In 2016, BTC started implementing the new assistance paradigm which in 2015 was outlined for the upcoming fifteen years.
In response to the Agenda 2030 (or the Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs), the Federal Council of Ministers in October approved a draft bill laying down that our organisation – under its future name Enabel – will be given a broader role in implementing and coordinating the Belgian policy in view of achieving the SDGs. This implies a significant expansion of the mandate given to the Belgian development agency: From 2018 onwards, we can also develop activities outside the traditional sectors and outside the traditional partnerships of development cooperation. To address such challenge, we must call on a broad array of expertise. With this in mind, we meanwhile have signed twenty partnership agreements with Belgian public instances such as Defence, Social Security,
Justice, the Federal Police and the Food Agency, and with regional employment and water supply agencies.
In the draft bill the collaboration between Enabel and the FPS Foreign Affairs is thoroughly redesigned. In the future, the agency will have to present the country strategy within the policy outline laid down by the Minister. Enabel will also use a more flexible programming and budget framework, which is adapted to the difficult circumstances in the partner countries of the Belgian Development Cooperation. Greater autonomy obviously comes with increased accountability, which implies more attention will go to evaluation and results monitoring.
With the Institute of Tropical Medicine of Antwerp, the Belgian development agency took the initiative and contacted the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to jointly launch the final battle against the sleeping sickness in Central Africa. This led to the signing of a cooperation agreement in March 2017 with the BMG Foundation matching the funds provided by Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo in view of eradicating this dreadful disease.
BTC is developing a climate change strategy which is to mainstream climate change in every intervention. The accreditation procedure for the Green Climate Fund has been launched. This eventually would allow Enabel to implement climate programmes in our partner countries.
Finally, we notice that 2016 offered nice perspectives for Enabel for the upcoming years: The Global Partnerships, assignments for third-party donors within the policy framework of the Belgian Government, started a steady increase. There are three reasons for this: First, the big development cooperation players, including the European Commission, are increasingly willing to work with national agencies to address the huge challenges of our time; second, the expertise offered by our organisation is being recognised; and third, collaboration with our national authority is excellent.
We are convinced that this will boost the impact of Belgium’s SDG efforts and will make a real difference in the lives of many women and men in our partner countries.
Chairman of the Management Committee