By Ivan Ngoboka
Belgium has been an active partner in sectors such as health, justice, education and rural development including; agriculture, forestry, energy, water and sanitation since 1962.Since 2000, the Belgian Development Agency (BTC) has executed, on behalf of the Government of Belgium, and the European Union, more than €300 million in Rwanda’s development programmes.
Intervention framework The cooperation program as well as sectors of intervention are negotiated by the two governments, based on the priorities of the GoR as laid out in its development plans (Vision 2020, EDPRS). The development goals are translated into sector strategic plans to which BTC projects are directly contributing (alignment). As a result, BTC projects are anchored in public institutions in which they build capacity. In the aftermath of 1994 Genocide, the Belgian cooperation programs concentrated mainly on emergency and relief activities until 2000.Between 2000 and 2004, the cooperation evolved towards reconstruction and development activities. Thus, 17 projects in different sectors such as health, education, governance, rural development, worth about €56 million were injected.
In May 2004, a first post-genocide joint commission between Belgium and Rwanda was convened an Indicative Cooperation Program (ICP) was signed to cover the period between 2004 and 2006 with a budget of 75 million Euros.In October 2006, a new indicative cooperation program (2007 – 2010) involving 140 million Euros was signed. The program aimed at supporting the country in the implementation of its development strategies laid out in Vision 2020 and in Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS).