Spotlight: Farewell Ton Dietz

Prof. Ton Dietz has retired as Director of the African Studies Centre Leiden and as Professor of the Study of African Development on 1 September 2017. He gave his Farewell Lecture 'Africa: Still a Silver Lining' on Monday 25 September in the Academy Building, Leiden. Here's an overview of all the news concerning Ton Dietz's farewell.

The Lecture

Read Ton Dietz’s lecture: Africa; still a silver lining (pdf). Read the thematic maps and the infosheet he used during his lecture:

Ton received the Order of Merit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from Minister Bert Koenders after the lecture.
The lecture was live streamed on our Facebook page. The offical video registration of the lecture includes the speeches afterwards.


Book cover

Ton received a Festschrift from his (former) colleagues: The Face of Africa. Essays in honour of Ton Dietz. The 19 essays in this volume range wide and address three broad themes, which the editors (Wouter van Beek, Jos Damen & Dick Foeken) suggested to the contributors: coping with Africa, the relation between people and environment, and development. 

Web dossier Ton Dietz

On the occasion of Ton's retirement, the ASCL Library created a special web dossier, consisting of titles from the ASCL Library collection written by Ton Dietz and by others, but all related to subjects important in the work and private life of Ton Dietz. 

Media interviews

We did an extensive farewell interview with Ton this summer. In particular his statements about more development in Africa leading to more migration were picked up by the media. He was subsequently interviewed by Belgian online magazine, Leidsch Dagblad, de Volkskrant, Radio 1MareMet het Oog op Morgende Volkskrant again, Belgian newspaper De Tijd and Leiden-based radio show Science071. He also wrote an article for OneWorld about how he became a migration expert.


Coinciding with his retirement, Ton has organized the exhibition Early postal services in East Africa at the ASCL. African postal heritage is one of Ton's many fields of interest, which is why he also initiated the African Postal Heritage Series.

Ton Dietz will remain co-chair of the Leiden African Studies Assembly, and still has PhD candidates to supervise. Likewise, he has not yet finished his research of his favourite spot in Africa: Pokot, in Kenya (the place that gave him his African name Ilat, or ‘thunder and lightning’). Many reasons why we will still - gladly! - see him at the ASCL.