DFATD minister praises MEDA EDGET project

February 19, 2013

Sees "tangible results" for weavers and designers

*Photo courtesy of ©DFATD

WATERLOO, ON – The Honourable Julian Fantino, Canada's Minister for International Cooperation, recently recognized MEDA's sustainable approach to economic development in Ethiopia. During his visit, Minister Fantino met with weavers involved in the EDGET program Ethiopians Driving Growth through Entrepreneurship and Trade. The project receives funding from the Government of Canada, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, and is aimed at helping 10,000 farmers and weavers to create more sustainable livelihoods for their families.

"This is exactly the kind of project that Canada is proud to support as it delivers tangible results, helps lift families out of poverty and puts countries on track to becoming self-sustaining." said Minister Fantino.

Using a business solution to poverty and working with local partners over five years, EDGET enables rice farmers and textile producers to increase their incomes by helping them reach higher-value markets, learn new production techniques, implement new technologies, and gain access to support services such as finance. Since the project began in 2011, weavers have seen a 14-18% increase in their incomes through the project.

During his visit, Minister Fantino also talked with several local weavers and a designer to learn about how they became involved in EDGET and the impact it has had on their lives.

"I have more, steady orders and receive more money for my products because of the linkage to designers," one male weaver noted. "In this group, we work together to encourage quality and delivery of our orders on time."

A female weaver added that, "Since this project and the new things I learned about developing my business and to improve the quality of my weaving, I have gotten more orders and am able to save money. I have made enough money to buy a new house for my family."

Local designers are also benefitting from the project. One designer explained, "I am very happy to participate, as it has given me access to more excellent quality weavers for the fabric for my designs. In Ethiopia there is a strong, proud heritage of excellent weaving skills and we are investing and leveraging that expertise by linking these weavers to high-end buyers here in country and through export markets."

For more information on the EDGET project please contact Linda Whitmore ( [email protected]) or Jaclyn Stief ([email protected]) at 519-725-1853 ext. 320.

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MEDA is an international NGO founded in 1953 that provides technical expertise in subsector and value chain analysis, market linkages, financial services (rural finance, deposit mobilization and youth & financial services), health systems, and financial institution capacity development. MEDA's expertise cuts across sectors, working with vulnerable and underserved populations like youth, low-income women, and rural populations.