I’ve had a lot of conversations with people lately about how desperately poor Ethiopia is – or at least is perceived to be. The roads are awful, especially in Tigray region. Electricity, water and phone infrastructure are inconsistent. And as one friend noted, there’s little evidence of development: few international companies or resource extraction industries are based in Ethiopia. My argument is that these things – which are most obvious to us from the west – have little impact on actual quality of life for the majority of Ethiopians, which has improved dramatically in the past twenty years. Is Ethiopia as poor as we think?