Article Courtesy WB.
Bank Group staff live or travel in some very rough neighbourhoods around the world. In many of these countries, staff have escaped injury or death thanks to the skills and quick reflexes of some of the Bank Group’s unsung heroes.
The Africa Region, with the support of Corporate Security, recently organised a Defensive Driver Training course for drivers from all the Country Offices in the Region. The first one, for 40 Anglophone and Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking Angola and Mozambique) drivers began in Kampala on Monday April 28 and will end on May 25.
“The training is part of our regional security program,” said Seydou Thiam, AFR Resource Management Officer who is coordinating the courses from Washington. “It results from a series of accidents and criminal incidents involving Bank vehicles and staff over the past years, some of which have resulted in injuries, loss of life and property damage.”
The first ‘graduates’ received their diplomas from Senegal Country Director John McIntire and Uganda Country Manager Robert Blake.
Arnold Daxe (AFR Regional Security Adviser in Corporate Security) is coordinating the training on-site; he helped the Region to conceive and implement both this driver training, and also the regional security program. Daxe who witnessed the graduation of the first drivers at the Dakar course said that it is going very well so far.
“I am very impressed with the quality of the presentations, the support the instructors are providing, the instructional techniques, and the support of the Dakar Country Office staff,” he said. He added that, “I think Africa Region will be proud of these drivers and I know they have been impressed with what they have learnt so far.”
New Driving Habits
Elias Tiamiyu Akanmu Bada, a driver at the Nigeria Country Office said the course taught him that, “a good driver must work towards safer roads through critical self awareness.” He said he learnt that in defensive driving, “a good driver must drive in such a way as to prevent being involved in an accident, regardless of the actions of other drivers or adverse driving conditions.”
Sami Kemer and Abdella Derese, drivers in the Ethiopia Country Office agreed. Kemer described the course as “the best I have been to at the World Bank; it was a fantastic opportunity.” Derese echoed his sentiments and added that, “I have thoroughly enjoyed this course very much. I learned I had bad habits and now hope to be a much better Bank driver.”
Assefa Arega, another driver from the Ethiopia Country Office said that in addition to the helpful training, he enjoyed meeting his fellow drivers from other offices. “We’ve shared stories, had a lot of laughs and made long lasting friendships. Now if I need support, I know I can call on one of my new found friends.”
Dramane Diarra and Lamine Dembele, drivers from the Mali Country Office said “we have been Drivers for 26 and 12 years respectively, but this is the first time we have attended such a training. This has allowed us to discover our job and better handle our day-to-day responsibilities.”
Daxe and Thiam also added that “the driver training would not be possible without the excellent support and assistance of the Senegal and Uganda Country Offices. Jacqueline Okiria and Vikki Taaka, Kampala office, and Mamadou Thiam and Aby Barro, Dakar office, have smoothly handled all the logistical arrangements.