About the author - Dr Fred P.M. VAN DER KRAAIJ 
Last Employer : 
(retired 2011)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA)  
The Netherlands

Position: Senior Evaluator, Inspector
Education: Economics, Ph.D (1983) 
Specialization: Economics of African countries
Regional specialization: West Africa, notably Liberia, Sahel
Experience abroad: 16 years residence in West Africa
2 years residence in the USA
1 year residence in Bolivia
Evaluation work:
* 'Debt relief - and then? Evaluation of the Debt Relief granted to the Democratic Republic of Congo 2003-2010' (bilateral evaluation, IOB, 2012 - in French and Dutch only):

'Table rase - et après ? Évaluation de l'allègement de la dette en République démocratique du Congo, 2003-2010'
(IOB, 2012).

'Schoon schip. En dan? Evaluatie van de schuldverlichting aan de Democratische Republiek Congo, 2003-2010'
(IOB, 2012).
* 'Mutual interests - mutual benefits. Evaluation of the 2005 debt relief agreement between the Paris Club and Nigeria' (bilateral evaluation, IOB, 2011).
* Evaluation of the Netherlands' 'Africa Policy' 1998 -2006, (bilateral evaluation; IOB, 2008).
* Evaluation of the Netherlands Research Policy 1992 - 2005: Experiences with a new approach in six countries: Bolivia, Ghana, Mali, South Africa, Tanzania and Vietnam (bilateral evaluation; IOB, 2007).
* Evaluation of General Budget Support (joint evaluation; 2006, member of Steering and Management Groups). 
* Evaluation of the Cofinancing between the Netherlands and the World Bank 1975-1996 (bilateral evaluation; IOB, 1999).
Key Sheet
Long Abstract
Research interests:
* Black people in Western art
* Black people in the Netherlands (16th c)
* Black people in Dutch language children's literature 20th c
* Dutch participation in the trans-Atlantic slave trade
* Dutch traders, investors and missionaries in Africa
* The region of origin of the lions Kampen received from Portuguese traders in 1477 / De herkomst van de leeuwen die Kampen in 1477 van Portugese kooplui kreeg
* Political and Economic History of Liberia 
* Sahel: Nexus Environment - Population - Stability

Fred van der Kraaij (1946) was born in Den Bosch, the Netherlands. He obtained a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Tilburg (with honors, 1983). His dissertation on the role of foreign investments in the development of Liberia 1900-1977 was published as “The Open Door Policy of Liberia – An Economic History of Modern Liberia” (Bremen, 1983). He wrote extensively on West Africa where he lived for over 16 years.

He maintains a website on Africa's oldest republic, 'Liberia Past and Present', plus a blog, 'Liberian Perspectives', commenting on events in Liberia and Liberia related events, and has a twitter account: @liberiapp - presenting and discussing the latest Liberian news.

Another twitter account focuses on African affairs in general and the Sahel in particular: @FredVDKraaij . His interest in the image of black people in Dutch language children's literature, notably comic strips, resulted in the twitter account @FouteStrips, with a central theme: racism in comic strips and cartoons.    

     CV         Scientific and other publications (summary)      Country Experience

     Publications on Liberia         Liberia Past and Present      Liberian Perspectives     

                 Twitter: @liberiapp    @FredVDKraaij   @FouteStrips                            







Country Experience Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of South Africa, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Togo, Tunisia;
Asia: Pakistan;
North America: U.S.A.;
South America: Argentine, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile, Uruguay;





















  1. Personal data: Name: VAN DER KRAAIJ, Fred;
    born in Den Bosch, the Netherlands, on 26 July, 1946. 
  2. Professional data (1970 - present):

    Specialized in political, social and economic development in Africa after a brief specialization on Latin American affairs - 1968-1975 - starting with a research in Bolivia (1968/69).

    A six-month working visit to four Sahelian countries - Senegal, Mali, Upper-Volta (in 1984 rebaptized Burkina Faso) and Niger in 1972, preceeded a much longer stay in West Africa: (in chronological order) Liberia, Upper-Volta/Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal (1975-1991). Working experience also included Cape Verde islands, Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Mauritanie during my assignment at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Dakar/Senegal, 1987-1991.

    In 1983 I obtained a doctorate (Ph.D.), with distinction, in development economics, on the Open Door Policy and Economic History of Liberia.

    Between 1991 and 1999 I worked in the Netherlands at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA, Policy Preparation Section, 1991-1995, and the Policy and Operations Evaluation Department, IOB, 1995-1999). My work brought me to various countries in North, Eastern and West Africa.
    Also, during 1992-1998, I taught 'Industrialization in Sub-Saharan Africa' at the University of Twente, the Netherlands.

    From 1999 till 2001 I was employed by the World Bank, Washington DC, USA, working for the Global Coalition for Africa (GCA) with assignments in West and Southern Africa.  

    From 2001 till July 2011 I was again employed by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs where I was chief economist for the Africa region before rejoining the Policy and Operations Evaluation Department in 2003. 

    I published on Africa in general and some countries in Sub-Sahara Africa in particular (see below). 

    After a working career of 41 years, I retired as of July 1, 2011.  
  3. Fields of interest: African history; African art; economics of Africa; politics, democratization, and human rights in Africa; aid/development cooperation; 
  4. Working visits and experience (1970-2011-present):
    • Professional experience: study and research (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Senegal); university teaching and research (Liberia); planning and evaluation of rural development projects (Burkina Faso); technical assistance (Mali); advisor Royal Netherlands Embassy (Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal); consultant (Ethiopia); evaluator (Bolivia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tanzania, Uganda); international conferences and policy dialogue (Ghana, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, USA);
    • Working relations with World Bank (1980-84; 1995-99; 1999-2001); European Commission (1985-87); Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1987-99; 2001-2011); 
  5. Publications, evaluation work, papers presented, book reviews and other reports:
    • Africa (general; debt relief, economic reforms, human rights, higher education, urbanization); 
    • West Africa (regional cooperation); 
    • Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Uganda (political development, foreign investments, economic reforms, debt relief, rural and urban development; regional cooperation); 
    • Website “Liberia – Past and Present of Africa’s Oldest Republic” (since 2001);
    • Blog "Liberian Perspectives - Comments on Events in Liberia and Liberia Related Events" (since 2007);
    • Most recent publication: 'Liberia: From The Love of Liberty to Paradise Lost' (ASC Leiden, 2015).
  6. Research areas: 
    • Black people in Western art
    • Black people in the Netherlands in the 16th century
    • Black people in Dutch children's literature (20th c.)
    • Dutch role in trans-Atlantic slave trade
    • Dutch expansion overseas (Africa)
    • Political and Economic History of Liberia 
    • Sahel: nexus Environment - Population - Stability
    • Trade relations between Portugal and the Hanseatic city of Kampen in the 15th c.
  7. Languages: Dutch, English, French (fluent)
                    German & Spanish (read only)
  8. Twitter accounts:
    @liberiapp & @FredVDKraaij & @FouteStrips