Millennium Partners is delighted to share the remarkable journey of the Feteh (Justice) Activity, a transformative initiative launched by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in February 2019. Working hand in hand with Ethiopian partners, Feteh has played a pivotal role in legal and judicial reform, leaving a lasting impact on the nation’s justice system.
Throughout its duration, Feteh has collaborated with a diverse range of stakeholders, including the Federal Ministry of Justice, Regional Justice Bureaus, constitutionally mandated institutions, civil society organizations, legal and academic institutions, and the media. Together, they have worked tirelessly to bring about positive change in Ethiopia’s legal landscape.
The closing ceremony held on June 12th marked a momentous occasion, where the press, Feteh grantees, and partners gathered to celebrate the tremendous success achieved since 2019.
During this event, Meaza Ashenafi, former Chief Justice of the Federal Supreme Court of Ethiopia, aptly acknowledged Feteh’s contribution, stating, “When we started the reform journey, the Feteh project accompanied us, both in terms of designing the strategy and implementation of the programs, so they were part of this reform exercise.”
The impact of Feteh‘s efforts was further echoed by Selamawit Gebru, a beneficiary of Debre Berhan University’s free legal aid program, who expressed her gratitude, stating, “If Feteh wasn’t there for me and others like me, there would have been no justice for me.” These words reflect the tangible difference Feteh has made in the lives of individuals seeking justice and the immense value it brings to society.
Recognizing the strategic significance of this justice reform initiative, Belayhun Yirga, Former Director General for Legal Drafting at the Ministry of Justice, emphasized the crucial support provided by the American government through the Feteh project. This partnership has fostered substantial progress and demonstrated the commitment to a fair and equitable legal system.
Musie Tilahun, Executive Director of the Ethiopian Lawyers with Disabilities Association and a Feteh grantee, highlighted the unique nature of Feteh‘s involvement, stating, “Most partners release funds and wait for reports, but Feteh was greatly supporting us in the implementation of activities and sharing in capacity building areas.” This hands-on approach and collaborative spirit have truly set Feteh apart and strengthened its impact on Ethiopia’s justice ecosystem.
The accomplishments of the Feteh project underscore the power of multisector partnerships in driving meaningful change. By bringing together CSOs, government and media Feteh has been able to contribute to a justice system that ensures fairness, access, and equality for all Ethiopians.