West African Transport Academy
10 JUNE 2017
West African Transport Academy (WATA) is the first training institution in Ghana specifically set-up to cater to the needs of the transport sector. The Academy offers specialized courses for commercial drivers and heavy-duty vehicle operators as well as for mechanics servicing and repairing buses and trucks.
WATA as a project is a joint cooperation between SCANIA as the private company lead and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammernabeit (GIZ) GmbH financing and implementing the public part of a Development Public-Private Partnership on behalf of the German Government's 'develoPPP.de' program.
The other partners in the heavy-duty vehicle sector who also contribute to the project are gearbox manufacturer ZF, airbrake specialist WABCO and electronics supplier BOSCH. The total investment for the three-year project is about € 2.7 million; of which Scania and GIZ share 45% each and the other partners share the remaining 10%.
WATA delivers relevant training for the Ghanaian transport sector. Annexed to the Government Technical Training Center (GTTC) in Accra and located on the Scania West Africa regional workshop in Tema, WATA operates on a commercial base by generating income from service delivery to the transport sector. This is to help the Academy cover running costs on a mid-term perspective.
A technician at the WATA center
The employability of mechanics, operators and commercial drivers is increased due to training offers and packages designed specifically for the transport and logistics industry.
- Train heavy vehicle drivers of which about 10% should be females.
- Have 60 heavy duty vehicle technicians be employed in the sector after receiving specific training at WATA.
- Revenues of the Academy are sufficient to cover running costs on a self-sustaining base in the third year of the project.
The first batch of female truck drivers trained at WATA
The West African Transport Academy provides relevant training offers for the transport sector. Specific modules are compiled to professionalize commercial drivers for buses and trucks as well as operators of typical transport machinery such as forklifts or truck-mounted cranes. The main focus is on road safety, the introduction of systematic maintenance schemes, environmental impact and cost.
For the first time in Ghana, the Academy offers specifically designed training modules on heavy-duty vehicle technology for young automotive students as well as technicians already engaged in the sector in order to upgrade their capacity and professional standards.
Over the short while that WATA has been in operation, the Academy has successfully trained 52 female bus and truck drivers. Most notable are the women driving the fully-loaded ADR trucks hauling fuel from Takoradi to Tarkwa for the mines.