Dr Prince Hamid Armah (head of table), Deputy Minister of Works and Housing, addressing the journalists
Dr Prince Hamid Armah (head of table), Deputy Minister of Works and Housing, addressing the journalists

Maiden conference on built environment July 2

The Ministry of Works and Housing is to hold a maiden built environment national conference on housing and hydrology (BENHH) 2024, in Accra next month to brainstorm ideas towards addressing challenges confronting the industry. 

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The three-day event, which would be on the theme: “Enhancing collaboration to tackle Ghana’s housing and hydrology challenges,” would be held on July 2 to 4, 2024. “This conference aims to bring together experts, policymakers and stakeholders to foster collaboration and drive progress in addressing the nation’s pressing housing and hydrology challenges,” the Deputy Minister of Works and Housing, Dr Prince Hamid Armah, said at a meeting with editors and senior journalists in Accra to brief them on the upcoming event and also seek their input. 

Rationale

The event seeks to promote partnership between the government, the private sector, development partners and other stakeholders in the built environment. “The conference also seeks to highlight key challenges in housing and hydrology, including policy gaps, funding issues and implementation barriers.

“Additionally, it will generate actionable strategies and solutions to address the housing deficit, improve flood management and enhance infrastructure,” Dr Armah added. He also said that the country was vulnerable to flooding due to its low-lying topography, long coastline, inadequate drainage network and uncontrolled settlement patterns.

“With an urban population estimated at 58 per cent with an urbanisation rate of 3.3 per cent, the country faces critical built environment challenges,” the minister said. He said it would also facilitate the exchange of knowledge and best practices among industry experts, policymakers and practitioners, and encourage sustainable and resilient approach to housing and water management.

Dr Armah said effective stakeholder collaboration was crucial for tackling urban challenges such as housing deficits and perennial flooding. “This conference will foster and enhance collaboration and knowledge sharing, provide a platform for unlocking the full potential of the country’s built environment and pave the way for a more resilient sector,” he added.

Expected outcomes

On expected outcomes, Dr Armah said at the end of the conference, participants would be expected to develop actionable recommendations, policies and strategies for flood risk reduction and resilience-building.

He said the conference would also lead to a review and improvement of the national housing policy, as well as increase public awareness and proactive flood risk management. On whether it would not be one of those “talkshops”, the deputy minister assured the editors that the ministry was committed to using the outcome of the conference to address the persistent challenges in the sector.

He said his outfit was seeking long-term solutions that would transcend governments, stressing that the conference was not being organised to address challenges within the period before the next elections.

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