Jean Van Wetter new director general Belgian development agency Enabel

Today, Jean Van Wetter (40) has been appointed as new director general of the Belgian development agency Enabel. He is taking over from Carl Michiels, who successfully led the agency for 14 years. The board of directors expresses its gratitude to Carl Michiels for his efforts and achievements. After a difficult start, he managed to put the agency on the right track and turn it into an internationally respected organization.

Jean Van Wetter has a Master’s in Business Management from the Solvay business-school. He draws on 18 years of experience with international companies and within the development world in Europe, Asia and Africa, where he focused on issues as education, healthcare and private sector development. He was director general for Handicap International in Belgium and country representative for international NGOs in Cambodia, China and Tanzania. Previously, he was a corporate consultant for Deloitte Consulting.

The appointment by the board of directors of Enabel comes at a crucial time for the organization. Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo just finished a substantial reform of the Belgian development cooperation policy. The scope of the Belgian development agency has been broadened: it will not only continue to execute the governmental cooperation, but it will also execute and coordinate the Belgian policy for international development as integral part of Belgium’s foreign policy.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo wishes Jean Van Wetter all the best: “The international development agenda evolved tremendously the past couple of years and also the Belgian development agency was transformed accordingly. Enabel turned into an ambitious and innovative development agency, which is results-oriented and aims to be an international trendsetter. I am convinced that Jean Van Wetter and all Enabel-staff will do their utmost to shape this ambition in the coming years”.

Chairman of the board of directors Nathalie Francken is convinced that Jean Van Wetter is the right man at the right place to shape the Belgian development policy: “He is a people manager with a lot of international experience in both the corporate and the development world. He has great expertise and can draw upon a very extended professional network.”

Jean Van Wetter himself only sees great opportunities: “The Belgian development policy chooses unequivocally for change and I am eager to contribute to that. Human rights remain the absolute corner stone of our work, but we have to cooperate more with the private sector and other development actors, and use digitalization as a lever to development.”

The Belgian development agency Enabel has about 150 projects in the 14 partner countries of the Belgian development cooperation (Morocco, Senegal, Guinee, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique and Palestine). The yearly budget amounts to 200 million EUR, half of which goes to fragile states. The agency has 1500 staff members and 70% of them are locally hired.