20th anniversary of the Belgian development agency Enabel | Enabel - Belgian Development Agency
20th anniversary of Enabel
Divider text here
In 2040 what will international development look like?
20 years ago the Belgian development agency was established. It was named BTC. This was even before the Millennium Development Goals were adopted in 2000. There were no smartphones, WiFi did barely exist and no-one cared about digitisation...

In those 20 years the world has changed enormously. Traditional North-South assistance has been replaced by global cooperation in view of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC) of 1999 has changed to become Enabel (2018) with the technical agency becoming a facilitator, an agency that works with others and promotes and facilitates development. Enabel is an 'enabler'.

“It's not anymore the South which has the problems and the North which has the solutions. With Enabel, Belgium’s cooperation policy can be a catalyst and foster and fast-track positive evolutions,” says Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo.

High-level event

On Wednesday April 3rd Enabel organises a high-level event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Belgian development agency. This is not an occasion to look back, but an opportunity to look at the future: Where will the world and international development stand 20 years from now? 

In the presence of Her Majesty the Queen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finances and Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo will explain his vision of the future of international development. 

Next, Enabel’s Managing director Jean van Wetter and eminent Belgian and international experts take the floor. These include Rakesh Rajani (Vice-president of Co-Impact, former Director of the Ford Foundation), Irène Kahn (Director-General of the International Development Law Organization IDLOD and former secretary-general of Amnesty International), Gerald Abila (founder of Barefoot Law, Uganda), Melinda Bohannon (Head of Strategy of the UK’s Department for International Development), Olivier De Schutter (professor at UCL and Co-Chair of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food), Christine Kirunga Tashobya (lecturer at Makerere University School of Public Health Uganda), Dr. Jean-Paul Kimonyo (Senior Advisor at the President’s Office, Rwanda), and Jean-Baptiste Richardier (founder of Humanity & Inclusion/Handicap International).

“I am proud to host this important debate about the future of international development in the presence of these experts,” says Jean Van Wetter. “The Belgian development agency has a good reputation and is highly esteemed in the international community, but we must question ourselves and follow evolutions in a changing world. 2040 is tomorrow.”


Enabel, the Belgian development agency, implements the Belgian international development policy as elaborated by the Directorate-General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid of the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs. Policy targets inclusive economic growth, human rights (particularly women’s and children’s rights) and innovation and focuses on the least developed and fragile countries.

The agency has 14 country offices, primarily in Africa, 1500 staff members (including 70 % local staff) and a portfolio of more than 150 projects in execution. Enabel also implements projects for other donors, such as the European Commission.
Guido Couck
Coordinator communication
 +32 476 92 02 37


Divider text here
Keep up-to-date with our latest activities and with international development trends from a Belgian perspective.