive skills
and whether or not her family owns slaves



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