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Yegna, Ethiopia's 'Spice Girls', lose UK funding

British taxpayers' money will no longer be used to fund a five-member Ethiopian girl band, the government has said.

International Development Secretary Priti Patel announced a review of the funding last month after reports that pop group Yegna received £5.2m.
Girl Effect, the Ethiopian group which manages Yegna and promotes women's rights in the country, said its aims had been "wilfully misrepresented". But the government said there are "more effective ways" to invest UK aid.

Yegna has been the subject of a long-running campaign by the Daily Mail. It dubbed the band "Ethiopia's Spice Girls" saying that grants to the group were a waste of money.

The UK's Department for International Development said its partnership with Girl Effect has ended following the review, but insisted that "empowering women and girls around the world remains a priority". It said the decision had not been influenced by press coverage of Yegna.

"We judge there are more effective ways to invest UK aid," a spokeswoman said, adding that the government will "deliver even better results for the world's poorest and value for taxpayers' money".

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