International Building and Construction Exhibition opens

Mr Samuel Yaw Adusei, a Deputy Minister of Water, Works and Housing, says the Ministry is to promote the manufacturing and usage of standardised local building materials and appropriate technologies in housing.

He said another option is to incorporate green building practices in architectural designs and ensuring compliance with green building practices.

This, he said, requires concerted effort on the part of individuals to change attitudes.

Mr Adusei was speaking at the opening of the international building and construction and property exhibition in Accra.

The exhibition which brought together international and local companies together was on the theme: “Alternative energy, a must for socio-economic development.”

He said the theme for this year’s event was very appropriate because of the energy crisis that the country is experiencing even though there has been some positive signs lately.

He said image consortium, organisers of the exhibition, has always been a valued partner of the Ministry in its effort at building sustainable construction industry.

The Deputy Minister said government has set up a high level committee involving the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation to champion the cause.

Mr Adusei called on all professional bodies in the construction industry to complement government’s efforts by ensuring that eco-construction is made a compulsory part of technical training for new members before they are registered.

He said the National Housing Policy was launched in March, with an overall goal of providing decent and affordable housing that is accessible and sustainable.

Mr Adusei noted that to achieve a smooth implementation of the national housing policy, the Ministry is collaborating with UN-Habitat for the formulation of a strategy (action plan) to fit in the global housing strategy that is being championed by the United Nations.

He gave the assurance that, the Ministry would continue to engage the industry countrywide, to ensure that the objectives of building robust construction industry that could be inherited by future generations are realised.

Mrs Mawuena Trebarh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), said the country’s building and construction sector is booming.

She said from 2010 and 2014, total investments in the sector averaged $ 2.08 billion.

Mrs Trebarh said more than 200 companies had registered their projects in the building sector over the same period and these investments, whilst substantial, are wholly inadequate considering the infrastructure gap.

She said the current demand for residential housing units stands at 1.7 million and this would increase by 100,000 units annually.

“This estimate is only for housing units,” she said.

She said in taking advantage of the deficit that the infrastructure gap presented, building materials and construction machinery are at the heart of addressing the shortfall.

She said this presents enormous opportunities for investors, both domestic and foreign, to invest in equipment.

The CEO said the GIPC would provide support to any company that decides to invest in the building and construction space.

“In addition, the centre encourages prospective investors to look at producing these materials in–country as against importing them as finished goods for trading.”

Mrs Trebarh said the boom in the construction industry means that there is the need to ensure the quality of the materials used in the construction.

“High rise building collapses in our country in the last few years only goes to buttress the need to maintain high quality input materials and adherence to building codes,” she said.

Mr Utku Bengizo, General Manager of Point Expo, said more Turkish companies and businessmen would be brought into Ghana to strengthen the bilateral relationship.

He expressed the hope that the exhibition would promote the businesses of the companies in Ghana and Turkey and would yield many economic benefits for the two countries.

Mrs Maame Effia Seki-Aidoo, the CEO of Image Consult, said her outfit had over the past 13 years organised the International building and construction exhibition.

This, she said, has brought many companies into the country and had generated many employment avenues to the youth and businesses in Ghana and also promote development.

Mrs Seki-Aidoo said the purpose of the exhibition is also to bring into the Ghanaian market standard quality building and construction materials to meet the building standards of the country.

She said the exhibition also gives the Ghanaian professionals an exposure to other international professional in the building and construction industry, which provides opportunity for the exchange of knowledge. GNA

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