The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Michael Okyere Baafi, has reiterated government’s readiness to support businesses in Ghana’s construction industry to thrive in the wake of the global economic crisis.
He said that government was keen on partnering with various technical institutions and private sector players by introducing policies that would enhance the sector amid the country’s competitive built environment.
The Deputy Minister was speaking during a construction technologies workshop held at the Regional Water and Environmental Sanitation Centre (RWESCK) at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), in Kumasi.
“The government of Ghana, through the Ministry of Trade & Industry, stands ready to assist businesses and local manufacturers in the construction industry, by creating a conducive environment and developing testing facilities to help enhance their production and stay profitable,” he stated.
He noted that government recognised the role of institutional partnerships in coming up with policies and directives that would improve the building and construction industry, and was, therefore seeking more collaborations with industry players to enhance the sector.
“The Ghana Building Code, developed by the Ghana Standards Authority, in collaboration with other agencies and institutions, is an example of the government’s commitment to partnering with technical institutions to ensure that buildings, roads and other infrastructure, are constructed according to the highest standards,” Hon. Baafi noted
He further encouraged stakeholders to involve themselves in policy-making processes so as to contribute to the development of the sector.
Prof. Alex Dodoo, Director-General of the GSA, stated that the new GSA law mandated it to collaborate with academia and industry to design standards that would help improve the construction industry, hence, the workshop.
“Our new law is clear that we have to undertake and encourage academic work in connection with standardisation. We are undertaking and encouraging educational work in connection with standardisation, establishing laboratories and other facilities to promote research and provide for examination, testing and certification of goods, services, processes and systems,” he said.
Prof. Dodoo further encouraged stakeholders in the sector to approach the GSA and make use of the Ghana Building Code in order to help mitigate the effects of earthquakes and other natural disasters, should they occur.
“In the wake of earthquakes and earth tremors being experienced in parts of the world, it is important we come together and ensure that standards in the construction industry are strictly adhered to.
“The GSA, with support from the government and the engineering community, has come up with a comprehensive building code which contains all the tools and directions on how buildings, roads and other infrastructure should be constructed. The construction sector is ready to take off in Ghana and the Ghana Building Code creates opportunities for industry to collaborate and build the country we want,” he added.
Dr. Wolfram Schmidt, a Senior Researcher at the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing – Germany (BAM), in a presentation, highlighted the future developments in cement and concrete technologies.
He noted that his outfit was ready to collaborate with Ghana’s construction industry to find sustainable, effective and alternative materials for construction.
The workshop, held on the theme: “Facilitating the Implementation of Science-Based Sustainable Construction Technologies”, was organised as part of an ongoing Institutional Partnership Agreement between the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), and the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), with the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) and the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The workshop provided an overview of the academic, government, and business strategies for developing novel construction materials, construction chemicals, and sustainable binders for a sustainable built environment in Africa, specifically Ghana.
Stakeholders that attended the programme included representatives from Ghana Cement Limited (GHACEM); KNUST’s Engineering School; Engineering Council; Building Research Institute (BRI); MoTI; GSA, among others.