KIT Sustainable Economic Development – Fred Zaal

“‘For me, KIT is the ideal combination of knowledge and practice. At the University of Amsterdam, where I was a teacher and researcher in International Development Studies, theory was important as long as it was linked to the field. During fieldwork, we were able to witness what was really happening ‘on the ground’ in Africa. At KIT, I have the opportunity to get even closer to practice. Most African countries are incredibly dynamic and it is great to be part of that and to provide input.”

Knowledge and experience

“Development cooperation is changing and KIT was one of the first to recognize this. As a research institute, we have been closely involved in these changes, and helped to form them. The important role of the private sector, such as business, NGOs and local cooperatives for example, has long been a focus of KIT’s attention. My work addresses value chains, the system that brings products from producer to consumer, from Africa to the West. We share our knowledge and experience, and conduct research into the effects of various interventions for each of the parties involved. Of course we are particularly interested in their impact on producers. Poverty alleviation is our aim, in line with KIT’s mission, even when the business sector is involved.”

Fred Zaal
Senior Advisor