An independent assessment of international development organisation Transaid’s Professional Driver Training Programme in Uganda has found that 100 per cent of trainees felt the knowledge and experience acquired during the training equipped them with the necessary skills needed to enter the job market.

Of 194 drivers surveyed for the end of project evaluation report, conducted by an external evaluator, 90 per cent also reported feeling safer on the road as a result of the training and 99 per cent felt the training either met or exceeded their expectations.

The four-year project began in 2016 to improve the standards of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) and public service vehicle (PSV) driver training and to expand training capacity throughout the country.

The objective has been to improve road safety in a country which suffers one of Africa’s worst road traffic incident rates, claiming an estimated 12,000 lives each year[1] and to ensure Ugandan drivers can meet the needs of the private sector as demand for qualified drivers grows.

To date, the project has delivered specialist HGV & PSV training to 17 Ugandan trainers, representing 7 different training schools, and responsible for training 642 drivers overall – all to the standards of the East African Community (EAC) curriculum for large commercial vehicle drivers, developed by Transaid to harmonise road safety standards in the region.

A core component of the programme has been to train trainers and subsequently drivers of commercial vehicles, building local skills that will enable communities to continue the important road safety work in a sustainable manner, without requiring external support in the long-term.

Reflecting on the work of the programme, Caroline Barber, CEO of Transaid, said: “We are incredibly proud of what this project has achieved over the last four years.

“The programme has driven up training standards and made training far more accessible to Ugandan drivers, upskilling the workforce. This will have a lasting impact on the transport and logistics sector in Uganda, and road safety more generally.

“Prior to the programme starting in 2016, driver training expertise was commonly imported from outside the country, whereas now we are seeing the transport sector utilising Uganda’s highly-qualified trainers – who are considered to be amongst the best in the region – a testament to the scheme’s success.

“As ever, none of this would have been possible without the phenomenal support from the UK transport and logistics industry, which has been pivotal to this programme’s success in providing staff and equipment for training and sharing industry best practice and knowledge with the local teams on the ground.”

Transaid’s involvement in this phase of the programme came to an end in November 2020, but the important work continues under the stewardship of its project partner Safe Way Right Way, at the specialist HGV & PSV training school in Mukono. Transaid is currently exploring options for a second phase to the programme to widen the impact and bring in a strong focus on women’s empowerment in the sector.

The programme has been undertaken in partnership with the German development cooperation’s Employment and Skills for Eastern Africa initiative, local non-governmental organisation Safe Way Right Way and the Ugandan government and local private sector.

The Professional Driver Training Programme in Uganda (PDTU) is an initiative of the GIZ Employment and Skills for Development in Africa (E4D) programme which is funded by the German and Norwegian governments. The initiative is being implemented in partnership with Transaid and Safe Way Right Way on behalf of GIZ E4D

For more information and to find out how you can support the organisation visit www.transaid.org.