Yegna, have been given the UK cash to develop ‘a branded media platform. The money have been allocated to manage the project until August 2018

By Larissa Brown (The Daily Mail) |

UK taxpayers have picked up a new £5.2million bill to fund a talk show for Ethiopia’s own Spice Girls.

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.

Ethiopian critics at the time said it was enough money to run the Yegna initiative for 154 years.

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Then last year the Independent Commission on Aid Impact watchdog warned ministers to halt the project unless managers could show it was working.

It called for a review on whether ‘funding is merited’ amid ‘significant concerns’ as officials considered plans to pour another £16million into the project as a whole.

But following the report, the Department for International Development (Dfid), gave the go-ahead and injected a further £5.2million in the Yegna brand alone, it can be revealed.

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