Sola Rey

Ancient African Mathematics from Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s ancient and advanced system of mathematics is the same sophisticated system that modern computers use today.

The strange and ancient method of multiplication that Ethiopian merchants used for thousands of years is explained. Using an example of multiplying 11 by 15 and using coffee beans as counters, the method of halving the 11 and ignoring fractions until one is reached, and doubling the 15 the same number of times, is clearly shown. The reason why this works is then outlined as using the powers of two. It turns out that this is linked to the way that modern computers do multiplication too.


How the Ethiopians used the same mathematical approach to multiplications as computers do these days by using powers of two and divisions.

Ethiopian multiplication is a method of multiplying integers using only addition, doubling, and halving.

Ethiopian multiplication – Rosetta Code

“It is this system (methods of Ethiopian calculation) that powers today’s’ computers…… The solution they (Ethiopians) came up with is central to the way we live today. The ways they perform that calculation is almost exactly the same with the working method of a computer. Amazingly it seems centuries before the invention of computers Ethiopian traders crack the code that lies behind the modern the age”

Waiting on English translation for this video below


Exit mobile version