Royal Tropical Institute (KIT)

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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The Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in Amsterdam is an independent centre of knowledge and expertise in the areas of international and intercultural cooperation, operating at the interface between theory and practice and between policy and implementation. The Institute contributes to sustainable development, poverty alleviation and cultural preservation and exchange.

KIT operates internationally through development projects, scientific research and training, and also provides consultancy and information services. These activities, along with those of its Tropenmuseum, Tropentheater and publishing house, are the Institutes means of bringing together people and organizations within the Netherlands and all around the world.

The Institute is a not-for-profit organization that works for both the public and the private sector in collaboration with partners in the Netherlands and abroad.

Integral approach

The Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) conducts research and provides educational, consultancy and information services. Central is the elaboration of practical expertise in policy development and implementation. The Institute advocates an integrated approach that reflects diversity and works towards one clear aim: to produce workable solutions to the challenges of sustainable development and international poverty reduction.


The Institute stewards cultural heritage, organizes exhibitions and other cultural events, and provides a venue for meetings and debate. A key objective underlying KIT's work is to enhance and exchange knowledge of and understanding for different cultures. The Institute has state-of- the-art congress facilities and hotel accommodation.

Public and Private

The Institute works for both the public and the private sector. Partners and clients are governments, companies and international and non-governmental organizations in over 60 countries. On an annual basis the Institute receives over 20,000 visitors.

Colonial Institute

KIT was founded in 1910 as the 'Colonial Institute' to study the tropics and to promote trade and industry in the (at that time) colonial territories of the Netherlands. It was founded on the initiative of a number of large companies, with government support, making it an early example of a public-private partnership.


The Institute has the statutory form of an association with private and corporate members.


HRH Princess Máxima of the Netherlands is the protectress of the Institute. Before HRH Prince Bernard and HRF Prince Claus acted as honorary chairman.


Since 1926, the Institute has been housed in a historic building specially designed by the architect J.J. van Nieukerken and his sons. The building is richly adorned with decorative features and symbols referring to different cultures of the world and the colonial history of the Netherlands.



KIT is a not-for-profit organization. Its five line departments offer a broad range of services and products, some of which are paid for by the general public museum, theatre, books, training. Other services and products are purchased or commissioned by governments, companies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international organizations; some 40% of the Institute's activities are financed by the Dutch government under annual production agreements. international projects. KIT has a turnover of approximately 40 million and employs around 400 people. Half of its staff work on international projects.


Are you organizing a conference, a meeting, a dinner or a business reception? Or are you about to get married? KIT offers stylish accomodation for all sorts of events.

A large and small conference room and auditorium, eight meeting rooms of varying sizes, an impressive reception area. All equipped with modern conference facilities and professional audiovisual and ICT facilities.

Student life

KIT Membership

If you are interested in different cultures, international cooperation and development, then a KIT Membership might be interesting for you! For 35,- euro a year you can become a member. As a KIT member you benefit from a range of attractive discounts. You will also receive regular updates on activities and developments within KIT.
The KIT membership contains:

* Free entrance to the Tropenmuseum, the Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam and the National Museum for Ethnology in Leiden
* Lend books for free from the KIT Library
* Discounts on performances at the Tropentheater for two persons
* Discount on a selection of books published by KIT Publishers
* Program information from the Tropenmuseum and the Tropentheater
* Invitation to our annual meeting for KIT members.

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