Fred van der Kraaij

Dr. Fred van der Kraaij (1946) is a Dutch economist. He specialised in the economics of African countries. He obtained a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Tilburg (with honors, 1983).

He taught at the University of Liberia in the 1970s, lived in West Africa for over 16 years (1975-1991) and was previously employed by the government of Liberia, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the World Bank (the latter in Washington DC, 1999-2001). After a twenty-year career abroad he worked twenty years with the ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague where he was a senior evaluator in the ministry’s independent evaluation department (1991-2011). His evaluation work includes Dutch co-financing with the World Bank, the evaluation of General Budget Support, the Dutch government’s bilateral Africa policy, and international debt relief to Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.


He worked in 15 African countries and lived in four: Liberia (1975-1980), Burkina Faso then called Upper Volta, 1980-1984), Mali (1984-1987) and Senegal (1987-1991). It is interesting to note that he experienced four military coups d’état, one failed coup, a border war, and serious civil unrest. He retired in 2011.

His books include ‘Liberia’s Open Door Policy. An Economic History of Modern Libera’ (Uebersee Museum Bremen, 1983),  ‘Structural Adjustment and Beyond in Sub-Saharan Africa. Policy and Research Issues’ (with Rolph van der Hoeven, eds.,  Currey/Heinemann, 1994),  ‘L’ajustement structurel et au-delà en Afrique subsaharienne. Thèmes de recherche et thèmes politiques’ (with Rolph van der Hoeven,  eds., Karthala, 1995), ‘Liberia: van vrijheidsideaal naar verloren paradijs’ (African Studies Centre Leiden, 2013) and  ‘Liberia: From The Love of Liberty to Paradise Lost’ (African Studies Centre Leiden, 2015). 

He maintains a website Liberia: Past and Present of Africa’s Oldest Republic (since 2002) and a blog ‘Liberian Perspectives’ (since 2007) and twitters as @liberiapp and @FredVDKraaij.

Mail: Fred van der Kraaij