Response to The Guardian’s article on Ethiopia’s resettlement programme

9 Jul 2014


Ethiopia’s resettlement programme is working!

The Guardian has published a highly misleading article on Ethiopia’s resettlement programme. (‘Britain is supporting a dictatorship in Ethiopia’, online on 6th July 2014, and in the print edition on 7th July 2014)

The programme has lifted hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian farmers out of poverty. This was not made clear in the article.

Here are some of the facts missing from the article:

  • Ethiopia’s villigisation programme operates on a voluntary basis.
  • The prime objectives are to help farmers increase yields and provide them with better access to social services, which can all be better delivered in a community setting, along with improved seeds and farming techniques.
  • The programme has been successful in bringing schools, healthcare, clean water supplies and roads to communities in rural areas, enabling them to benefit from the structural transformation that is taking place across the whole country.
  • Though minor problems were encountered during the early stages of the implementation process, these were squarely addressed. The lives of hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians have been transformed, as the International Development Group, who scrutinise DFID spending, has confirmed.
  • Pro-poor development strategies have brought about remarkable results, both economically and socially, to the extent that Ethiopia is one of few developing countries that will achieve most, if not all, of the Millennium Development Goals. The villigisation programme has helped make this progress possible.
  • The Guardian piece harks back to the Ethiopia of 30 years ago, yet largely dismisses the manifest achievements that have been made in the last twenty years or so, during which Ethiopia has become food self-sufficient at national level.
  • Donors, UN organisations and civil society confirm that the resettlement programme has radically improved livelihoods and that human rights have not been violated in the course of the programme’s implementation.
  • Ethiopia remains one of the few developing countries that fully satisfy the value-for-money principle which underlies all British Government development programme funding.

Advocacy groups, such as Human Rights Watch, continuously engage in fault-finding missions. We appeal to responsible media not to be part of a campaign to tarnish the image of a country that is engaged in a protracted but ultimately successful struggle to eradicate poverty and build a thriving economy.

We call upon them to discharge their responsible in accordance with internationally recognised media ethics.


Link to the Ambassador’s letter in the Guardian (‘Ethiopia’s bid to uproot poverty’, online on 9th July 2014).

For enquiries, please contact the Press Office on 02078383880/3.


Prev Article Next Article

Latest News

Browse all
Leading Ethiopian botanical scientist, Professor Sebsebe Demissew, has been elected as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society, becoming the first ever Sub-Saharan African scientist to be elected in the Society’s 357-year history. Professor Sebsebe is recognised for his lifelong work on promoting Ethiopian biodiversity.
20 Jul 2018
Prof. Sebsebe becomes first African Foreign Member of the Royal Society
Further to PM Abiy’s recent call to the Ethiopian diaspora to contribute $1-a-day to the transformation and development of a better Ethiopia, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia has officially opened a bank account to support the operation of the “Ethiopian Diaspora Trust Fund”.
18 Jul 2018
Ethiopian Diaspora Trust Fund account officially operational
Statements from UK and US governments, the African Union, Europian Union and the United Nations Security Council, with regards to the historic peace deal between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
17 Jul 2018
Ethio-Eritrea Peace Deal: The World Reacts
In a historic visit to Asmara, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and President Isaias Afewerki of Eritrea signed a Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship ending 20 years of hiatus. This landmark visit led to the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two nations.
16 Jul 2018
Ethiopia and Eritrea enter new chapter of cooperation following historic peace deal
The Embassy has recently been made aware of some people engaging in fraudulent acts of soliciting money for the Diaspora Trust Fund, which is still in the process of being set up. Please do not to fall victim to any scams, the Embassy will officially announce the launch of the Trust Fund once it has gone public.
13 Jul 2018
London-based British artist Catherine Chambers’ portrait of her Ethiopian friend, Girma, is currently on display at the Royal Academy Summer Show, which runs until 19th August. In an exclusive with the Embassy, Catherine talks to us about her paintings and her love for Ethiopia.
10 Jul 2018
London Artist’s portrait of Ethiopian on display at the Royal Academy Summer Show
More than 300 guests attend a garden party to celebrate Ethiopia’s National Day, which commemorates the triumphant entry of EPRDF forces into Addis Ababa on 28th May 1991.
7 Jun 2018
National Day celebrated at time of renewal
From June 1, all international visitors to Ethiopia can apply for their visa online. This new initiative will promote tourism, trade, and investment to the country.
5 Jun 2018
Ethiopia launches e-visa service to all international visitors
The triumphant entry of the EPRDF forces into Addis Ababa on 28th May 1991 marked the closing of a turbulent chapter of Ethiopia’s history, and the opening of a new one that paved the way for the adoption of an all-inclusive federal and democratic system.
27 May 2018
Reinvigorating Democracy Through Reform
Manchester Airport secures landmark route into the heart of Africa, underlining its pivotal role in connecting the North to the world’s most important markets. Ethiopian Airlines will operate a four-times-a-week service to Addis Ababa from 1st December 2018.
14 May 2018
Ethiopian Airlines comes to Manchester Airport opening up Africa to the North
PM Abiy Ahmed's tenure as Prime Minister of Ethiopia has been characterised by a renewed sense of hope and determination in the country. In an effort to address public grievances the new Prime Minister has engaged in a series of public consultations while setting out the vision for reform going forward.
8 May 2018
Premier appoints new Cabinet, sets out early Reform Priorities