The Hawassa City Road & Transport Office is constructing a driving licence training centre with nine million Birr from the Southern Regional State Transport Bureau in Hawassa Town.
The facility will be the third national training centre after those in Addis Abeba and Bahir Dar.
The construction agreement between the city’s transport office and Eyob Mekebeb General Construction, which is to perform the construction, was signed on Tuesday, June 7, 2011. Eyob Mekebeb General Construction was licensed by the region in May 2010 and has constructed health centres and schools for the regional government.
Construction commenced on an 80ht plot that was contributed by the city administration lease free in Hawassa, located 275km from Addis Abeba, on Monday, June 6. It is expected to be finalised within 270 days.
“Standardised equipment has been included in the design of the facilities where training for different licence grades will be offered for motorcycles, minibuses, cars, and trucks,” Samuel Abeto, head of the city’s transport office, told Fortune. “The centre will provide theoretical and practical training in addition to refresher courses for drivers.”
The centre was designed by the construction and design authority of Southern Regional State.
“To date, training took place on the streets of Hawassa, which created shortcomings in the instruction,” Daniel Melkamu, who has worked as a driver trainer in Hawassa for eight years, told Fortune. “The new training centre is supported by state-of-the-art technology that include CCTV. Trainees are tested remotely, while the exams are computerised and monitored through a network.”
The training centre will also work with the town’s six private driving licence training centres: Zebra, Abay, Turbo, Tonawoch, Zayen, and Inflink training centres, according to Samuel.
Between 11,000 and 12,000 drivers are trained in Hawassa annually, according to Samuel. The city’s transport office expects the training centre to raise the number of trainees to between 22,000 and 25,000.
The regional transport office also plans to construct seven additional training centres in Hosanna, Dilla, Arba Minch, Wolayta Sodo, Welkite, Bonga, and Jinka towns over the next five years, according to Samuel.