Below are the guidelines for regional cooperation:
- cooperation in the following regions: South-East Asia, the Andes, North Africa and the Middle East, Central Africa, West Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa;
- it is hoped that a priority partner organisation will be selected and regularly assessed in each region. The regional programmes of international (partner) organisations, the OECD and the EU, as well as the regional programmes of other EU Member States, may be considered;
- three priority themes: 1) trade and the economy, 2) peace and security, and 3) climate and the environment.
We are currently working with the following partners.
1. West African Development Bank (WADB - West Africa)
The West African Development Bank (BOAD | WEST AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK) is the development cooperation financial institution of the eight countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA). Its headquartersare located in Lomé, Togo. BOAD aims to promote the development of the Member States and contributes to the economic integration of West Africa.
The main shareholders of the Bank are the 8 member states of the UEMOA zone (Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Senegal as priority partners of bilateral cooperation and Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau and Togo) and the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO). Together they own almost 95% of the Bank's capital. The remainder of the capital is held by the Bank's 8 non-regional strategic partners, namely France, China, Belgium, the African Development Bank, the European Development Bank (acting on behalf of the European Union), Germany, India and Morocco. The Bank's activities are structured around five priority intervention sectors in the 8 UEMOA countries: (i) basic infrastructure: transport and ICT/digitalization infrastructure promoting trade (ii) production and fair access to energy and natural resources, with a special focus on renewable energy sources (iii) agriculture and food security (iv) real estate (including tourism infrastructure) and social housing.
2. Club du Sahel (CSA0 – West Africa)
This body is part of the OECD development cluster, but has a separate and independent management structure. The Club was founded in 1976 to combat food shortages and has gradually focused on other themes, such as the competitiveness of the West African economy, the transformation of agriculture, the ownership of fertile land, democracy and good governance, conflicts and stability and regional integration. At Belgium's instigation, the Club carried out a major study into "extreme forms of child labour in cocoa plantations".
3. Mekong River Commission (MRC - South East Asia)
The MRC, which was founded in 1957 and relaunched in 1995, has four member countries (Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam). One of these, Vietnam, is a partner country, and Belgian cooperation projects will be underway in another two of these countries for another few years. The central theme of the MRC's activities is the management of water in all its forms (management of fishing, navigability, impact on agriculture), which is a priority for Belgian cooperation in this geographical area. The Belgian contribution is intended for the MRC's "Navigation Programme" and "Hydro-electricity Programme".
4. East African Community (EAC – East Africa)
Four (Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda) of the five EAC Member States are priority bilateral cooperation partners. This organisation has received a contribution to its general resources since 2009. The main raison d'être of the EAC is the promotion and facilitation of regional integration, including trade.
The EAC also manages a Trust Fund for financing preparatory studies and expertise for regional infrastructure projects (primarily transport).
The law on Belgian Development Cooperation stipulates the selection of five regional organisations which will be designated by Royal Decree. This procedure is currently being prepared.