Construction In Ghana. Recommendations

There are a number of issues that could be considered to enhance construction in Ghana. Therefore, it is critical that stake holders consider developing skills and knowledge through specialized training programs, involve all stakeholders in the construction process and employ centralization and decentralization for different categories of goods, works and services. Two recommendations have the greatest potential to end the endless contracts disputes of the industry:

  • A national database to capture the data of the construction industry that can be used in empirical analysis and an agency to oversee and support such an initiative

  • A new framework for understanding construction from a systems perspective, where multiple points of view of different kinds of stakeholders are equally important to success.

As apparent in the case studies, there is no real quantitative data. Have objective facts would counter the current political and emotional persuasion which distorts understanding of underlying issues. Further, a systems approach requires a method of organization that system. Engaging and incorporating multiple perspectives requires a shift in thinking and training in order to respect and desire to understand the perspectives of others on the team as part of any role. Resolving contract disputes in the construction industry in Ghana turns out to be a tangled web of context and perceptions. This occurs simultaneously with a critical need to build new infrastructure and close the deficit gap for housing.

There are recommendations, provided almost thirty years apart by Dr. Ofori in 1984 and in 2012, and those are to capture the data of the construction industry that can be used in empirical analysis and to establish an agency that would oversee, support and strive for continuous improvement of the construction industry in Ghana. Dr. George Ofori identified an in-depth solution which capture national level data, support various aspects of the industry and build a more competitive construction industry. Ofori claims that the problems of construction in Ghana have “persisted since the series of national development plans, starting with the 1951 plan”. Ofori points to a lack of coherent regulation and policy and lack of agency dedicated to understanding, improving and managing the construction industry. The potential impacts of globalization and competition, can be met with the benefits of new information and communications technology, providing there is a structure in place to do so. Ofori therefore proposes that a central agency for construction in Ghana be established for the purpose of “the sustainable management, development and regulation of the construction industry”. In this environment there is not only the need to bring the industry up to a world class standard but also a need to provide for continuous improvement and innovation. This provides a quantitative based and long term solution, but a more qualitative action is also advised simultaneously.

Greater awareness of the importance of each role on a construction project is required. The consultant, owner, consultant and others must understand their own objectives, but also the bigger picture and the roles of each of the others. There must be a team based philosophy which overrides internal division and conflict given the greater goal of succeeding. It must be understood from the outside that there are multiple stakeholder perspectives, and each and every single one, focused on a different area, is required to succeed and even pursue excellence in construction. The importance of the multiple perspective framework should be introduced during training phase, and the benefits in terms of ease of progress and lowered costs should be marketed to those who own and lead construction projects, so that they use the paradigm as a tool to manage their workers and meet goals.

Dr. Ofori’s national database is a solution that would provide considerable quantifiable evidence with regard to the standards and realities of construction in Ghana, and further it may add transparency and accountability thereby reducing corruption. It also provides a rich and robust information set which could be used by future scholars for analysis and further progress. Further, a complementary track must introduce and reinforce the importance of multiple stakeholders with multiple perspectives, so as to avoid the competitive and internally dividing situations which cause disputes in the construction industry of Ghana.

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