Ghana: Women moving the city

Public transport in Ghana‘s capital city Accra is strongly dominated by men and almostentirely provided by self-organized small scale private mini-bus operators. Questionable driving attitude among the operators and male drivers leads to a high rate of accidents. In order to change this situation, Accra Metropolitan and the Ministry of Transport commissioned a Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) from the Swedish manufacturer Scania. BRTS aims at creating around 600 new jobs offering health insurance, regular working hours and a salary comparable to that of a teacher. To ensure the availability of qualified drivers and mechanics, Scania formed a Strategic Alliance with the Governmental Technical Training Center in Accra under the Ministry of Transport, the ‚West-African Transport Academy WATA‘ and with GIZ under the Program, commissioned by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development BMZ. German automotive suppliers Bosch, ZF and Wabco also joined this strategic alliance.

© GIZ/ Alex Kwesi
© GIZ/ Julia Ljundberg
© Scania West Africa / Maria Morsing

Gender – a quality feature of our work

With only one female student among the first batch of 212 trainees, the strategic alliance realized the need for affirmative action. With a special campaign ‚Women Moving the City‘ they reached out to Ghana’s public to mobilize women who were interested in becoming professional bus-drivers. In order to lower the threshold for women, the alliance liaised with Ghana’s Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Authority to design a special training for female bus drivers. The campaign was a success: more than 380 women applied and 60 qualified. In 2018, WATA will train another 300 bus drivers and the partners expect even more female applicants. At the end, the ratio will be at least 20% of women – and these 20% will serve as role models for their male colleagues!

Gender impact: Female driving pays off!

2018_EN_GenderAward_RollUp_Ghana-1Two good reasons to raise the number of female commercial drivers convinced the BRTS-operator. Women are better drivers: International studies show that women are less aggressive behind the wheel than men, which translates into less accidents, less wear on the vehicles and better fuel efficiency—three important economic factors for a company running a fleet of a few hundred buses. Scania Director West-Africa hopes ‘that male drivers will adapt a more feminine driving style with the effect of significant cost reduction.

In December 2017, the female pioneers gained a prominent fan: German Federal President Steinmeier visited them. Together they put a face to this gender transformative approach and small revolution in Accra’s public transport system.

Full information: 2018 EN GenderAward RollUp Ghana

Competition entry: 2018 EN Project Documentation Women Moving The City

Download their contribution to the Gender Slam: Gender Slam Ghana 2018 DeveloPPP De Presentation

Have a look at the pictures of the Gender Slam Team performing:


Have a look at the results of the second screen survey during the Gender Award Ceremony:2018_EN_GenderAward_Questions_Ghana

GIZ staff may download the recordings of the Gender Award and the Gender Slam contribution.

Hartwig Michaelsen

 T + 49 6196 79-2284