Transaid road safety project in Uganda lays on Royal welcome
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Patron of Transaid, earlier today (28 October) visited the Safe Way Right Way Driver Training Centre in Uganda to see the second phase of our Professional Driver Training programme in the country underway.
Her visit provided an opportunity to meet with both Transaid and Safe Way Right Way team members, who together are on target to train more than 750 HGV and PSV drivers before this latest two-year phase of the project ends in April 2023.
This current project is an initiative of the GIZ Employment and Skills for Development in Africa (E4D) programme, which is funded by the German and Norwegian governments. It is being implemented jointly by Transaid and Safe Way Right Way on behalf of GIZ E4D.
Florence Bearman, Acting Co-Chief Executive of Transaid, says: “It was fantastic to introduce our Patron to the incredible people behind the project, and to highlight how our work with Safe Way Right Way is helping to save lives. The impact we are having is huge; putting skilled drivers on the road in a country which has for too long suffered one of the highest road crash death rates in Africa, often due to inexperience and poor driver training.
“The Princess Royal was also interested to learn how we are working with private truck and bus fleet operators to promote the benefits of hiring female drivers. Our target for the two years was to train 25 female drivers, and we’ve already exceeded 40 – with six months still to go!”
Whilst on-site The Princess Royal was invited to observe a live driver training exercise using one of the vehicles donated by Transaid corporate members in the UK. She also met a group of students, trainers and programme donors, to hear their first-hand feedback on the project.
Her visit also allowed an opportunity to showcase Transaid’s work throughout the pandemic in supplying HGV drivers with access to fast, quality COVID-19 screening at border crossings in Uganda – a separate initiative helping to reduce the spread and impact of COVID-19, whilst also lessening the economic burden on transport companies.
The Princess Royal has been Transaid’s Patron for almost 25 years and played a leading role in its formation as an independent charity in 1998, after 10 years as part of Save the Children. She regularly represents Transaid at events across the UK and has previously visited Transaid projects in countries including Madagascar and Kenya.
Safe Way Right Way has been Transaid’s non-governmental organisation (NGO) partner since it first launched its driver training activities in the country in 2013, helping to respond to the huge rise in demand for HGV and PSV drivers.