|Construction in Ghana|
|Past - Ghana|
|Friday, 25 January 2008|
Don't be fooled by the sign at the side of the truck. Ghana's construction business is doing well and is expanding rapidly. I only wish that they put a little thought into their company names.
You can drive around Ghana and see the hundreds of houses all at different stages of construction. It's a sign that the economy is doing well, and also one of the reasons the economy is doing well. People want to settle down in Ghana, and therefore see it as a safe and very comfortable place to invest in their future. This also brings money into the country from outside. Many of the people spending money on construction are funding it from work overseas. People go to Europe or America, find work but find the life very uncomfortable, rushed and not really for them, so they decide to send money home to build their own house, somewhere they can settle. Some intentionally leave Ghana for the sole purpose of finding a job, just so they can finance the cost of building a house back in Ghana, which could be anything between £20k and £40k or £50k (double that for $'s). A lot of money, but a fraction of what you would pay for a house in the UK, the average house being around £200k, and that wouldn't even get you a flat (apartment) if you wanted to be anywhere near central London. And you definitely wouldn't get the Ghana sun or the views either.
The construction business is also driving other local businesses too. People are being employed to make the building blocks that are used to make the houses, which are mostly made by hand from the raw materials.
Most of the construction is done little by little. People send a few thousand back to Ghana at first, which secures the land and the foundations. A few months later a bit more money may put up the skeletal structure of the house, which will be filled in with the blocks a few months after that when the rest of the money is sent. This can go on for years until the whole house is constructed, but there is no rush, as most of the people purchasing the houses are not planning to move in any time soon, and are busy living their lives in Europe or America.
Going back to the main picture, sometimes things do go a bit wayward. For example, it has been known for the land to have been sold off to more than 1 person at a time, which means that there are issues when it comes to building. So once you have the land the best thing to do is to lay the foundations and get something solid up asap. This doesn't happen that often but when it does, it's not pretty. Also, some may find that the construction workers rent out your unfinished house to whoever doesn't mind living in a house with no running water, electricity or doors.
However, things seem to be improving, and this is an exciting time for Ghana. The country is transforming year on year, with new construction bringing in an influx of money, strengthening the economy. Let's hope this continues along with good governance, peace and health.
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