The Deputy Minister for Works and Housing, Hon. Abdulai Abanga has appealed to stakeholders in the built industry to prioritize the use of local building materials in their construction projects.
This, the Deputy Minister noted, will go a long way to mitigate the escalating cost of imported construction materials and help boost the country’s economy.
Hon. Abdulai Abanga made this known in a statement read on behalf of the sector Minister, Hon. Francis Asenso-Boakye at the opening of the 11th Water Africa and West Africa Building, and Construction Exhibition hosted by Ghana and the ACE Event Management in Accra.
The 3-day event featured over 60 companies exhibiting cutting edge technology in Water, Sanitation, Environmental, Housing and Construction sectors. On display were scaffolding lifting appliances, conveyor cranes, site lifts and other access equipment, mineral processing equipment, concrete mixing, batching and placing equipment, earthmoving equipment, excavators, crawlers, graders, dozers, scrapers and loaders, forklifts tunneling, drilling and piling equipment, compressors and associated equipment, brick and block-making equipment, among others.
Speaking on the theme “Innovations in Building and Construction – Addressing the Housing Deficit”, the Deputy Minister reiterated the need for players in the building and construction industry to develop sustainable home-grown solutions by incorporating the use of local building materials.
He cited the use of burnt bricks & tiles, pozzolana cement, compressed earth blocks (CEB), bamboo, plastics, as some of the materials that can be utilized to reduce the high cost in the building and construction industry. “The medium to long-term objective of this drive is to help build public interest while at the same time enhancing the use of local materials in the building and construction industry”, the Deputy Minister added.
Acknowledging the critical role of the housing sector to the economy, the Deputy Minister challenged both practitioners and researchers, to come up with innovative ideas and attractive designs through the use of new technologies within the construction sector as part of the collective efforts to address the housing deficit which currently stand at 1.8million housing units.
With funding having been identified as a key challenge in the public’s access to long term housing investment, Abdulai Abanga said government plans to collaborate with private sector players through Public Private Partnerships (PPP) as an anchor for the delivery of efficient and cost-effective housing solutions.
The Deputy Minister emphasized the government’s commitment towards the provision of decent, secured and affordable housing to the citizenry, adding that the sector Ministry has initiated move to commence a new affordable housing programme that seeks to provide safe, decent, and secure accommodation for the low to middle earning Ghanaians. The strategy, Abdulai Abanga said, will require government to provide free unencumbered land, infrastructure, and tax incentives with the view to attracting private sector investments into the affordable housing space. “This strategy will ultimately cut the cost of owning a housing unit by up to 40%”. He added.
The Managing Director of Ace event management, Tracy Nolan Shaw expressed her gratitude to the government for supporting their effort of bringing stakeholders together to chat a good path for the water and building construction in Africa.