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Rejoinder: Local construction companies now collapsing - Kofi Anokye

Real Estate Project Ghana's real estate industry is growing steadily

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 Source: Isaac Kyei Andoh

Our attention has been drawn to a publication making rounds under the above headline and supposedly curled from Mr Kofi Anokye’s speech at the just ended Ghana Property Awards.

We want to say that the angle of the news attributed to the Chairman of Ghana Property Awards isn’t an accurate representation of the message conveyed and further shifts focus from the important issues raised in his speech.

According to the writer, Mr Anokye said that Ghana’s Real Estate Sector is on the verge of collapse due to competition from foreigners.

We want to say emphatically that there was no point in Kofi Anokye’s speech when he said the above. To make readers form their own judgement and also throw more light on the important issues raised to shape the sector, the full speech has been attached.

Acknowledging that many Ghanaian companies in general are struggling to keep pace with their local and foreign counterpart due to the absence of proper internal data system in the said organisations does not in any way imply that the entire construction sector is on the verge of collapse

In spite of the many challenges the sector has faced over the past years, the sector has remained competitive and remains one of the highest employment generators.

As someone with a company registered to build in the US and UK, the 2015 International Socrates Award will be the last person to cry over competition.

Ghana’s Real Estate Industry has benefitted tremendously from external competition and collaboration with partners from around the world.

On the contrary, he believes that competition is good for the industry. With a housing deficit close to two million, more hands are needed to reduce the deficit.

If there’s any sector resilient enough to stand in hard times, it is the Real Estate Sector because it has countless facets, and therefore no serious company will collapse in the face of competition.

What the sector wants are policies and government interventions that will reduce the cost of building in this country so that the average Ghanaian can get a place to lay his head and also drive employment.

Finally, we will call on our friends in the media to report accurately. We appreciate the role they play in building Ghana but believe that we will be better served if accuracy is placed over speed in the reportage and the needed quest for traffic is managed so that the temptation to be overly sensational is minimized.

Publications like this have the potential of putting off investors and scaring financial institution from doing business with sector players and must therefore be guarded against.

The Full Speech


Hon. Minister of works and housing, distinguished guest, fellow players in the industry, I welcome you all to tonight's awards and the lunching of the 10th anniversary celebration.

Reflecting on the theme for the celebration," exploiting data to bond the brick and mortar trading" couldn't have been chosen any better time than this because most businesses in Ghana are now struggling to withstand competitions both locally and internationally. The solution to this problem can only be found in this theme hence it recommendations.

The 21st century is regarded as the age of information technology and therefore the ability to use data and information in real time has become a key to success of every organization. Due to recent revolution in Internet technologies, the amount of information generated every second is numerous. Today no matter what business one is into, the critical parameter to make rational business decisions is nothing but access to quick information in other for the right business intelligence to be drawn out and our industry is not an exemption to this.

Exploiting the right kind of data for our business intelligence will puts us a little ahead of our competitors wherever we may find ourselves in view of the following advantages we stand to benefit:

1. Removing guess work: Businesses and for that matter our industry is hugely capital intensive and therefore taking business and financial decisions which are based on guess work will be a huge gamble to take as an organization. With the right kind of empirical data gathered with the modern I T system, these pieces of info which is described here as bricks and mortar can help us to eliminate any guess works in our decision making thereby reducing risk ultimately.

2. Gaining valuable insight into customer's behaviour: Customers like we all know are key to every business’ success. Exceeding customer's expectation is also paramount in the maintenance of profitable customers. To achieve these all important goals mean that businesses need to know and understand their customers in other to satisfy them. Hence effective data on customer's or consumers’ behaviour is paramount in every business if it is to succeed in today's global market place.

3. Helps to know about business' past, present and future: one of the biggest strength in data collection is to know about the business' stats over a period of time which may include information such as how much pieces of a certain product were sold, at what location the products are in high demands and which customer representative is the most successful. This data for sure will always help organizations to plan and for that matter our industry should not be left out if we are to survive in these turbulent seasons.

As I bring my message to an end, I would like to use the opportunity to draw our attention to the fact that we don't have to give up in our quest to succeed in this industry no matter the hardship. Quitting will not be the best of options available when the going gets tough. We can rather consider mergers with both local and foreign companies if the need be. Please join them if you can't beat them in the competition. You can also consider going public if the need be. But before then the data on your business cannot be compromised in any way because it becomes the mouth piece of the business upon which potential partners will have to listen to before any decision is made as where or not to accept your proposals.

To the government, my personal appeal is that he pays particular attention to the construction industry as a whole if he wants to genuinely reduce the unemployment situation in the country as promised in his campaign message. It is widely known that the rate at which a country is performing economically can be tied to the amount of construction works going on during that period of time. Therefore no country can boast of doing well economically when its construction industry is on a verge of collapse.

We have what it takes to reduce the unemployment situation by the very nature of our business operations. We employ all classes of people from the down trodden to the educated elite and this put our industries a little bit ahead of our colleagues in the other industries when it comes to offering employment. It is therefore our hope that our sector minister will be given the needed support and everything required to see this all important industry grow and make inroads internationally.

To my fellows developers my personal appeal to all is that let's build with the environment in mind first. Let's stop building in waterlogged areas. Let's stop cutting down trees unnecessarily in the name of building houses. Let's plant more trees within the environment we build. Let's all build a green environment which will go a long way to benefit us a people. For the last tree dies with the last man!

Finally to all contestants, I wish you the best of luck in tonight's awards.

Thank you and God bless us all.

Thank you.

Columnist: Isaac Kyei Andoh