The British Deputy High Commissioner to Ghana, Keith McMahon MBE, has visited Transaid’s professional driver training programme in Tema, Greater Accra, Ghana to see how the international development organisation is working to improve road safety in the country, which has seen an increase in road crash fatalities in recent years.
During the visit he observed practical refresher training with a group of 11 HGV driver trainers, who have collectively trained almost 1,000 professional drivers to new or improved standards within the last 12 months.
Transaid’s work in Ghana forms part of a three-and-a-half-year project which began in 2021, funded by Puma Energy Foundation, to raise training standards and expand training capacity for HGV drivers – in a country where almost 95% of freight is transported by road.
Commenting on the reason for his visit, McMahon says: “The High Commission provides technical and financial assistance to the African Continental Free Trade Area, and part of increasing trade and investment is improving road transport corridors – which in turn requires highly skilled drivers.
“With HGV traffic on Ghana’s roads set to increase, ensuring access to improved standards of driver training is paramount. Transaid’s ‘train the trainer’ model is helping the country to develop and retain these skills locally, and it was fantastic to meet the team behind it.”
Thelma Ayisi, a Project Manager at Transaid, says: “It was an honour to introduce the British Deputy High Commissioner to our project, and highlight how we are working to ensure consistency of training standards, with the aim of saving lives.
“Our next priority is to focus on securing buy-in from more private sector fleets, by highlighting the advantages of employing drivers who have followed a specific HGV driver training curriculum. These are important steps to improve access to future jobs and help to drive economic growth in Ghana.”
Transaid’s approach is to build local skills to ensure sustainable and lasting change, which it has been able to demonstrate in this project by advancing several Ghanaian driver trainers, with additional training, to achieve the level of master trainer. This enables them to train other driver trainers, as demand dictates.
The initial three-and-a-half-year project in Ghana is set to run until July 2024, by which time Transaid expects to have helped deliver professional driver training to more than 1,500 HGV drivers.
The World Health Organisation estimates that around 7,000 people lost their lives on the road in Ghana in 2016.