Britain’s Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel spoke to ITV News on a trip to the vast new industrial park in the town of Hawassa, south of the capital Addis Ababa.
By Rageh Omaar (ITV News) |
Nowhere shows the profound way that Britain says it is looking to change and sharpen its approach to international development and aid for the poorest countries in the world than Ethiopia.
This is a country synonymous with food instability, drought and inevitably malnutrition and famine where tens of millions have been dependent on subsistence farming.
Very few will ever forget the worldwide humanitarian efforts spearheaded by the BandAid movement to help relieve the famine of 1984-5.
But Ethiopia is dramatically changing. It is one of the fastest growing economies in the world which has seen a rapidly industrialization program grow at constant rate of around 11% over the past decade.
By any yardstick, that is an economic miracle.
The UK wants the aid and development money it gives to countries like Ethiopia to focus on trade, jobs, investment and skills and not just the “traditional” aid programs of handouts to alleviate immediate crises.
In a modern facility with state of the art technology and using sustainable, green energy programs high quality garments and clothes are being made for the US and UK markets by international investors from as afar afield as the UK, Sri Lanka, United States, France and China.
Priti Patel was adamant that this new focus for UK aid was not simply about moving away from traditional humanitarian aid, saying that the UK has a strong commitment to life-saving emergency aid and would never shy away from that.
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