The United States Agency for International Development/Ethiopia (USAID) celebrated the impact of its Feteh (Justice) project, a $22 million (1.2 billion Birr activity). USAID/Ethiopia Deputy Mission Director Thomas Staal was joined by representatives from the Ministry of Justice, federal courts, regional supreme courts, the Ethiopian Federal Advocates Association, and civil society organizations working on legal and judicial reforms at a celebration event marking the successful completion of this project.
“Feteh has functioned as a ‘flagship’ program, leading the way for legal reform in Ethiopia,” said Deputy Mission Director Staal during his remarks.
Feteh began in February 2019, in response to the Government of Ethiopia’s request for assistance with legislative reform and support of its implementation. Feteh partners with legal institutions, including both federal courts and regional supreme courts, the Ministry of Justice, public prosecutors’ offices, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), the office of the ombudsman, public defenders’ offices, law schools, civil society organizations, and the media. After the first two years at the federal level, the project was extended to include the Oromia and Amhara regional governments and to advance legal reform through key institutions such as the EHRC, the ombudsman’s office, media, and universities.
The project has supported the drafting of legal instruments such as administrative law, civil society organization law, anti-terrorism law, and the Administrative Procedures Proclamation. In collaboration with Gondar and Debre Berhan universities, Feteh has provided free legal aid for more than 3,000 vulnerable groups and produced more than 180 radio programs and 100 television episodes about women’s rights, gender-based violence, and hate speech. The project also assisted the EHRC to develop a ‘Rapid Response Strategy’ and revise its existing monitoring system. Government systems have been streamlined, reducing pretrial detention, professionalizing the judicial training centers, changing the selection procedures of the Judicial Council, and managing the courts more effectively. Additionally, sixteen civil society organizations have received sub-grants through Feteh. The lasting impact of these legal reforms will improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of citizens.
Feteh builds upon over $4 billion (220 billion Birr) that USAID has invested over the last five years to empower Ethiopians across the country to help improve rule of law, human rights, the justice sector, and the media so that people lead healthier, more resilient, and more prosperous lives.
In 2022 alone, USAID provided more than $1.8 billion in development and humanitarian aid to Ethiopia.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia.