From 1 January 2018, the new name of the reformed Belgian Development Agency will be ‘Enabel’


The renewed and reformed Belgian Development Agency (BTC) will start its activities on 1 January 2018 and will be operating under the name ‘Enabel’. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo announced this today during the new year’s reception of BTC. The new name is the Belgian variant of the English verb ‘enable’ and reflects what the Belgian development cooperation stands for: empowering people, enabling development and bringing partners together.

The new name was developed by the BTC in cooperation with the office Daddy Kate. The middle management of BTC this morning unanimously approved the new name. ‘Enabel’ has a clear message. The new name of the Belgian Development Agency is associated with the different meanings of the English verb ‘enable’. These meanings express the philosophy of the new Belgian international development policy.

Alexander De Croo: “Empowering people and enabling development. This is the objective of the Belgian international development policy: to support our partners so they can enable sustainable development in their country. We create the circumstances, our investments give them assistance and we bring different partners and organizations together to enable change.”

But enabling also means that there are limits to these efforts. We don’t have to do everything by ourselves. Enabling also means creating a space for everyone’s responsibility. This means that you count on the political will in the partner countries and on the fulfillment of commitments. Enabel is a name that looks to the future, that believes in progress, even in difficult and unpredictable circumstances in fragile states and in the least developed countries.”

New agency, new assignment

The new name will be the last step of a thorough reform of the Belgian Development Agency taking effect on 1 January 2018. With this reform, the federal government wants to prepare the Belgian Development Agency for the implementation of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. This is the new development agenda of the United Nations, aiming at realizing the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 in order to eradicate extreme poverty and to protect our planet. Besides governments, the civil society and the private sector also play an important role in the new development agenda.

The federal government last year approved the principles and guidelines of the new Belgian Development Agency. The principles of the reform:

  • increasing the visibility of the Belgian development policy by using its own expertise in the field and by actively using assignments for third parties;
  • increased operational autonomy for the Belgian Development Agency;
  • an organization structure as lean as possible for both Enabel and the Directorate-General Development Cooperation (DGD), where any form of double work is avoided
  • an integrated approach where the most suitable actor can be selected to achieve a particular development result.