The department is a lively community that is recognised internationally as one of the top centres for research and teaching in development studies.
Although my position has evolved to deal mainly with private sector development policy, as an advisor I am completely at the disposal of the minister. A large part of my work involves dealing with unexpected issues that arise, which makes the work environment fast-paced and vibrant. It is an exciting time to be here, as the current minister is very dynamic: since his appointment in 2011, he has pushed forward a high number of priority dossiers and innovative ideas for the country. In particular, it has been very enriching to experience the creation with all the relevant stakeholders of the long-term national development strategy - Djibouti Vision 2035 - and its translation into medium-term sectoral action plans.
On the more personal side, I think most fellows inevitably go through different stages of the 'culture shock model': from the honeymoon period to full adaptation to the local context, and sometimes through a bit of distress. I knew I had adapted to Djibouti the day my minister gave me the instruction to proceed 'à la Djiboutienne' (Djibouti style) on a specific dossier, and I understood perfectly what he meant.