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
On 2nd October, the Scientific Exploration Society commemorated the 50th anniversary of the exploration of Ethiopia’s Blue Nile River at a special event at the Royal Geographical Society in London. Mr Fekadu Beyene, Head of Diaspora Affairs (Chargé d’Affaires) attended on behalf of the Embassy and was joined by some of the members of the expedition and a number of…
8 Oct 2018
50th anniversary of the first Blue Nile expedition commemorated
The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) has announced the commencement of mortgage loans for Ethiopian Diaspora (non-resident Ethiopians and foreign nationals of Ethiopian origin) as part of the bank’s vision to serve and grow together with its customers.  
8 Oct 2018
Commercial Bank of Ethiopia Launches Mortgages for Diaspora
The Embassy has commenced dedicated open hours for Ethiopian Diaspora residing in the UK, every Tuesday and Thursday from 15.00 – 17.00 (3:00pm - 5:00pm). For further information, please contact the Diaspora Affairs Department.
3 Oct 2018
Commencement of Dedicated Open Hours for the Diaspora
On 31 October 2018, H.E. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, will welcome the Ethiopians from across Europe to Frankfurt, Germany, for his first town hall meeting with the Diaspora in Europe. PM Abiy will also meet with Eritreans residing in Europe. UK participants can register with the Embassy by completing an online form.
2 Oct 2018
Prime Minister Abiy’s First Townhall with Ethiopian Diaspora in Europe
Ambassador Hailemichael led an Embassy delegation at the 2018 African Heads of Mission meeting in Edinburgh. The main objective of the meeting was to promote opportunities to increase trade, investment and knowledge sharing between Scotland and Africa.
26 Sep 2018
African Heads of Mission Meeting held in Edinburgh
Learn more about the Diaspora-led Ethio-American Doctors Group (EADG), an organization formed to establish a state-of-the-art hospital in Ethiopia at a special meeting in London on 27 October 2018.
25 Sep 2018
Ethio-American Doctors Group – EU Conference
A delegation from Ethiopia led by H.E. Jantrar Abay, Minister of Urban Development and Housing, and Ambassador Hailemichael attended this year's Social Enterprise World Forum in Edinburgh, where it was announced that the Social Enterprise World Forum 2019 will take place in Addis Ababa.
18 Sep 2018
Ethiopia to host Social Enterprise World Forum 2019
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki signed a historic peace agreement on 16th September in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in the presence of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
17 Sep 2018
Ethiopia and Eritrea sign peace agreement in Saudi Arabia
A high-level ministerial delegation from Ethiopia and the private sector is coming to London on 16th October 2018 for a full-day trade and investment forum, representing the first significant overseas trade and investment mission for the new Ethiopian Government.
14 Sep 2018
Ethiopia invites UK partners to invest in Africa’s fastest-growing economy
Ethiopia's New Year falls on 11th September and this year - 2011 in the Ethiopian calendar - there was much to celebrate, as Ethiopians from across the country and from abroad, celebrated together in peace and unity.
13 Sep 2018
New Year, New Hope Ethiopia celebrates 1st Meskeram 2011
As we move into the New Year, we should aspire to create a strong and democratic Ethiopia, based on our unity under a diversity “intertwined and moulded with love and forgiveness”. Our task for the year is to maintain the spirit of change and transformation, to overcome our shortcomings, to bring the peace and unity we all want.
12 Sep 2018
New Year Message from Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu