Dr. Dirk Kohnert


Biographical data:

  • Born in 1946
  • Education: 1967-72 studies in economics at Kiel University; 1972-81 post-graduate studies at School of Oriental and African Studies, London, University of Ibadan (Nigeria) and Kiel University; graduation as Dr. sc. pol. (summa cum laude), Kiel University/Germany

  Professional career:

1981-1984: Lecturer at the Centre of Development Planning, Faculty of Sociology, University of Bielefeld
1985-1986: Government advisor, Dept. of Regional Planning, Ministry of Econ. Co-operation and Planning, Bissau, Guinea-Bissau
1987-1990: GTZ senior staff member, integrated rural development project CARDER-Atlantique, Benin
1991 - 2009: editor of the academic journal Africa Spectrum

1991 - 2011

2011 -




Deputy Director,  GIGA Institute of African Affairs 

retired since 2011, but still interested in consultancy, research, monitoring & evaluation, notably on the socio-cultural dimension of development and  African Affairs

...   visions for the third stage of my life:

  • Tai Chi, practised since about two decades, guided by my admired taiji-teacher Daniel Grolle, co-founder of the German Taiji-network, who developed his own style of this traditional Chinese martial art and meditation, focusing on human interchange and transmitting the principles of Tai Chi in everyday life, 
  • pro-active engagement within our multi-generation residencial community "Torfwiesenau" (lit. Peat meadow mead, at the Kiel fjord)
  • writing & research on family history and migration,
  • trekking & cycling.



Dr. Dirk Kohnert

associated research fellow
Institute of African Affairs
GIGA-Hamburg / Germany



... constructing our multi-generation residential community - Torfwiesenau (lit. Peatmeadowmead, at the Kiel fjord, near Heikendorf), assisted by my two sons