By Spy Uganda
During her visit in Uganda, Princess Royal Anne, visited female truck drivers at Safeway Right Way training centre in Mukono North Constituency where she encouraged young women to engage in driving heavy trucks to earn a living.
Her Royal Highness was joined by her husband, Sir Tim Laurence, during the engagement. She first had a closed-door meeting with trainers and staff at the centre, where she interacted with them one-on-one. She then spent time encouraging female drivers to love their jobs.
Meanwhile, the executive director of Safe Way Right Way, Peter Tibigambwa, said the centre is an effort to train drivers to reduce road accidents. The non-governmental organisation was founded in 2013 as a result of a collaboration between TotalEnergies and Work Bank’s Global Road Safety Partnerships to improve road safety on economic road corridors.
Tibigambwa said: “There are many accidents on our roads caused by unprofessional and careless drivers. We are mainly training women because they are the most trusted people with vehicles, and they are always so careful.“
Since 2017, at least 64 female drivers have been trained at the centre. Overall, the project has supported over 700 Ugandans over the last four years as they prepare to gain employment while ensuring roads are kept safe. During the visit, Nell Rettie, the Road Safety Project Manager, thanked Her Royal Highness for her support.
He said Transaid saw the need to build the capacity and capability of driver-training programs in sub-Saharan Africa. He believes it’s needed to help lessen a ‘horrific toll’ of deaths and injuries involving commercial vehicles on roads.
Mariam Akech, a female driver, said she loves her job and has a passion for driving long-distance trucks. Because of the training, she said she can now fully support her family. Another driver said she joined the programme during the global health crisis and is also able to support her family because of the training.