Ghana Property awards launched

Sat, 2 Jun 2007 Source: GNA

Accra, June 2, GNA- The President of the Ghana Real Estate Association, (GREDA) Dr. Alex Tweneboah has lauded Government for initiating a programme to establish land banks in the country to assist investors to utilise the growing tourist industry.

He noted that since the land tenure system and security was a major problem facing investors, the creation of land banks would go a long way in assuring and encouraging potential investors of trouble-free investment in the emerging markets of the property industry. Dr Tweneboah said this at the premier fund raising dinner of the 2007 Ghana Property Awards in Accra on Saturday night instituted to recognise and reward excellence in the building, general Real Estate and allied sectors of the country.

The launch of the awards ceremony which is slated for September 1 this year is aimed at promoting the production and maintenance of quality, competitive, private/commercial houses, promote Ghana's property market, make the companies stand out to make their mark and to promote the brands and generate constant inflows of investment. Dr. Tweneboah regretted that the provision of housing has baffled many governments as they have found it difficult to adequately finance such projects while the private sector has been unable to take control of the situation.

He said, it is therefore gratifying that the private sector under the umbrella of GREDA has taken the task of producing and building houses for the citizenry albeit at a high cost because of the high cost of building materials, land acquisition and the tax system. Dr. Tweneboah said the major problem facing the private sector is that they lack the funding to undertake their projects and have to look for markets from outside thus making the produce very expensive and out of reach of most Ghanaians.

He noted that the current high cost of cement and other building materials and lack of funds have contributed significantly to the high cost of houses in the country. Dr. Twenenbaoh stressed the need to build more houses in the urban centres to cater for the accommodation needs of the people and suggested the decentralisation of structures for housing to cope with the high demand. He noted that the challenge for real estate developers is for them to construct affordable houses and to create affordable housing enclaves in various communities in the country. The President announced that GREDA has drawn up a programme of putting up satellites communities or townships of between 500,000 - 700,000 people at the outskirts of the capital city - Accra. There are numerous problems bedevilling the acquisition and ownership of land, especially in the urban centres where parcels of land for housing are in great demand and the result is that property owners who do not want to go through lengthy legal tussels of claims to title of land tend to employ land guards to prevent encroachment on their acquired properties.

Mr Ray Ankomah, the co-ordinator of the programme said the idea is to ensure that Ghana emerges and remains a veritable growing, attractive and viable property investment destination in the African sub-region. He said it is gratifying to note that the property market has made significant strides, especially in the Real Estate sector of the Ghanaian economy, adding that the growth reflects the increasing importance Ghanaians placed on shelter as a requirement for good quality life.

Mr Ankomah said to further consolidate the gains of the sector, there is the urgent need to institute an award platform to recognise excellence and spur on the players in the property industry. He said, "it is no gainsaying that investors have witnessed continuous democratic stability in Ghana and are increasingly searching for and looking forward to gain from quality investment opportunities in the property industry'.

Mr. Ankomah explained that the Awards ceremony is being launched to help throw the spotlight on the region's most active and successful property agents, developers and financiers and the projects they have been undertaking.

He said the awards, which are grouped in various categories, would go to the areas of best property development in the country, investment, innovation, management and consultancy services.

Source: GNA