In the Spotlight: Retiring ASC researcher Dick Foeken

After an academic career of 27 years at the ASC, senior researcher Dick Foeken is retiring. Next to his research in the field of urban poverty, urban water supply and urban agriculture, Dick was a member of the management team and deputy director of the ASC. In the nineties he started to coordinate the publications department of the ASC, thus arranging over 300 publications.

Division of Central Africa
Dick graduated from the University of Amsterdam with an MA in Human Geography, specializing in Political Geography. He did research at the Free University into international power relations concerning Africa. This research would later form the basis of his PhD. His case study on the division of Central Africa in the 1875-1885 period was published first as a separate book called ‘België behoeft een kolonie’: de ontstaansgeschiedenis van Kongo Vrijstaat. In 1992 he defended his PhD dissertation entitled De opdeling van Centraal-Afrika, 1875-1885: een analyse van twee territoriale conflicten at the University of Amsterdam. One of the examiners was Ton Dietz, the ASC’s current director.

Hundred publications
By then, Dick had already started at the ASC (in 1987), where he became part of the Food and Nutrition Studies Programme (FNSP), which was based in Kenya. He became involved in two projects: one on labour conditions on large farms and the other on seasonality. In the ASC’s current research programme, Dick has been involved in the projects ‘Food security and the African city: clustering metropolitan food chains’; ‘School farming and school feeding in Nakuru, Kenya’; and ‘Water-sector reforms and interventions in urban Kenya: their Impact on the livelihoods of the poor’. Dick wrote more than 100 publications in his long career. Take a look at the impressive publication list on his profile.

The ASC is grateful for Dick’s many contributions, as a researcher, as a manager, as a publications coordinator, but most of all as a warm colleague!

On 7 April, an extensive interview with Dick Foeken by Maaike Westra will be published in our digital newsletter Habari.