The German development agency GIZ and Swedish bus manufacturer Scania have launched a programme to train bus drivers in Ghana. Both parties want to encourage women to participate in the programme as they are considered to be safer drivers than men.
The GIZ and Scania are committed to proving long-term professional training for drivers in a bid to increase road safety in Ghana. One of their aims is to encourage women to participate in the programme.
One of the project's objectives is to train 600 bus drivers – with at least 10% of them being women. Studies show that they drive more defensively than men and cause fewer accidents. That is why the “Female Drivers Campaign” was launched.
Of the 380 women who had previously applied for the programme, 100 candidates were invited to the open day “Women Moving the City” that took place in Achimota, Ghana on September 8, 2017.
There, the women learned about the content of the training, the entry criteria for the profession and subsequent employment opportunities with the Greater Accra Passenger Transport Executive (GAPTE) Committee.
Frederick Morsing, Managing Director at Scania West Africa, has no doubt that women drivers will serve as role models and that their male colleagues will learn from their driving style.
The development partnership came about as there is a lack of trained professional drivers in Ghana. As a result of the lack of specialist training programmes for professional drivers in Ghana to date, local bus and truck drivers do not meet modern road safety standards.
In addition, many buses and trucks are not roadworthy, increasingly endangering the safety of other road users.
In order to sustainably tackle the challenges of passenger transport in Accra, Scania provided 300 buses to establish the planned Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) and together with GIZ founded a transport academy.
In future, the academy is to train bus and truck mechanics in addition to car mechanics. To support the programmes, Scania has set up a training centre that offers theoretical training courses as well as a modern repair workshop for buses.
At the open day in Achimota the Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, praised the project.
In his view, the key to success lies in close cooperation between the companies, the local ministries and the population. That is essential in order to make lasting improvements to the public transport system in Ghana.