The Minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, has tasked the country’s engineers to come up with innovative technologies for the production of cost-effective building materials to support the government’s affordable housing agenda.
He explained that such a move would help reduce the overall cost of safe, decent, and secured housing units for the low to middle earning Ghanaians while boosting the local economy.
Currently, he said the rising cost of building materials posed significant practical challenges to the achievement of government’s affordable housing strategies.
Mr Asenso-Boakye was speaking at the 2022 Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE) Annual Conference and General Meeting held in Accra yesterday.
He said the sharp increase in the cost of building materials due to distortions in global economy was an opportunity for the Ghana institution of Engineers and other professional bodies to develop sustainable homegrown solutions that would boost the building and construction sector and subsequently impact the nation’s affordable housing agenda.
The Minister noted that the government’s initiative was focused on making available free unencumbered land, infrastructure, and tax incentives with the view to attracting private sector investments into the affordable housing space.
This strategy, he added, would ultimately cut the cost of owning a housing unit by up to 40 per cent.
Mr Asenso-Boakye implored the GhIE to look deeper and wider for engineering approaches that could churn-out creative ideas and attractive designs using local building materials that met best practices.
He said the use of local building materials such as burnt bricks and tiles, pozzolana cement, compressed earth blocks (CEB), bamboo, plastics, and others could be the catalyst to help build public interest and enhance the use of local materials in the building and construction industry and ultimately reduce the cost of building.
“It is important for the GhIEto understand that engineering and other related disciplines can influence policy actions and subsequently generate methodologies for implementing initiatives aimed at achieving efficiency, increased affordability and structural integrity of housing construction and infrastructure in the country,” the Minister added.
He called for more collaboration between the engineering body and the government to further drive the country’s structural growth.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS