ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – Britain says it has ended millions of dollars in funding for an Ethiopian girl band, amid growing criticism at home of overseas aid. Yegna, sometimes called “Ethiopia’s Spice Girls,” addresses women’s issues in the East African country.
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.”
The move comes after reports of the band receiving another $6.3 million. The five-member band uses a radio show and music and drama productions to create awareness about forced marriage, violence, teen pregnancy and dropping out of school.
The Girl Effect project that launched Yegna confirms the British decision. Chief executive Farah Ramzan Golant says, “New ideas are often resisted and sometimes willfully misrepresented.”