Moving from a logic of problems to one of opportunities. What does it mean?
Jean Van Wetter – Take the COVID crisis. Like many other countries, Belgium joined the COVAX programme, which aims to provide vaccines to countries with fewer resources. But we very quickly felt that we needed to think in the longer term and had to work on structural solutions. We therefore initiated two projects. On the one hand, in Senegal, we support the establishment of a ‘lab’ bringing together the entire pharmaceutical industry: authorities, public players, local and international private companies, in short, all the players who were involved in some way in the country's pharmaceutical production. With this ‘lab’ we can build an action plan for the local production of vaccines against COVID-19, with specific roles and responsibilities for the various local and international actors. It allowed Enabel to identify a project to support the establishment of a Medicines Agency.
On the other hand, in Rwanda, we supported the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in obtaining the necessary WHO approvals to certify the local production of vaccines and allow their distribution throughout the region. Rather than simply solving the problem of vaccine availability, we have helped to improve the response capacity on the African continent.
In these examples, collaboration plays a major role. Is this the way Enabel evolves?
Delphine Moralis – I would rather talk about co-creation. Involving our partners from the very beginning of the project is the best way to achieve sustainable results. We want to get out of the silo logic and create real partnerships, where everyone wins. The important thing is to develop real listening capacity.
Jean Van Wetter – This requires permanent presence in the partner countries and being in contact with the local reality. Of the approximately 2,000 people who work for Enabel, only 230 work in Brussels. The others are in the partner countries. In this way we can feed back challenges and ideas and help create solutions that are relevant to local realities.
Delphine Moralis – This is in line with our dynamic of opportunities. Finding opportunities means listening to people in partner countries. If we think in the long term, our world is changing, Europe is ageing, and soon the majority of the African population will be under 18 years old. Dialogue and co-creation become essential; otherwise our action will become completely obsolete.