Transaid’s Programme Support Manager, Sam Clark, joined a line-up of renowned road safety experts to speak at the International Road Federation’s two-day Regional Road Safety Conference in Tanzania. The invitation highlighted Transaid’s expertise in professional driver training and the implementation of transport management systems in the developing world.

The March conference, on the topic of ‘Fast tracking road safety initiatives in Africa: an inescapable necessity’, saw Clark set out Transaid’s approach of partnering with local driver training institutions to build training capacity, whilst pushing for the adoption of improved standards both nationally and regionally.

To date Transaid has coordinated more than 70 ‘train the trainer’ inputs thanks to extensive support from UK member companies, with local trainers passing on these essential skills to more than 15,000 HGV, PSV and forklift drivers across projects in Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda and Malawi. Transaid has also developed a regional curriculum which is in the process of being adopted by the East African Community member states, and will boost driving standards and improve safety across the region.

“No driver should have to go to work fearing they might not come home because of a lack of training, dangerous vehicles or road conditions. It’s only through collaboration in forums like this, and having open conversations about what works and how to use limited resources, that we can empower people to transform their own lives,” Clark told delegates.

Despite owning only 54 per cent of the world’s registered vehicles, Africa’s disproportionately high road fatality rates account for 90 per cent of all road traffic deaths* – a statistic Transaid is working to reduce.

Also key to his presentation was the importance of implementing transport management systems, citing how transport is critical for health service delivery and embedding a culture of safe and efficient transport use within public and private sectors. Clark shared examples of how Transaid has worked with organisations to improve health service delivery through building the capacity of local transport managers to oversee Ministry of Health fleets, whilst reducing fleet sizes and driving up asset availability and utilisation.

With more than 25 years’ experience, including 19 as an independent organisation, Transaid understands how indispensable sharing limited resources can be and is therefore committed to its free-to-access online Knowledge Centre, packed full of its training manuals, assessment tools, technical case studies and research papers. All resources can be downloaded for free, helping to ensure the widest possible impact.

* WHO – Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015

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