Yegna, a five-strong pop group, has been awarded a contract to develop its ‘branded media platform’, which also includes a radio drama and music.
The foreign aid cash – which will keep the band going until at least 2018 – comes despite officials warning it may be a waste of money.
Yegna’s aim is to empower young women in the African country through music.
In 2013 a Mail investigation from Ethiopia, which is one of the biggest recipients of British aid, revealed a UK-funded project named Girl Hub had provided £4million to help fund the group.
The £5.2million Yegna contract for its brand and media platform was published on the Government website under its Dfid contracts.
Plans to pour new money into the project has never been publicly announced by the government.
They are now looking to develop their media brand. In 2013, Miss Hailemicheal said: ‘It is definitely worth the cost – it is an amazing issue. It means a lot to Ethiopia and we are using the money effectively … We are like the Spice Girls except our music is not just for entertaining – it is educational.’
Yegna manager Selome Tadesse has said the band aims to bring about behavioural and material change for girls, by girls.
Documents show a contract was awarded to an agency to manage the Yegna brand and media products up until August 2018. The three year phase has the long-term goal of ‘changing how girls are valued and perceived in Ethiopian society’.
It said the latest plan was designed to ‘grow, expand and improve the brand and implementing the media activities’.
According to the Dfid contract, entitled ‘Girl Hub Ethiopia – Yegna brand and media platform, the new phase would include working on the brand strategy, marketing, communications, production of media products and broadcasting. This would ‘ensure that Yegna continues to be as unique and impactful as possible’.
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