Andrew Bridgen calls for better focus of UK aid, suggesting that as a third of all Ethiopian girls do not go to school, it would be better for female empowerment if the money were spent on giving them an education rather than on promoting a pop group.
The hon. Gentleman makes a good case, but considering that a third of all Ethiopian girls do not go to school, would it not be better for female empowerment if the money were spent on giving them an education? Would that not be more empowering than promoting a pop group?
I do not want to have a big discussion about the project, but I will respond by saying that we should do both. Of course we should also try to put money into formal education, but the importance of that project was that it understood that digital communication was a much more effective way of reaching young people in Ethiopia than the bricks and mortar of a formal educational establishment. It also understood that music and lyrics can sometimes be better than formal texts at getting through to people, educating them and inspiring them with big ideas. That is true in this country as well. Those things have contributed to the social education of young women in Ethiopia. As I said, the Department for International Development itself said that the project was worth supporting.