Enabel celebrates its 25th anniversary

event back drop with enabel written on it

Brussels, 3 April | Upcycling International Cooperation. This was the topic of the evening event organised on 28 March 2024 to mark Enabel’s 25th anniversary. A rewarding event, touting introspection and cross-border collaboration.


From tier one personalities to unusual suspects

Among the 350-plus guests, Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Caroline Gennez, Belgium’s Minister of Development Cooperation and of Major Cities, honoured us with their presence. The former opened the event, while the latter brought it to a close by discussing relations between Europe and Africa and the added value of Belgium’s efforts in the field of international solidarity.

In addition, a few unusual suspects contributed with their own unique perspectives on the house of international cooperation. A futurologist from the Netherlands, a critical entrepreneur and youth representative from Senegal, a public management expert from the Congolese diaspora, and a Chief Innovation Officer from Benin… In other words, a guest list far removed from the classical voices expected at this type of event.

But that’s precisely the point,” says Enabel’s Managing director Jean Van Wetter. “Our agency was set up 25 years ago, at a time when there were no mobile phones or WiFi. In the meantime, old North-South aid has given way to global cooperation on an equal footing.”


Building tomorrow’s cooperation

The context in which we live and work is increasingly characterised by growing instability and inequality: an unabated climate crisis, a democratic deficit in a growing number of countries, the rise of political extremes, the upheaval of the world order, wars in Ukraine and the Middle East…

It is clear to Enabel that these problems can only be resolved through cross-border collaboration. Through this event, we wanted to seek inspiration and open up international cooperation to new prospects.

”Belgium’s international cooperation is not limited to Africa either,” continues Jean Van Wetter. ”Soon, our agency will open an office in Ukraine, as we have expertise to offer that can also be put to good use in many non-African countries. This must become the basis of our vision of the future of international cooperation.”

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