GREDA, GCGL to help bridge housing deficit

BY: Zadok Kwame Gyesi
 Mr Ato Afful (right), MD, GCGL, making a point. Those with him include Mr Samuel Amegayibor (2nd right), Ag Executive Director, GREDA; Rev. Elvin Nunoo Larkai (3rd right), MD, Elrano Project & Consult; Mrs Eyram Macafui Larkai (4th right), Director of Finance, Elrano; Mr Kobby Asmah (3rd left), Editor, Daily Graphic; Mr Eric Ebo Acquah (2nd left), Council Member, GREDA, and Mr Samuel Essel (left), Director, Finance, GCGL. Picture: NII MARTEY M. BOTCHWAY
Mr Ato Afful (right), MD, GCGL, making a point. Those with him include Mr Samuel Amegayibor (2nd right), Ag Executive Director, GREDA; Rev. Elvin Nunoo Larkai (3rd right), MD, Elrano Project & Consult; Mrs Eyram Macafui Larkai (4th right), Director of Finance, Elrano; Mr Kobby Asmah (3rd left), Editor, Daily Graphic; Mr Eric Ebo Acquah (2nd left), Council Member, GREDA, and Mr Samuel Essel (left), Director, Finance, GCGL. Picture: NII MARTEY M. BOTCHWAY

The Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) and the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) have expressed their commitment to work together to ensure that the housing needs of the country are met.

As the first in a series of initiatives, the two groups have started a joint initiative to revolutionarise the country’s real estate and housing sector.

The initiative, which is supported by Elrano Projects and Consult, will, among other things, help create the platform to fashion out ideas on how to address the housing deficit in the country.

In so doing, the two groups will provide relevant and timely information on the sector to “transform the way we invest in the real estate and housing sector”.

This was the outcome of a meeting held yesterday by the leadership of the GCGL and GREDA.

The GCGL management team was led by the Managing Director (MD), Mr Ato Afful, and included the Director of Marketing, Mr Franklin Sowah; the Director of Finance, Mr Samuel Essel, and the Editor of the flagship brand of the group, the Daily Graphic, Mr Kobby Asmah.

They were joined by the Corporate Communications Manager, Mr Emmanuel Agyei Arthur, and the Events Manager, Mr Kwabena Bekoe.

The GREDA team, which was led by its acting Executive Director, Mr Samuel Amegayibor, included the MD of Elrano Projects and Consult, Rev. Elvin Nunoo Larkai; the Director of Finance and Administration, Elrano, Mrs Eyram Macafui Larkai, and the Chief Executive Officer of Blue Rose Limited and Council Member of GREDA, Mr Eric Ebo Acquah.

The GCGL, in collaboration with GREDA and Elrano Projects and Consult, recently launched the Real Estate Sector Revolution initiative to, among other things, help create the platform to fashion out ideas on how to address the housing deficit in the country.

Professionals

Mr Afful expressed the concern that due to the non-involvement of professionals or professional advice in the construction industry, many houses became liabilities to their owners after their construction.

He said the planning of housing should be left in the hands of professionals to address the growing development of peri-urban slums in major cities.

For him, because of the lack of proper planning and the involvement of experts in the construction industry, peri-urban slums were fast developing in all major cities across the country, a situation which, he said, needed to be addressed head on.

Unplanned buildings

Mr Afful was of the view that getting building plans from only a draughtsman, as well as a mason to translate that plan on the ground, was not enough, and that expert knowledge on key features, such as ventilation, lighting, landscaping, room sizes, as well as a building’s relationship with the general environment, were all key issues which could only be addressed by built environment professionals.

He said the haphazard siting of buildings in the country was a clear indication that experts and professionals had been sidelined in the construction of residential accommodation.

For him, involving experts in the housing industry would also help in the provision of decent, equitable and affordable housing in the country.

Mr Afful, therefore, suggested that children in basic schools be taught the rudiments of building, so that they would grow up with proper understanding of the construction industry, particularly when it came to residential accommodation.

“People should be made to feel interested in buildings,” he said, and pledged the commitment of the GCGL to its partners, GREDA and Elrano Projects and Consult, to help address the housing deficit in the country.

Importance of the partnership

Mr Amegayibor said the GCGL, GREDA and Elrano partnership would go a long way to champion the real estate industry in the country.

For him, the ultimate beneficiaries of the partnership would be the populace and not just the partners.

He said GREDA would leverage its partnership with the GCGL to educate and sensitise Ghanaians to the real estate industry to enable people to make informed decisions.

Adding value

For his part, Mr Sowah said the partnership between the GCGL and GREDA was gaining much attention from the public, stressing that the Daily Graphic brand “adds value” to every brand it worked with.

Mr Asmah called for the sustainability of the partnership, saying that Ghana’s housing challenge was a major issue and needed partnerships among key industry players to address the situation.

He observed, for instance, that the growing menace of peri-urban slums was due to the huge housing deficit in the country.

Rev. Larkai said the partnership would help bring all players in the real estate sector under one umbrella, noting further that the segmentation within the industry was not helping its growth.

For him, past and present governments all had challenges addressing the huge housing deficit, stressing that it would take partnership among industry players to find innovative solutions and creativity to address such a challenge.

Mr Acquah pledged the readiness of GREDA to make available all relevant information to the public through its partnership with the GCGL.

He also said GREDA would extend its partnership with the GCGL for the greater good of the Ghanaian public.