Governance

BIO was incorporated by the law of 3 November 2001, published in the "Moniteur Belge" (Belgian Official Journal) of 17 November 2001, at the initiative of the Minister for Development Cooperation. The law was lastly modified by the law of 20 November 2018, and BIO is now held to a Management contract signed every 5 years between BIO and the Belgian State.

Governance

BIO is a private company whose capital is held by the Belgian State

(Ministry for Development Cooperation). Its early-stage capital amounts to €5,000,000 and it makes investments using additional equity granted by the Ministry for Development Cooperation.

BIO enjoys decisional and operational independence, which provides the autonomy and flexibility it needs when analysing and evaluating the financing applications. Various control levels and processes ensure the efficient and correct use of its investment resources and the smooth implementation of its mission.

BIO operates according to a commercial logic inherent to its status and its development finance mission. The financial contributions made by BIO are not conditioned by the involvement of other Belgian players of any type (companies, banks, etc.), but do not exclude it either.

BIO is careful to ensure the additionality of its investments to avoid entering into direct competition with the local established financial sector. BIO’s role is to provide long-term financial products that are generally unavailable or inaccessible on the local markets.

All projects must demonstrate long term financial viability and have a lasting impact on the development of the country in question, whether in terms of employment, the environment or economic and social growth. BIO also sets out to provide added value, in particular by contributing to good governance, by backing pioneering concepts and/or new initiatives or by attracting other investors.

Management bodies

The Belgian State has given BIO a clear and well-defined role and mission with strict criteria in terms of geographical targets, financing instruments and, above all, development impact. Various control levels and processes ensure the efficient and correct use of its investment resources and the smooth implementation of its mission. The management bodies are the Board of Directors, the Investment Committee, the Audit Committee, the Human Resource Committee and the Executive Committee.

The Investment Committee (IC) is responsible for advice to the board of directors on investment decisions, and the analysis and monitoring of the portfolio. The Audit Committee (AC) advises the board for its oversight of the company’s financial reporting, audit and risk management. The HR Committee assists the Board in human resources policy matters.

Please download the description of the members and responsibilities of each committee here.

Board of directors

Governance

Mr Peter Moors was the Government Commissioner (Ministry for development cooperation) until 17 February 2021. Mr Dirk Van der Maelen has been the Government Commissioner (Ministry for development cooperation) as of 17 February 2021.

Ms Nancy Van Den Broeck was the Government Commissioner (Ministry for budget) until 17 July 2021. Mr Eddy Van Der Meersch has been the Government Commissioner (Ministry for budget) as of 17 July 2021.

Ms Heidy Rombouts was appointed as the Director General of Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid (DGD), at the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs as of 1 October 2021. In this capacity, she attends meetings of the Board of Directors.

Read more on the members of the Board of Directors here.