Dirk Kohnert, economist, was deputy director of the  Institute of African Affairs (IAA), at GIGA,  German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg/Germany from 1991 to 2011, and editor of the scholarly journal “Africa Spectrum” from 1991 to 2009. Before, he was lecturer in development planning at Bielefeld University and senior development expert in several African countries. He published numerous books and articles in learned journals on economic, social and cultural development, planning and evaluation.

Thematic and regional focus:

  Socio-cultural dimension of development, informal sector, indigenous innovations, regional cooperation and integration in sub Saharan  Africa, evaluation of development cooperation.

  Current research:

  • Comparative studies of Cultures of Innovation of Chinese and African migrant entrepreneurs
  • Migration and development
  • Socio-cultural dimension of development
  • Informal sector / informal institutions
  • transnational social networks in Africa and elesewhere
  • Indigenous innovations
  • Regional cooperation and integration in West Africa
  • Evaluation of development cooperation

  further research interest:

            - interface of social anthropology and neuro-physiology, human rationality 

            - political economy of African religions


Dirk Kohnert


Dr. Dirk Kohnert

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