Transaid is encouraging more women in Uganda to take up jobs as HGV drivers as the sub-Saharan African country battles with its own driver shortage problems.

The international development charity said Uganda is experiencing a huge rise in demand for professional drivers, which is expected to increase over the coming years and it believes getting more women behind the wheel will benefit haulage companies.

Transaid said it was currently reviewing course training materials to ensure they were appropriate to female and male drivers and working with trainers to check their training styles were inclusive and adding new content on the importance of respect in the workplace.

Neil Rettie, Transaid road safety project manager, said: “We know from research that female drivers are statistically safer on the road and take less risks than their male counterparts; plus, some examples show a reduction in fuel theft.

“Yet the challenge we often face is companies wanting to take on drivers with experience; and suddenly we’re not only encouraging them to take on their first ever female driver, but also someone who is new to the sector.”

He added: “We are going to be setting out plans to actively engage with local firms to ensure they realise the benefits that female drivers bring.”