Exchange to Change | September 2015 | Page 15

Please share with us your birthday wishes for IOB … I would hope IOB can look back and celebrate the impact of their alumni in the nations they represent. It would be good to celebrate this 15 years by reflecting on what the studies at IOB have contributed to the development world through former students. What is the ‘most significant change’ studying at IOB brought about in your life? I learnt economics. Granted, Prof Marysse would not agree to that. Walking into my class on Economic Development and Institutional Change was the first time I ever sat for any manner of discussion on economics. As a lawyer by profession, and coming from an education system where we do not take economics courses unless at the University level, I was for the first time exposed to the economics and development. This significantly changed my view of the development world. Since then, as Prof. Marysse told us to do, I see the world in graphs. What is the role a development institute like IOB should play in the future of development studies or development in general? There is a huge gap in knowledge based research in the development world that has strong local context rooting. IOB sits in a unique position of having had numerous students pass through their hands over the last 15 years. The majority of those students come from nations that need strong research to base important economic and development policy changes. IOB needs to be harnessing this unique positioning to partner with former students, more so those working in government to carry out periodic research pieces to address specific development areas within those countries. 15