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. A few years ago, there were just a few construction companies in Ghana. There were only a limited number of companies where you could get your supplies from. It was either Ghacem concrete, Osiadan Roofing tiles and K Ofori iron rods, just to mention a few. These were solely Ghanaian companies who were manufacturing their products in Ghana.
In recent times, there has been an inflow of foreign companies who have set up shop in Ghana and are slowly taking over the Ghanaian market. There has also been an increase in foreign finished products being used in building homes. International construction companies have their own materials they bring when they come into the country. These materials somehow get unto the Ghanaian market and then become a part of the system. People then opt for the foreign products instead of the local ones.
An example is the recent pursuit for doors from Turkey and China. Local firms or furniture companies have produced doors since the 90’s. However, now, there is a sudden desire for doors from Turkey and China. These doors, though having aesthetic value, are not the strongest of doors. Many a home have been broken into with these doors. Ghanaian local firms are building stronger doors with more secure locks but the Turkish and Chinese doors are purchased more because of the foreign tag placed on them.
One other problem that foreign companies pose to the local ones is that, international firms get the major construction jobs while the local firms are sidelined to local housing etc. By bringing in foreign companies for major jobs, there is a high rate of imported goods as the foreign companies choose to import their materials rather than use the local ones. This does not help with the promotion of locally manufactured goods in the country.
To curb the problem of foreign materials being used in the construction of buildings, there must be an effort to use more locally produced material in construction of buildings in Ghana. Construction firms and local real estate firms should look beyond building houses and expand their efforts to helping build infrastructure. This way they can be pushed for major construction jobs and their handiwork will be seen and taken to higher heights literally.