President of Ghana Institution of Engineering advocates private sector-led housing development

Ghana Institution of Engineering

Ing. Kwabena Bempong, President of the (GhIE), has emphasized that the government's primary role is not to build houses but to provide the necessary policies, institutional frameworks, and support for affordable . In his 52nd Presidential Address at the Ghana Shippers Authority, Ing. Bempong stated that social housing initiatives are crucial to ensure affordability for low-income workers.

Highlighting the challenges in the housing sector, Ing. Bempong noted that as construction costs rise and urbanization accelerates, the housing market tends to cater primarily to the affluent, leaving individuals in the low to medium-income category without suitable housing options. He mentioned that housing is considered unaffordable if more than 30% of a household's income is spent on housing.

Ing. Bempong raised concerns about Ghana's heavy reliance on imported building materials, estimating that approximately 80% of the country's building materials are imported. These materials are vulnerable to global economic trends, including commodity pricing, high labor costs, and geopolitical issues. To address this, he recommended the use of affordable and sustainable building materials such as Timber, Bamboo, Green Cement, Pulverized Fly Ash, Blast Furnace Slag, Calcined Clay, Burnt Rice Husk, and Natural Pozzolans.

Furthermore, Ing. Bempong advocated for alternative building technologies to enhance affordability and . These include Rammed Earth Building, Interlocking Bricks Construction, Reinforced Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Foam Building System, as well as Glass Fibre Reinforced Gypsum and Light Gauge Steel Framed Structures (LGFS).

The ceremony, held at the Ghana Shippers Authority, was attended by key figures in the engineering sector, including the Vice-President of GhIE, Ing. Sophia Abena Tijani, and other esteemed professionals. Ing. Bempong's address underscored the importance of private sector-led housing development with a focus on affordability, sustainability, and the utilization of innovative building practices to address Ghana's housing challenges.

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