Desktop version

Home arrow Management

  • Increase font
  • Decrease font

<<   CONTENTS   >>

Significance of the Ghanaian construction industry

The construction industry (CI) continues to play a key role in the socio-economic conditions and the built environment in Ghana (Osei, 2013). The industry provides social, educational, health and economic infrastructure to drive economic growth. It designs, builds, repairs and demolishes all kinds of building, civil, mechanical and electrical engineering works in the economy (Ofori, 1980). The Cl’s contribution to the GDP and other indicators of the economy has been

Relative share of the construction sector to GDP

Figure 11.1 Relative share of the construction sector to GDP.

Source: Osei, 2013

extensively reported (Agbodjah, 2009; Laryea &. Mensah, 2010; Ofori, 1980). According to Anvuur, Kumaraswamy and Male (2006), the annual volume of goods and services procured for the year 2003 stood at an approximate 10% of the GDP. Figure 11.1 also illustrates the GCI's contribution to the GDP and the overall industry output by 9.1% and 35.9%, respectively between the period 1993 and 2011 (Osei, 2013).

The construction industry is also acknowledged for affecting many other sectors of the economy. The construction industry depends on materials from the manufacturing sector such as the cement producers and roofing companies (Osei, 2013). Darko and Lowe (2016) citing Sutton and Kpentey (2012) revealed the height of cement usage in the construction industry. It is indicated that cement use increased from 4.8 million metric tons in 2010 to 5.5 million metric tons in 2012, representing an increase in consumption of about 15% in nearly two years (Darko & Lowe, 2016). Additionally, Osei (2013) reports the heavy reliance of the construction sector on the automobile industry for the provision of transport and site equipment such as cranes, the painting and coating sector as well as the textile and the clothing industry for the provision of special protective wear for the industry’s consumption. The volume of short- to long-term employment created cannot be overstated, particularly where the industry is largely manual. Ofori (2012) revealed that the construction industry in all countries contributes between 5% and 10% to the GDP and employs about 10% of the working population. A trend outlook of cement production in Ghana is illustrated in Figure 11.2 which shows a steady rise in cement production, an indication of growth in the manufacturing sector due to the demand of the construction sector.

Ofori (2012) informs that the inadequate knowledge of the strategic role of the construction industry has perhaps affected the industry in contributing fully to the Ghanaian economy. Government is the major player in the construction business and so to achieve the full potential of the construction industry,

  • 350,000-,
  • 300,000-
  • 250,000-
  • 200,000-
  • 150,000-
  • 100,000-
  • 50,000-
Trend outlook of cement production in Ghana

Figure 11.2 Trend outlook of cement production in Ghana.

Source: Osei (2013)

government particularly must give priority to the industry; unfortunately, not the case according to Anaman and Osei-Amponsah (2007) in promoting economic growth and development.

Challenges of the Ghanaian construction industry

Just as other sectors of the economy, the construction industry is inundated with several categories of challenges. Three categories of challenges to the Ghanaian construction are discussed, namely industry challenges, economic challenges as well as project management and implementation challenges.

Industry challenges

The Ghanaian construction industry is described as fragmented and like many others in developing nations, this makes administration of the industry difficult. This is due to the fact that several aspects of the industry are under the purview of different ministries, making coordination difficult, hence the need for a unified body to administer, coordinate and regulate the practices of the industry (Ofori, 2012). The industry’s lack of capacity (financial, human resource, technology) to undertake complex projects (Ofori, 2012) has caused an influx of multinational firms from across the globe who have the technology and expertise to undertake complex construction projects (Laryea, 2010). Further, Ofori (2012) laments at the poor level of technology and knowledge transfer (TKT) in the Ghanaian construction industry. He acknowledges that technologies and knowledge on construction methods are growing at a much faster pace, hence the need for industry practitioners to learn and adapt to emerging technologies for greater efficiency of the industry.

There is a lack of partnership between the industry and government which represents the major partner of the development of the country (Anaman &. Osei-Amponsah, 2007). Capital supply constraints of the industry appear to be a major challenge yet to be tackled. Several scholars, including Fugar, Ashiboe-Mensah and Adinyira (2013), Ofori (2012) and Ofori-Kuragu, Owusu-Manu and Ayarkwa (2016) have described the non-existence of an industry development board or council as an impediment to the growth of the industry in Ghana. This board or council with an exclusive mandate to regulate the construction industry practice along with other recognized professional bodies would be a step towards industry growth. Indeed, Ofori (1980) avers the high prevalence of poor performance of the construction industry in developing countries is primarily as a result of a lack of a regulatory organization. This lack of a regulatory body in the industry was further stressed by Ephson (2017) in a newspaper article in which he provides an overview of the Ghanaian construction industry with perspectives on the challenges the industry faces - unfortunately, this has resulted in unprofessional practices by unlicensed professionals in the industry (Ahmed, Hatira & Valva, 2014).

<<   CONTENTS   >>

Related topics