The Chamber of Commerce and Industry France Ghana (CCIFG) organised the 2018 Infrastructure and Construction Conference under the theme "building a new Ghana through infrastructure" to climax its focus within these industries throughout the month of May. The month started with a member visit to the new Tema Port Extension in collaboration with Meridian Port Services (MPS).
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Attended by 90 business executives, participants were welcomed by the Vice President of the CCIFG Mr Gauthier Pourcelle who explained the significance of the conference saying “infrastructure and construction should be viewed as an investment into the country’s economic growth”. Kicking of the presentations, the Managing Director (MD) of the CCIFG, Mrs Delphine Adenot-Owusu in her overview of the industry underlined the 13.7% contribution by the construction sector to the country’s GDP in 2016 representing a 24% market growth. She then touched on key projects such as the Terminal 3 project at the Kotoka international Airport but also in key sectors as health, energy and tourism recalling that Ghana’s objective is to make the country a hub in all these sectors.
On the infrastructure aspects, two speakers gave presentations and presented their work. First Mr Frank Ebo Brown, Head of Legal Services of MPS, spoke on the transformation and expansion of the Tema Port. The USD 1.5 billion project is one of the major port projects in West Africa and is a joint venture between Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and Meridian Port Holdings, with Bolloré Transport & Logistics and APM Terminals as the two main shareholders. He gave the participants the details of the different construction steps and presented how new port infrastructure will improve productivity, trade as well as attract large transhipment volumes. On the second infrastructure project, the MD of Bouygues Construction, Mr Jérôme Mulot, focused on the renovation of the Ridge Hospital to the current 30,000m2 Greater Accra Regional Hospital. He focused his presentation on sustainable construction and explained the implication of renovating the hospital with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification as the hospital utilises now 22% less energy, 37% less water and 30% sustainably sourced materials and products. He added that sustainable construction is a driving factor for growth with benefits such as drop in building operating costs and higher return on assets.
The Development Manager of RMB Westport Mr Nicolas Moreau enlightened participants on the growing middle-class population impacting the construction of more retail developments and offices. He concluded saying that many projects particularly office markets are saturated in Accra with a lot development seen in the last 5-years, however there are still needs in the retail industry.
The 2 last speakers presented on the construction sector with Mr Federico De Simone, Director of De Simone Group on one side who focused his presentation on the balance between importing materials and using the local products. He specified that building cost to development represents 45% to 55% of the value of. On the other hand, Mr Frederic Albrecht, Managing Director of CBI Ghana gave an overview of the Ghanaian cement market, pointing out an estimated consumption rate of 6.3/6.5 million tonnes with a production capacity of 10.5 million tonnes in 2018 leading to overcapacity. He concluded by saying that the competitiveness of the cement industry will force players to have a customer-centred approach to bring new solutions within the construction sector.