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A review of the Ghanaian construction industry and the practice of monitoring and evaluation


The chapter was structured to review the monitoring and evaluation practices of the Ghanaian construction industry. The review informs that the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) is mandated to lead and coord i-nate the preparation of development plans and commence the monitoring and evaluation of the country’s development effort. This mandate is subsequently decentralized to the district planning coordinating unit at the MMDAs with a composition of nearly 11 team members. Further, to ensure M&E guarantees project success, routine activities such as project supervision from start to finish, i.e. site visits and inspection, certifying project quality, progress reporting and periodic site meetings should be undertaken. The study further avers that stake-holder involvement in the construction project M&E is limited to the three key stakeholders identified as the client, contractor and the consultant. It is therefore imperative to consciously and constantly manage knowledge of all kinds during the M&E of the project.


Ghana is a West African country boarded in the east by Togo, in the south by the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean), in the north by Burkina Faso and in the west by Cote D’Ivoire and it covers an area of 238,500 km2 or 92,085 m2. Map 11.1 shows the map of Ghana, indicating her surrounding neighboring countries with international borders, the ten-regional capitals with regional boundaries, major cities, roads and the airport, with Accra being the national capital. According to the Ghana Statistical Service (2012), the population of the country as per the 2010 population and housing census stood at 24,658,823 with an annual intercensal growth rate of 2.5%. However, currently (August 2017), the CIA Fact Book (2016) revealed an annual population growth rate of 2.18%. In 2010, the Greater Accra region according to the Ghana Statistical Service (2012) was the most densely populated (1,236/km2) region owing to the rural-urban migration for better living conditions.

The country is endowed with natural resources such as gold, cocoa, diamond, bauxite and, recently, oil and gas which serves as the main foreign exchange

Map 11.1 Map of Ghana.

earner and, sometimes, budgetary support from grants and loans from the international community for major infrastructure development. Ghana is currently a low middle-income country based on the World Bank’s categorization.

Overview of the Ghanaian construction industry

The Ghanaian construction industry (GCI), unique as it may be, shares similar characteristics with other construction industries in developing countries. These characteristics may include bureaucracy, financial uncertainty, unregulated labor market and poor project management practices (Ahadzie, 2007) resulting from weak technological, structural and economic conditions prevailing in other developing countries (Ofori, 2000). The industry is dominated by the activities of main or specialist contractors, private or public clients who are mostly the financiers of the projects and consultants who ensure projects are delivered to the right specification, cost and within the set time. The Ministry of Water Resources Works and Housing (MWRWH) and the Ministry of Transport (MoT) are responsible for contractor classification after companies have been incorporated to do business by the Registrar General’s Department in the country. Classification for building works (D) and civil engineering works (K) ranges from D1K1, D2K2, D3K3 and D4K4 with Dl/Kl being large-scale contractors and D4/K4 representing small-and medium-scale contractors (Ofori et al., 2017). The numbers 1-4 fixed against the letters D and K indicate highest to lowest financial capacity, plant and equipment holdings, as well as the technical and managerial expertise of staff (Laryea &. Mensah, 2010; Ofori et al., 2017; Sena, 2012).

These classifications are to ensure that contractors can execute specific volumes of work in line with the operational and financial ceiling of classes of companies (Sena, 2012). Similarly, plumbing and electrical engineering contractors within the industry are also classified under G (1 and 2) and E (1, 2 and 3), respectively. Similarly, the MoT has 6 main category classifications: A, B, G, S, M and L which are based on the human resource capacity, years of experience, equipment holding and financial capability (Agbodjah, 2009). These classifications are strict to regulate contractors’ performance based on their financial capacity in the government of Ghana projects. The industry is inundated with small and medium firms which constitute about 90% of registered firms in Ghana and providing over 80% of short-term employment in the country (Amoah, Ahadzie & Dansoh, 2011; Tengan et al., 2014). Owing to the lack of capacity of most local firms (mostly small-scale firms) to undertake bigger projects, the presence of multinational construction firms is evident.

The government of Ghana is the major financier of development projects in the country which is referred to as the biggest client. The concentration of most of the government-funded projects is at the decentralized level of local governance, i.e. the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs). In line with government’s biggest interest, the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA), the defunct State Construction Corporation (SCC) and the Architectural Engineering Service Limited (AESL) were established by the government to manage the formal construction sector (Agbodjah, 2009). Subsequently, other state organizations have established departments and units in their setup for similar purposes such as the planning and works department of MMDAs as well as private organizations. To ensure fairness in the award of government/public projects, a regulatory framework, namely the Public Procurement Act 663 of 2003 was promulgated. The Act provides for public procurement, establishes the procurement boards and makes administrative and institutional arrangements for procurement and stipulates the tendering procedure (Public Procurement Act 663, 2003).

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