Pioneering innovative development

women and a man working on a laptop

Innovation is in Enabel’s DNA: we are committed to supporting creative entrepreneurs and courageous intrapreneurs, across the globe, across sectors: the men and women who create trailblazing solutions that have a genuine impact on their communities, their countries, and the world. We are proud to support their groundbreaking work, from ideation to scaling.


Better, faster, stronger

Enabel is a steadfast innovation partner, providing technical and financial support to innovators, strengthening their capacities to experiment, adapt, adopt or scale innovations. As an innovation enabler, we de-risk, accelerate and facilitate the innovation process, lowering the threshold for partners to innovate.

In 2023, Enabel concluded the e-TAMKEEN project, a four-year, 3.5 million euro programme designed to transform public administration in Morocco through digitalisation. We partnered with the Ministry of Digital Transformation and Administrative Reform to strengthen the digital skills of civil servants and foster innovation at the central and local administrations.

To do so, Enabel co-organised the second edition of Idarathon, a hackathon for and by civil servants to tackle key challenges and improve public services delivery. This gave rise to a digital platform matching jobseeker with job offers in the agricultural sector (with the Ministry of Agriculture), a multilingual mobile application helping citizens better understand administrative procedures (with the Agency for Digital Development) and a data-platform ensuring transparent and secure sales of second-hand cars (with the Ministry of Digital Transformation).


Putting the end-user first

Through its PRISMA project, financed by the EU’s DeSIRA programme, Enabel supports local innovation labs to improve food safety in the milk value chains in Mali and Niger.

Together with local and international partners, we are setting-up ‘innovation labs’ across the value chain (e.g. at the milk collection points, at a mini-dairy, or at the level of veterinary services). In these ‘labs’, key stakeholders of the value chain come together to design, identify and test local solutions to tackle food safety challenges including the transmission of Brucellosis and TBC.

A representative from FENALAIT, the national federation of milk producers in Mali, says the PRISMA approach represents a radical shift in the way the donor-recipient relationship has worked in the past:

“Consultants and researchers have come and gone but, for the first time, we, the local producers, are actively involved in a project, from start to finish, and are working together with our European partners to create innovative solutions to the problems in our sector.”


Keeping our finger on the pulse

Technologies like artificial intelligence have the potential to disrupt international cooperation. Therefore, how can we leverage the power of AI to the benefit of communities worldwide? In February 2024, Enabel organised a high-level event together with the Estonian Centre for International Development, the Tony Blair Institute and Expertise France, gathering about 100 EU and African experts in Brussels to explore the potential of AI for international cooperation.

The event underscored the importance of adopting a human-centred, collaborative, and inclusive approach to AI, emphasizing long-term impacts on jobs, the necessity of upskilling and reskilling, and the need for strategic partnerships between Europe and Africa.


Mobilising Belgian innovation expertise

Enabel is tapping into the rich and vibrant Belgian innovation ecosystem to promote peer-learning, exchanges and support between experts and innovators to break new ground.

In Rwanda, Enabel facilitated a collaboration between the Flemish industrial research agency VITO and its Rwandan counterpart NIRDA to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship in the emerging sector of circular construction. By training professionals in the construction sector, supporting start-ups and setting-up guidelines on circularity, VITO and NIRDA aim at boosting construction materials made from local resources like bamboo or clay as alternatives to climate-affecting materials like steel, timber or concrete. Together with Ondernemers voor Ondernemers and Embuild, the Belgian federation of the Belgian construction sector, study visits for Belgian and Rwandan entrepreneurs were organized, both to Rwanda and to Belgium, leading to inspiring peer-to-peer learning and long-term networking. Cherry on the cake, VITO and NIRDA (Rwanda’s National Industrial Research and Development Agency) have signed an agreement committing to long-term collaboration in the sector.


Stimulating an innovation culture

Enabel is increasingly being recognised as a pioneer in the development sector. In 2022, the OECD teamed up with Enabel to boost innovation through portfolio management. In 2023, our Ugandan team won the first Penguin Award at the inaugural Federal Innovation Awards, recognising exceptional achievement in the Belgian public sector.

But we are not complacent. We will continue to work hard to future-proof the organisation and solidify Enabel’s position as a credible and impactful innovation partner.

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