Today, the Council of Ministers gave its green light for the new country programs for Senegal and Rwanda, two partner countries of the Belgian development cooperation. The new country programs focus strongly on entrepreneurship, the development of a local private sector and the promotion of the sexual and reproductive rights and the health of girls and women.
The new cooperation program with Rwanda runs until 2023 and will concentrate on better access to sexual and reproductive rights and health. In addition, attention is devoted to the improvement of value chains in agriculture, the commercialization of agricultural products and sustainable urbanization. Public finance management is the third priority.
Belgium is the fifth bilateral donor in Rwanda, after the US, the UK, the Netherlands and Germany. The current cooperation program with Rwanda compromises a total of 24 million euros a year; in the previous cooperation program, this was 40 million euros.
The new cooperation program with Senegal aims to promote local and sustainable entrepreneurship and also to improve access to sexual and reproductive rights. Education is the third pillar. In the cooperation between Belgium and Senegal, much attention is also paid to the fight against climate change, gender, the importance of digitalization and decent work. Until 2023, 9 million euros will be allocated each year for the new program.
Senegal is a development partner of Belgium since 1968. Our country is its seventh bilateral donor. In recent years, the relationship has evolved towards a more balanced partnership where trade plays a key role.