Eric’s story: Professional Driver Training in Uganda

Mukasa Couriers Limited, based in Mengo, Kampala, is a key Ugandan transport and logistics firm which carries out trucking operations for the likes of Total Uganda. The standards it requires from its HGV drivers are above the national minimum standards in Uganda and there are frequently challenges with finding adequately skilled drivers.

The GIZ funded Professional Driver Training Project in Uganda (PDT-U), implemented by Transaid and Safe Way Right Way, aims to address the shortage of appropriate skilled drivers by building the capacity of at least 12 HGV driver trainers in Uganda to be able to deliver training in line with the East African Community Standardised Curriculum for drivers of larger commercial vehicles ahead of its adoption by EAC member states.

Mukasa Couriers Limited committed to a partnership with Transaid and in so doing, agreed to send a proportion of its drivers to be trained by trainers linked to a specialist HGV training school which has been set up by the PDT-U and has been providing training to drivers since May 2018. Eric Mbaalya, the Transport Manager at Mukasa decided to challenge the trainers by sending five newly recruited drivers to undergo training.

“The new drivers that went through the training are already giving tips to the other more experienced drivers – they are better than our most experienced drivers.”

All new drivers at Mukasa Couriers Limited generally undergo a probationary period of six months during which they accompany senior drivers and rarely get to spend much time behind the wheel.

“We rarely give trucks to the new drivers, but those that did the training already have them, after only being with us for three months.”

One thing that Eric particularly liked about the training was that the trainers can deliver the training in local languages so that the drivers fully understand what they are supposed to be doing. He also appreciated the fact that the trainers have driving experience and therefore a knowledge of the day to day challenges experienced by drivers on Uganda’s roads.

“Deo [PDT-U Trainer] is very perfect. He understands drivers.”

Mukasa Couriers Limited are continuing to support the PDT-U by sharing their drivers’ telematics data. By monitoring the ongoing performance of drivers that have been trained, before and after the training, Transaid hopes to demonstrate the impact of its driver training programme in improving safe driving behaviour.

You can find more information about the PTD-U here.