The real estate industry is the fastest growing sector of the Ghanaian economy driving high investments and opportunities in the country inspite of the worrying trend due of lack of data accessibility.
It is for this and many other reasons that the Property and Planning Institute of Technology (PPIT) organised the first Ghana Property and Planning Forum (GPPF) in Accra.
The seminar brought together industry players to discuss and find ways to address pertinent issues that have become a major obstacle to the growth and development of the industry.
A Senior Lecturer at the Department of Land Economy at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Dr. Frank Gyamfi-Yeboah in a presentation on the topic “Real Estate as an Asset Class: Nature and implications for investment in Ghana” noted that the motivation for investing in the real estate business is stable returns adding that the estimated investment in the country is 40billion dollars which is very significant to the growth of the industry.
Dr. Gyamfi-Yeboah, who has over 10-years experience in real estate investment and consultancy said the sector provides opportunities for improving connectivity of the local capital market with the international community and provides an expected growth that could lead to an increase in demand for space.
He noted the challenges and threat to the industry citing insufficient institutional and regulatory mechanisms required to deal with the obstacles in order to allow businesses to operate freely and responsively.
According to Dr. Gyamfi-Yeboah, lack of proper adherence to planning standards can negatively affect investment performance in the country.
The Real Estate Consultant noted that lack of data impedes comparison of real estate with other assets making it difficult to assess performance and determine optimal allocation for portfolio managers.
Dr. Gyamfi-Yeboah urged government to put in incentives in investment in real estate and democratize ownership of real estate to ensure that the ordinary Ghanaian becomes part of the investment opportunity in the country.
The Board Chairman of the Property and Planning Institute of Technology (PPIT), Mr. Rockson Kwesi Dogbegah, said the forum seeks to sensitize stakeholders on the need to value research required to make decisions and formulate good policies.
“Any country that fails to plan, plans to fail. We need to chart new ways and path to bring the development that we require for the sector,” Mr. Dogbegah emphasised.
Mr. Dogbegah, who is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Berock Ventures Limited reiterated that there is very limited platform to voice out their sentiments about nagging issues in the sector and hoped the forum will provide the opportunity for real estate developers to design ideas and solutions that will influence policy decisions at the national level.
According to him, there will be a monthly engagement with researchers to discuss issues about the planning and construction industry in the country and provide evidence base in-depth analysis on issues relating to the sector.
Pauline Anaman, a founding member of the Forum indicated that after acquiring 4 years of undergraduate education in Land Economy, followed by postgraduate courses in diverse fields, she together with friends saw the need to address certain challenges in Ghana’s real estate sector especially spatial planning and construction industry.
She said they came together to establish the Property and Planning Institute of Technology (PPIT) to respond to the expanding national and international evidence-based research agenda in the multidisciplinary environment to bridge the gap between academic theory and practice within the broader sense of sustainable development.
Miss Anaman noted that their work focuses on real estate, planning, construction and infrastructure development with a combination of perspectives from related disciplines notably finance, economics, public policy, environmental policy and spatial analysis.
“We want to work together with key players to make sure that in the near future, among other things, haphazard development will be a thing of the past in Ghana and Africa. Decent housing will gain grounds as a strong indicator for decent living, and infrastructure will be developed cheaper, better and faster to support our economic growth agenda,” she stated.
At GPPF, according to her, one of their anchor strategies, is a monthly seminar series that will take them to their goal of sanitizing the built environment in Ghana and Africa.
Pauline Anaman posited that the next GPPF seminar series will be held on 29th March 2017 on the (tentative) topic: “Regenerating Inner Cities and Zongos: Principles and Evidence for Policy Making” in Accra.
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