If you would like to know what a PAF project is about, take a look at the testimonials of recent candidates. They are classified by region where their assignment took place. Enjoy and be inspired!

Be informed

< Back to overview

Jan De Niel - Participant 2018-2019

“Arriving empty-handed in Africa meant that I was forced to take the initiative and get both my personal and professional life sorted.”


As a business development engineer, Jan worked to increase the visibility and presence of International Marine and Dredging Consultants (IMDC) in the West African market.


IMDC wanted to grow and strengthen its market position in West Africa, a region that is particularly vulnerable to water-related risks. Jan revived the contacts with existing partners from previous projects and established new long-term partner relationships. He was also able to identify upcoming projects and new customers, thanks to this thorough market research, as well as evaluate market opportunities in the area.

How he benefited

Being sent off on his own to another country, in Ghana, with an almost non-existent local network gave Jan a huge boost, both professionally and personally. Working in such a different cultural environment was a real challenge. It forced Jan to develop self-confidence and assertiveness.

The Prince Albert Fund year helped him shift from a mainly passive way of working to a more proactive approach and a higher level of independence. Prior to this, Jan was mostly involved in engineering job. Sales or business development were never really part of his job. “While it was not an easy thing to do, I believe that I managed to make the shift”, he concludes.

The company – International Marine and Dredging Consultants

IMDC is an engineering and consultancy company, specializing in water-related studies on topics such as coastal erosion, dredging, flood protection, port and marine infrastructure and offshore Wind & Blue Energy. IMDC is an affiliate of Tractebel Engineering.

“The input provided by Jan’s market report is valuable for IMDC in terms of the opportunities for dredging, marine, coastal and flood engineering and Early Flood Forecasting Systems in this region.”

© 2024