UK Scraps Millions in Funding for Ethiopian Spice Girls

British minister pulled the plug on Ethiopia Girl Band following a chorus of criticism

Yegna - Ethiopian Spice Girls
British taxpayers’ money will no longer be used to fund an Ethiopian pop group that’s even ridiculed in the country.

By TesfaNews,

Britain says it has cancelled the controversial £5.2m in funding for an insignificant Ethiopian girl band, Yegna, amid growing criticism at home for squandering overseas aid that way.

Yegna, a group of five Ethiopian girls, sometimes called “Ethiopia’s Spice Girls,” was formed to create awareness in the country about forced marriage, violence, teen pregnancy and dropping out of schools using their twice-weekly radio drama and talk show.

The pop group Yegna initially received £4 million as part of a wider programme aimed at empowering women in Ethiopia.



Critics of the project, however, say the money is being wasted because the show reaches only a quarter of the population.

The Yegna radio broadcasts on Sheger FM in Addis Ababa and on other radio stations in the Amhara region, reach only 20 million of the country’s over 80 million people.

Ethiopia is one of the biggest recipients of British funds, despite being an autocratic one-party state.

A statement Friday from the Department for International Development says empowering women and girls remains a priority for Britain, “but we judge there are more effective ways to invest UK aid.”

Matthew Sinclair of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said, “Taxpayers are fed up of their hard-earned cash being spent on projects that don’t deliver meaningful aid to recipients.

“It’s time to reassess DfID spending and focus money on things like disaster relief, so that taxpayers and recipients get a good deal.”

The new Yegna ‘entertainment brand’, established in April last year, is part of a £30 million scheme called Girl Hub that also operates in Nigeria and Rwanda.

Tory MP Philip Davies described Girl Hub as a complete waste of money.

“It can only reinforce the view that DfID have got far too much money,” he said. “They have got so much that they are struggling to find ways to spend it and you end up with projects like this.”

The Girl Effect project that launched Yegna confirms the British decision.


  • Ethiopia: Over five million people need immediate of food aid

    ESAT News (January 3, 2017) – Ethiopian regime says five million people are in need of immediate food assistance.

    The National Disaster Risk Management Commission disclosed to local media that about one billion dollars is needed to mitigate the scourge. The Commission said 5.6 million people need immediate food assistance.

    According to the Commission several cattle have died due to lack of food and the situation could get worse unless immediate aid is available.

    The drought is more severe in the Somali, Oromo and South regions of the country.

    An estimated one million students were forced to stop school due to the severe drought.

    The United Nations meanwhile said two million pastoralists are faced with serious shortage of water. It said studies are underway to determine the extent of the crises.
    https://ethsat.com/2017/01/ethiopia-five-million-people-need-immediate-food-aid/

  • This is where DfID funding is crucially needed …. not on girl’s band …

    IHH has distributed food aid to 6500 families from Afar and Somali regions of Ethiopia who affected from drought as millions of others.

    https://twitter.com/IHHen/status/817016984575610880

    • hawi55

      Of the flags on that poster board i bet you only 1 actually cares about the people of Afar or ogadenie and it aint the woyane one.

  • hawi55

    Over 5 million need immediate food assistance and over 9.7million in danger of malnutrition (U.N). I just don’t get it and its not that this is some kind of evil but it just does not make any logical sense. I think if you really wanna empower women why not spend the 5mill on single mothers who are in need that have children?. Women that have been abused etc.. this makes no logical sense. I could see spending like 1k or 2k to buy them recording equipment. That would make sense.

    • Empowering girls

      Empowering girls is a good idea. Women rights would be secured if girls children get the empowerment from younger age. I have worked in an indigenous ngo where single mother were getting help but the result was not satisfactory because the woman was raised where men shovenism exists. Changing the mentality was difficult so the ngo focused on girls drop outs. When I look back and remember and evaluate my own attitude I had towards men the basic factor is religion where it teaches us to respect men because they are heads of the households. The modern technology and development had allowed woman to equal status and woman are at school and have better living standard comparing to the past but still the undermining factors exist because women are the one who take the burden of a family. I know there are lots of improvement but still many are remaining. So the project would have been good if it targes the aim. I believe change comes within oneself. Abusing the opportunity is widely seen because the right education and guidance is not given.

  • B.Adal

    What a waste of British Tax pay payers money!
    Why not spend it on modernizing Ethiopian farming? I am sure that will make a big difference. However, the British government has no desire in helping poor Ethiopians, besides using Woyane puppets for western designs of East Africa. With constant hunger looming in Woyane ruled Ethiopia, you would think the British Government priority be helping farmers to feed themselves, before solving teen pregnancy. This is the reason Western governments dislike Shaebia, because PFDJ’s priority is food security. After all, IQ63 Woyane could use their existing State of Emergency to stop teen pregnancy 🙂

    • TPLF Killa

      The ongoing state of emergency would be the greatest factor for population increase in Ethiopia as people are forced to get in to bed as early as 6 pm instead of the usual 10 pm. People simply can help it but use the extra time to make rounds on their loved ones and that is now the cause for so many unwanted and unscheduled pregnancy. You got to love this State of Emergency stuff. How about if we have one in Eritrea, a strict one?

      • Yonas Teklay

        anther mentally ill shabo theory about Ethiopia based on mentally ill view of Eritrean supremacy… anther puppy of the mad dog of Eritrea..

      • guest-2

        Eritrea is already on state of emergency for the last 25yrs

        • Meaza

          You mean people are forbidden to stay late night or something? Did you read that in aiga or Tigrai online?

          Here is the deal bro. With TPLF boots one their necks, Ethiopians have been under an undeclared state of emergency for the past 25 years. You guys have been in a de facto state of emergency — a police state — for the last 25 years. Guess what? Flying the “State of Emergency” flag is not going to save TPLF. I mean it. This time it’s between Amhara + Oromo Vs Tigray, and it’s just started and will only end with the demise of the minority not the majority.

        • B.Adal

          Hello Sentiko, please pass my greetings to guest-1.

      • B.Adal

        You’re absolutely right, the state of emergency will increase the population of Woyane ruled Ethiopia even more. Regarding Eritrea, I don’t believe population control by force is the best way, education and improving peoples life will automatically stabilize birth rates. When people have (1) clean water, affordable & near by health care, (2) good education system and (3) good paying jobs then people are likely to control the number of children then want to have. Improvements in the listed three items will be the best way to control population size.

        • Sentek

          My confused shabo friend, didn’t I explain how I don’t use any other nick but my own? I remain consistent sir. Also, you seem to be concerned with the population size of Ethiopia so let me give you nice quote from Meles, “the size of the my people is not a weakness but strength. The only focus should be how to build capacity, educate and get productivity”. To get there he went on to explain, no forced military, spur private sector, loans for small businesses, infrastructure and of course no need for an exit visa. I think you guys are still working on that sanction thing?

          • MammoQilo

            I’m glad that you are one of the “educated” Adwan to bless us not only with your constant presence on this site but also with your IQ63 wisdom. Forgive me if you felt I overlooked your culinary taste. I dont have any wish to contest the ‘visionary’ leader’s accomplishment of feeding you 6 meals/day, including snacks. Just as always, a Man of his Words!

            May God Have Mercy on Ethiopia!

          • wedinakfa

            Mr Sentek said , “nice quote from Meles, “the size of the my people is not a weakness but strength. The only focus should be how to build capacity, educate and get productivity”. To get there he went on to explain, no forced military, spur private sector, loans for small businesses, infrastructure and of course no need for an exit visa” and did he add NGO or Charity or me with my Gucci suit will beg and feed you!!, come on sentek spill the beans.

  • Ebay-Asmara

    Forget ‘Yegna’. Britain should cancel ALL its aid to the weyane.

    • B.Adal

      … and the 2016 African winner of Beggars, for the record time is Woyane, Double Digit Shit !!!

  • merhaba

    What a wasting money of British Tax payers .The British government doesn’t care about people of Ethiopia,as far as the interest of the British government is mate. what the British law makers want is important not what the Ethiopian people is needs..Finally I’m glad the British people weak-up .It Is a great article.The Ethiopian People have to stand up for their Right ,they have to say show me how to fish, but not give me the fish .Who slack the begged the give .

  • Kaleab B

    Lets be frank here, this money will either get redirected to the same people under different program name or go to another country with similar program. Therefore, this is more about UK/western policies than TPLF Ethiopia. In short, this type funds are intended to buy what they call goodwill, you know the kind of people they call allies and friends to get or pass on info as well as get real stuff done.

  • merhaba

    TN Marry Chris-mass For you and the TN Administrations .

  • Who do you think you are?!

    If you don’t want to be a liver, you gotta start making friends!

  • Sara Haile

    ኣይ ካብ መልኽዕ ኣይ ካብ ክእለት ገበርዎ ሽም ጎሓሕፍት እንቓዓ ምዕሮ ይኽፈቱ ደኣ።