Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, patron of international development organisation Transaid, has commended the road transport and logistics industry for making an enormous difference to HGV and PSV driver training standards in Sub-Saharan Africa – with more than 9,600 drivers trained over the last 12 months.
The Princess Royal was speaking at Transaid’s annual showcase event on 24 October at law firm Ashurst LLP in London. The charity welcomed 150 supporters, partners and development organisations for an update on its projects, including a presentation from Lloyd Mbasela, the Executive Director of the Industrial Training Centre (ITC) in Zambia.
Guests were reminded how the number of people dying on the roads each year in Sub-Saharan Africa is third only to deaths from HIV/AIDS and Malaria, yet it’s thanks to the transport and logistics industry that Transaid has been able to start tackling this issue.
Caroline Barber, CEO of Transaid, said: “The results we’re achieving from our professional driver training are impressive. It’s not just about prevention, it’s about developing sustainable models that impact the people on the ground and help to increase economic capacity in the countries where we’re working.”
Transaid also used the showcase to focus on its work to support motorcycle and three-wheeler safety – modes of transport which have become a key part of life in many rural areas across Africa. Current projects include an initiative to review legislation and rider training practices in the Democratic Republic of Congo – an enormous country highly dependent on motorcycles – as other means of transport often aren’t suitable due to poor road conditions.
Thanking the industry for its ongoing support, Barber added: “Quite simply, we couldn’t do the work we do today without the people in this room, so we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your support. Together, we have made strong progress to ensure we are bringing about positive change through the provision of safe, available and sustainable transport.”
Concluding the event, The Princess Royal expressed her gratitude to the UK Warehousing Association (UKWA) for raising £75,000 for Transaid to mark its own 75th anniversary. Representing the largest single donation to Transaid for more than a decade, the funds will be used to help take the life-saving MAMaZ Against Malaria initiative to the next level.
Transaid trustee Robert Goundry was also presented with a commemorative gift to mark his long service as a trustee. He will retire after a final meeting in January 2020.