Transaid reflects on 25th anniversary year

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Bicycle ambulances have become an important part of the fight against malaria. TRANSAID

After 25 years, international development charity Transaid continues to push forward with its work to improve road safety and access to healthcare in Africa

2023 marked the silver jubilee year for international development charity Transaid, which is widely supported by both the PCV and HGV sectors in its work to transform road safety in developing countries. During the year, the charity worked hard to continue to transform lives through safe, available and sustainable transport, and celebrated the unique partnerships that it has forged over the last 25 years.

“Thanks to our incredible network of supporters and partners, Transaid has maintained its position as a recognised leader in our two core areas of focus. We have continued to work with local partners, civil society, international organisations, the private sector, governments and donors implementing sustainable and impactful programmes in road safety and access to healthcare across sub-Saharan Africa,” the charity said, reflecting on the year.

Transaid’s road safety programmes have continued at pace in 2023, and the charity says its driver training programmes in Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Mozambique have seen great success in terms of the numbers of trainers and drivers that have been trained to an improved standard. “This is a testament to our partners in the countries where we are working, and our focus remains on the sustainable development goals, and particularly to halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes by 2030,” the charity said.

Key road safety highlights from the last year included a 30% increase in the number of drivers and trainers trained in Transaid-assisted centres year-on-year, whilst the charity has now supported the training of more than 60,000 professional drivers since 2008. Over 80 female drivers have been trained as part of its Professional Driver Training Uganda Project Phase Two (PDTU-2).

In May, Transaid secured an extension of its work funded by the FIA Foundation to lead the second phase of a project to establish a National Helmet Wearing Coalition in Kenya, which aimed to cement Kenyan ownership of this initiative, strengthening the implementation of the current Kenyan Helmet Standard, and equipping motorcycle users with knowledge of helmet quality. In the latter part of the year, Transaid and partners delivered Training of Trainers training to motorcycle rider trainers, association leaders, and road safety advocates, which included modules on safe behaviours and post-crash care for first responders to motorcycle crashes.

Towards the end of 2023 and coinciding with the release of the World Health Organisation’s latest Global Status Report on Road Safety, reports highlighted that the number of people who died in traffic incidents in Africa rose by 17% in the past decade, despite global road traffic deaths falling by 5%.

Driver training remains a key focus of the charity. TRANSAID

A first

In a first for Transaid during the year it commenced a 10-month project, funded by Volvo Research and Educational Foundations, and in partnership with Durham University, to better understand the strategies young men in London and Cape Town implement to keep themselves safe while walking to public transport.

Meanwhile, the PDTU-2 project came to a conclusion earlier in the year. Over a two-year period, almost 900 predominantly HGV drivers were trained, exceeding the project’s original training goal by more than 15%. Key to the project was the aim of encouraging more women into the sector, and Transaid says the fact that around 10% of the trainees were women also demonstrates an appetite for a more inclusive workforce.

Transaid acknowledged the support of its corporate partners, which it says is paramount to the success of its road safety programmes. During 2023, two Michelin Training Instructors delivered tailored tyre safety training to truck and bus driver trainers on Transaid’s projects in Zambia and Ghana.

In September, Nicoletta Effah, a Graduate Operations Management Trainee from logistics firm GXO, embarked upon a six-month secondment as a Project Officer for Transaid, supporting its longstanding road safety project with the Industrial Training Centre (ITC) in Lusaka, Zambia. In early 2024, the ITC is expected to receive two vehicles donated by hauliers Fagan & Whalley and Samworth Brothers, which have both been fitted with telematics and safety equipment by Microlise and Brigade Electronics. Nicoletta will manage the effective integration of the two vehicles and the respective equipment into the training centre, to ensure that they have the greatest impact.


Transaid also works closely with communities and governments on improving access to healthcare, with a focus on ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for everyone at all ages. Following the transition of its flagship MAMaZ Against Malaria programme to government ownership in Zambia, its Community Health Volunteers and Emergency Transport Scheme riders continued efforts to tackle severe malaria in rural Zambia through the delivery of a critical pre-referral treatment and the utilisation of bicycle ambulances to improve and ensure timely access to health facilities.
In recent years, Transaid says the project has seen an 87% reduction in the number of children dying of severe malaria, whilst broadening its reach across 10 districts.

Between April 2022 and March 2023, Transaid and its partners continued work with the Uganda National Health Laboratory Services, the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), and other partners to provide Covid-19 rapid antigen test screening in Uganda for truck drivers and their assistants. The project team raised awareness of symptoms and prevention, tackled vaccine hesitancy, integrated road safety messaging, and conducted over 2,600 tests and reached over 8,000 drivers.

In 2021, Transaid and partners conducted a research project aimed at investigating the role of the transport sector in facilitating and preventing trafficking in persons along high-volume transport corridors in East Africa, as well as potential solutions for identifying and preventing human trafficking. In May 2023, this research was published, and the potential areas of intervention identified include training for vehicle operators delivered by transport associations or driver training schools; targeted public education campaigns focused on the transport routes and vehicles favoured by traffickers; and training for border control officials and traffic police.

40 riders took part in the 187 mile cycle ride from London to Paris. TRANSAID


2023 was another busy year for Transaid’s fundraising team and Ambassadors, who it said worked tirelessly to increase awareness of its work and raise vital funds. In September, its London to Paris cycle challenge made a post-pendemic return, and despite more punctures than ever before, the 40 riders came together and raised more than £65,000 for its international aid programmes.

In June, the charity launched its next African cycle challenge, which will see riders travel to Kenya in October 2024. Almost 30 spaces have now been taken, Transaid reports, adding that interested parties should register soon to avoid missing out.

“We are so grateful to all of the individuals, teams, and companies that have taken on a challenge for Transaid this year. From the intrepid cyclists, to those that got involved with our 2.5 challenge, thank you for helping us transform lives across sub-Saharan Africa in 2023,” the charity said. “Transaid is grateful to have continued its position as one of the charities of the industry and our presence at almost 30 industry events has truly helped to increase awareness of Transaid’s mission and raise crucial funds for our programmes. Particular highlights include the Multimodal Exhibition and Awards, the Microlise Exhibition and Conference, the Motor Transport Awards, and the Logistics UK Logistics Awards. Not forgetting the inaugural Transaid Cup which took place in July and helped to unite the transport industry whilst raising crucial funds for our projects.”

The charity continued to expand its networks with the welcoming of new corporate partners Iron Mountain and Brigade Electronics, as well as five new Trustees, namely Astrid van der Burgt, Paul Milner, Phil Kamutenga, Philip Roe, and Sharn Samra, as well as new Ambassadors Jayne Masters, Nicola Robertson, Abbie Rennison, and Clara Thomas during the year.


Transaid’s 25th Anniversary Showcase took place in November and saw more than 170 supporters, partners and development organisations come together to mark a quarter of a century of work. “We were delighted that our Patron and founder, HRH The Princess Royal attended the event as the guest of honour,” Transaid said. Rounding off what it called a fantastic anniversary year, Transaid’s 2023 Christmas Appeal raised over £42,000, a new fundraising record for the annual campaign.

“As we conclude Transaid’s 25th Anniversary year, we reflect on our successes of the last 25 years and we look forward to a new strategy commencing in 2024 for Transaid. Significant plans are already in place to continue to grow the scale and impact of our road safety and access to healthcare work and increase our focus on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030,” the charity concluded in its look-back at the anniversary year.