Find Construction and Engineering expertise in Ghana
- Trade Associations
The construction and building industry in Ghana is rapidly developing and is a significant contributor to the national economy in terms of GDP and job creation. Construction contributes 8.6% to Ghana’s GDP (2010) and provides jobs for around 2% of the workforce (2009). The sector has grown significantly from around 4.5% of GDP in the 1980s to become one of Ghana’s most important industries. In 2008 the sector grew by 10%, although the global economic downturn dampened growth prospects in 2009.
Local firms dominate housing construction, while international companies deal with the larger transport projects. International construction groups operating in Ghana include Taylor Woodrow – the market leader – Bilfinger Berger and Sogea-Satom.
The construction industry is led by governmental development projects, dominating in terms of contracts offered and funds allocated. Indeed construction has been identified as an important part of the national development agenda. Donor funded projects and foreign direct investment are also a significant part of the industry. There has been increasing foreign investment in the sector since 2009, particularly from the United States. In 2012 the building and construction industry had 14 American projects with a total estimated value of US$59.3m.
The road industry is a strong emerging area in the construction sector. Ghana is attempting to become the main transit corridor for neighbouring landlocked countries and considerable investment in large-scale infrastructure projects is driving this development.
In the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index (2011) Ghana ranked 162nd out of 185 in terms of dealing with construction permits. This placed it low down the rankings in comparison to other sub-Saharan nations, coming 40th out of 46 regional entrants.
The Ghanaian Institute of Engineers (GhIE) is the main professional body and is mandated by the government to manage entry into the profession. One registered company, GECAD – an engineering, procurement and construction services firm – is active in power generation projects in Ghana and throughout West Africa. Micheletti & Co is another one of Ghana’s leading engineering firms.
Engineers registered with GhIE require a B.Sc or higher along with relevant engineering experience. Traditionally civil and mechanical engineering have attracted a much higher number of students than other forms, in some respects a reflection of the rural and heavy industrial orientation of the country’s economy. However, in response to the ICT revolution, electrical engineering and computer science have been encouraged in order to stimulate the formation of new industries.
There are a number of trade associations in the sector, including: the Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors of Ghana, Association of Construction and Civil Engineering Companies of Ghana and the Association of Road Construction Companies. However, membership of trade unions is fairly low – around 6.6% in 2009. Around 97.2% of people employed in construction have not received any formal training (2008). November 2012 saw calls in the country to establish a regulatory body for the construction industry.