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14.09.2004 Business & Finance

Housing Exhibition Opens

By GNA

Accra, Sept 14, GNA - Government is making efforts to create an appropriate legal environment for the protection of real estate developers in the country, the Minister of Works and Housing Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, said on Tuesday. Speaking at the opening of the 2nd International Building Exhibition, the Minister said the government was equally exploring ways of issuing local housing convertible bonds as a means to raising capital to finance housing infrastructure.

The Ministry is examining various proposals for housing development from both foreign and local investors and some activities may commence once negotiations with financiers have been concluded, Alhaji Idris said.

Ghana has over the decades run a deficit in housing supply, providing less than 40 per cent of the 120,000 housing units require annually. Alhaji Ali Idris stressed the importance of local building materials, which he said, holds the key to the long-term solution of the housing problems of the country. In this direction, he asked representatives of foreign companies operating in the sector to influence their parent companies to establish branches in Ghana to reduce cost and facilitate access to their products. He commended the organisers for the emphasis this year on services, saying it puts the focus on professionals such as architects, engineers and planners and issues relating to building codes, regulations and high professional fees.

Marilyn Efua Houadjeto, Exhibition Director, said the exhibition was the contribution of the organisers to highlight efforts being made by policy makers, implementors, regulators, industrial and private developers were making in accelerated delivery of affordable housing in the country. This year's event, organised on the theme: "Let's Build Ghana Right-Using the Right Products and Services," is attracting participants from Burkina Faso, Benin and La Cote d'Ivoire.

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