Research staff


Senior researchers
Prof. Dr. G.J. (Jan) Abbink
Jan Abbink is an anthropologist-historian and carries out research on the history and cultures of the Horn of Africa (Northeast Africa), particularly Ethiopia.
Geographic expertise: Ethiopia, Somalia, Northeast Africa, Horn of Africa

Dr. A. (Akinyinka) Akinyoade
Akinyinka Akinyoade's research activities are on population health and development, with special attention on fertility dynamics in West Africa.
Geographic expertise: West Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya, Tanzania

Dr. A. (Azeb) Amha
Dr. Azeb Amha is a linguist interested in Afroasiatic languages; she is also the coordinator of the Research Masters African Studies.
Geographic expertise: Ethiopia

Prof. Dr. M.E. (Mirjam) de Bruijn
Mirjam de Bruijn is an anthropologist whose work has a clearly interdisciplinary character. She has done fieldwork in Cameroon, Chad and Mali and an important theme throughout is how people manage risk (drought, war, etc.) in both rural and urban areas.
Geographic expertise: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Mali, Sahel

Prof. Dr. F. (Fantu) Cheru
Fantu Cheru is a political economist. His research concentrates on emerging powers and African development, natural resources (in particular mining) governance, and South-South cooperation in agriculture and food security.
Geographic expertise: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Zambia

Dr. M. (Marleen) Dekker
Marleen Dekker is a development economist and human geographer.
Geographic expertise: Ethiopia, Togo, Zimbabwe, Nigeria

Prof. Dr. A.J. (Ton) Dietz
Prof. Ton Dietz has been Director of the African Studies Centre since 1 May 2010 and is also Professor of the Study of African Development at Leiden University.
Geographic expertise: Ghana, Kenya, South Africa

Prof. Dr. J.W.M. (Han) van Dijk
Han van Dijk is an anthropologist. Having studied forestry, his research now focuses on political decentralization, land tenure, natural resource management and farmer-herder strategies in response to climate variability and development policy.
Geographic expertise: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger

Prof. Dr. R.A. (Rijk) van Dijk
Rijk van Dijk is an anthropologist. He is an expert on Pentecostalism, globalization and transnationalism, migration, youth and healing.
Geographic expertise: Botswana, Ghana, Malawi

Dr. M.R. (Michel) Doortmont
Michel Doortmont is a historian with a research interest in the history and culture of Anglophone West Africa, the Atlantic slave trade, and the Black Atlantic.
Geographic expertise: Ghana, Nigeria, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, South Africa

Prof. Dr. J.B. (Jan-Bart) Gewald
Jan-Bart Gewald is a historian specialized in the social history of Africa.
Geographic expertise: Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ghana

Dr. M.M.A. (Mayke) Kaag
Mayke Kaag is a social anthropologist interested in processes of change and continuity in West and West-Central Africa.
Geographic expertise: Senegal, Chad, Cameroon

Dr. A.H.M. (André) Leliveld
André Leliveld is a development economist and does research on informal insurance and social-support systems and community-based (health) insurance schemes in Africa.
Geographic expertise: Swaziland, Ghana

Dr. M.M.E.M. (Marcel) Rutten
Marcel Rutten's research activities concentrate on natural resource management, notably of land and water, in (semi-)arid Africa.
Geographic expertise: East Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia

Prof. Dr. C.U. (Chibuike) Uche
Chibuike Uche is the chairholder of the Stephen Ellis Chair for the Governance of Finance and Integrity in Africa.
Geographic expertise: Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, West Africa

Dr. K. (Klaas) van Walraven
Klaas van Walraven is a historian and political scientist currently working on the history of colonialism and decolonisation in French Equatorial Africa.
Geographic expertise: Niger, West Africa, Central African Republic


Junior / Postdoctoral researchers
K. (Kassim) Assouma
Kassim Assouma is a PhD candidate and a Junior Researcher in the NWO-funded project, “Increasing Political Leverage of Informal and Formal Workers’ Organisations for Inclusive Development: The cases of Ghana and Benin”.
Geographic expertise: Benin

Dr. W.J. (Willem) Elbers
Willem Elbers’ research activities are on civil society and lobby and advocacy.

T.D. (Tanja) Hendriks
Tanja Hendriks works as a junior researcher for the NWO-funded project Increasing Political Leverage of Informal and Formal Workers’ Organizations for Inclusive Development: the Cases of Ghana and Benin.
Geographic expertise: Malawi, Ghana, Burundi

J.E. (Jasmijn) van Holsteijn
Jasmijn van Holsteijn works as a research assistant for the ASCL/Liliane Foundation project Breaking Down Barriers to Exclusion. Building Capacity for Lobby and Advocacy for Children with Disabilities.

A.H. (Agnieszka) Kazimierczuk
Agnieszka Kazimierczuk is working in the framework of the NWO-funded project Dutch Multinational Businesses, Dutch Government and the Promotion of Productive Employment in Sub-Sahara Africa.
Geographic expertise: Ghana, Burkina Faso, Kenya


Coordinator Research Masters

Dr. C.T. (Karin) Nijenhuis
Karin Nijenhuis works as a Knowledge Manager at the Secretariat for the Knowledge Platform on Inclusive Development Policies.


Publications manager

Dr. H. (Harry) Wels
Harry Wels is the Publications Manager of the African Studies Centre Leiden.


Retired research fellows
Prof. Dr. W.E.A. (Wouter) van Beek
Wouter van Beek is an anthropologist whose main thematic interests are religion, cultural ecology and tourism.
Geographic expertise: Cameroon, Mali, Namibia, South Africa, Southern Africa

Prof. Dr. W.M.J. (Wim) van Binsbergen
Wim van Binsbergen retired in 2012. He is still doing research and remains affiliated to the African Studies Centre.
Geographic expertise: Botswana, Zambia

Dr. D.W.J. (Dick) Foeken
Dick Foeken is a human geographer and his main research interests are urban poverty, urban water supply and urban agriculture in Africa.
Geographic expertise: Kenya

Prof. Dr. J.C. (Jan) Hoorweg
Jan Hoorweg is currently seconded to Moi University as coordinator of the Coast Environment Research Station (CERS).
Geographic expertise: Kenya

Dr. W.M.J. (Ineke) van Kessel
Ineke van Kessel is a historian who focuses mainly on contemporary issues in South Africa.
Geographic expertise: Ghana, Southern Africa, South Africa