Diageo Plc through its subsidiary Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited (GGBL), the leading total beverage business in Ghana together with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), has organized a two-day workshop aimed at promoting road safety and sustainable transport systems in Ghana.
The workshop brought together key stakeholders who play a part in developing transport systems and promoting road safety in Ghana; including the Ministry of Transport, National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), Ghanaian and international experts, law enforcement officials, among others. It also provided stakeholders the platform to deliberate on solutions and shared best practices and learnings that will help address the issues of road safety in Ghana.
Mr. Alex Mejia, Director, Decentralized Cooperation Programme, UNITAR said, “With the support of Diageo, we have organized four (4) global events and five (5) country events across Africa, Latin America and Asia. We are very proud of this partnership, which aims to improve the capacity of public and civil entities involved in road safety across the world especially in countries with high incidence of road accidents and injuries.”
“Our target is to engage over 7000 people, who will be a mix of government officials, young people, and other relevant stakeholders, through training workshops for government officials at the national and local levels, awareness-raising road shows for young people and high-level conferences on the issue; in order for us to achieve the 2030 agenda for sustainable development of reducing road traffic deaths and injuries by 50% by 2020.
Gabriel Opoku-Asare, Corporate Relations Director for GGBL said, “As a business, we have a strong track record of supporting programmes and policies to address road safety and anti-drink driving. Over the years, through our road safety programme ‘Twa Kwano Mmom’ – a behavioral change programme aimed at reducing drink driving among commercial drivers, we are supporting efforts to reduce alcohol-related incidents on our roads.”
“Our 2020 Sustainability and Responsibility targets seek to create a positive role for alcohol in society through partnerships which reduces alcohol misuse. Based on its impact through our multi-stakeholder approach, the number of alcohol related incidents has reduced in intervention areas. However, we believe there is more to be done and we are committed to playing our role in eradicating harm caused by drink driving”, he added.
Hon. Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover, Deputy Minister for Transport, delivering the keynote address at the workshop disclosed that crash statistics from the beginning of the year till date showed an increase in road accidents and injuries, adding; “this situation is alarming and for government we believe the loss and suffering associated with road traffic deaths and injuries are preventable. With a firm political will and integrated approach which addresses vehicle, road users and the road infrastructure, our roads can be made safer.”
“Ghana for that matter cannot exempt itself from the global agenda to cut road deaths and injuries before the 2020 target. This, therefore, requires the commitment of everyone, especially key stakeholders. Road safety is a shared responsibility and Government is committed to working with the relevant stakeholders in order to make our roads safe, the Deputy Minister remarked.
In 2016, Diageo and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) signed a two-year partnership agreement to collaborate to build institutional and individual capacity to reduce traffic deaths and injuries and improve road safety globally. Training will be run in 15 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin and Central America, with a focus on countries with the highest death rates related to road traffic accidents.
Diageo has a long history of working to reduce alcohol-related fatalities and crashes and supports numerous drink drive prevention programs around the world. These range from supporting high visibility enforcement through random breath tests in countries such as Ghana, Mexico and China, to funding safe rides and free public transportation, and supporting laws to establish maximum blood alcohol concentration levels in countries where none exist.
In Ghana, GGBL’s signature Road to Safety program dubbed “Twa Kwan Mmom, now in its 4th year is executed in partnership with relevant stakeholders in the road safety space. To date, the programme has educated over 7,000 commercial drivers on the dangers of drink driving across 12 major commercial terminals in the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Central, Eastern and Volta regions.