Mr. Chairman, Hon. Senior Minister, Hon. Minister for Works and Housing, Distinguished Chiefs of the Ga Traditional Area, Heads of Architecture Schools, Registrar of Engineering Council, Resource Persons and Examiners, Our Cherished Sponsors, Presidents, Executives and Members of the GIA, GhIE, GIP, and GhIS, Executive Secretary of GREDA, President and Members of Contractors Associations and Association of Building Draughtsmen and Technicians, Media Delegates, Family Members, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
It is my joy and privilege to welcome you to the 18th Induction Ceremony for newly admitted Architects, conducted by the Architects Registration Council (ARC) under the auspices of our supervisory ministry, the Ministry of Works and Housing.
We are excited about your presence with us this morning as participants and witnesses to the induction of 60 new architects onto the Register of licensed Architects in Ghana. This solemn ceremony is a yearly affair of the ARC informed by sections 10, 12 and 17 of the Architects Act 1969, NLCD 357. It is a momentous occasion, because it marks the end of apprenticeship and beginning of professional responsibility for our soon-to-be Registered Architects.
Mr. Chairman, Senior Minister, Hon. Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen; to achieve this honorable title “Registered Architect” takes a minimum of 8-years– these are years of building high intellectual acumen; technical and practical dexterity, unflinching physical, emotional, mental and spiritual endurance; and significantly high financial commitment. Six years are for acquiring academic degree in Architecture, and the remaining years for pupilage under a registered practice. It ends with a 2-day professional examination that tests candidates’ practical understanding of project delivery and statutory engagements, from inception through construction to final handing over – with a pass mark of 60%.
We are pleased to say that our 60 inductees have gone through the mill and now deserve the title “Registered Architect”. Ladies and Gentlemen join me congratulate them for this great achievement. Ayekoo, well done.
Mr. Chairman, Hon. Sirs, Ladies and Gentlemen, for our new Inductees, underlying their tenacity to surviving such rigorous training, and beyond today’s great excitement, lies the hope for a fulfilling professional life achieved through delivery of professional architectural services, and contribution of expert knowledge and skill to the development of a sustainable built environment in Ghana, and equally importantly, receiving commensurate fees for the effort. Government and private sector are the lifeline to this hope. To quote Mr. Kofi Annan, “Any society that does not succeed in tapping into the energy and creativity of its youth will be left behind.”
Ghana’s building and construction industry has been described severally as “still young and forming”. Regrettably, many have used this as grounds to underpay or unduly delay payments to local contractors and consultants, or worse still, side-step them to engage foreigners on projects. The industry continues to lose its young and talented professionals to financial institutions and the retail industry; not because they chose the wrong profession or are incapable of delivery, but for the chilling reason of non-fulfillment, lack of jobs, and inability of their principals or employers to pay commensurate salaries.
Mr. Chairman, Hon. Sirs, architects and built environment professionals play a key role in national development; their expertise provide one of man’s basic needs – shelter – the building and infrastructure facilities required for life. How will this vital industry survive, when its professionals are so ill-treated/ marginalized?
The present state of the local construction industry on the contrary, holds very good prospects for fast development of the entire spectrum of professionals, giving the advancement in technology and the sacrifices and commitment of government, the professionals and the citizenry. There exists a strategic opportunity for industry players and government to explore, innovate, develop and grow nonstop, and to churn out sustainable solutions to our peculiar socio-physical and environmental development issues.
Ladies and Gentlemen, now is perfect time for both government and private sector to increase strategic engagements with local professionals in building and infrastructure matters, as well as in industry-related policy development and implementation programmes. This is critical because the industry keeps getting complex by the day with technological innovations and systems. We must know that as long as human activity remain on earth, the building and construction industry will be in focus. We need the experience, the exposure, the continuous capacity development, the structured succession for the future of the industry, among others, to sustain a resilient national development agenda for ourselves.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I think it is well that we recognize and commend the GIA, GhIE, GhIS, GIP, GREDA, CIOB and Contractors Associations, and the Construction unit of the Association of Ghana Industry (AGI), and all stakeholders, for your diverse contribution to the sustenance of the local Construction Industry.
Thank you, and accept our most special welcome to the 18th Induction Ceremony for newly admitted architects.
Mr. Chairman, Hon. Ministers, today’s ceremony could be likened to the outdooring of a new child, a child born in an opportune time to a Ghana beyond aid. It is a moment of hope for the future of built environment professionals and the construction industry. A future that is not in time to come, but a future that is here and now!
We expect that this glimmer of hope for the construction industry will continue to grow into tangible projects executed by local experts, especially with the diverse opportunities offered by interventions of government.
Mr. Chairman, Hon Sirs, in addition to licensing these 60 new architects at today’s ceremony, we are also touting the over 900 registered Architects ready to be engaged by both government and private sector in developmental projects. We are advocating that our architects possess the skills to maximize efficiency of use of space and enhance work output. Architects are ready with innovative and cost-effective solutions for the District Factories, Zongo Development Programmes, Railway Infrastructure Development, Housing Projects, the Schools, rural and urban planning design and development, among others; Hon. Senior Minister, including creating space to accommodate the overflow in the senior high schools under the double track system! Architects possess the skill to maximize efficiency of use of space to enhance work output.
To quote Mr. Kofi Annan once more, “… to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to go there”.
Fueled by our dual mandate as the statutory regulator and promoter of the Architectural Profession in Ghana, our passion is to drive the local architectural service industry into the limelight of national development and eventually, into the professional service export market.
The ARC is committed to building capacity of architects, promoting architecture as a business, and guiding the transfer of knowledge to new firms and probationers.
We have introduced an interactive seminar for principal architects of newly registered firms at which discussions on Partnerships, Management, Best Practice and Ethics, and Public Relations are discussed. The feedback has been very positive, and subsequently, a series of seminars for existing registered architectural firms will begin October this year. The aim is to encourage the formation of strong architectural businesses that can compete effectively in the local and international markets, and develop practice standards, management models and related structures that will ensure knowledge transfer and continuous succession.
Mr. Chairman, following this same agenda, in February this year, the ARC launched its maiden book, ‘The Practical Training Handbook for Architects’. This is a structured guide for probationers and their supervisors/mentors as they navigate the years of apprenticeship.
The Council simultaneously is working on strengthening the regulatory regime and weeding off quacks in the field, by developing a code of ethics and reviewing its 49-year old law, as well as forming strategic partnerships with the Assemblies and the Security and Immigration Services.
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, the ARC will soon open its 2 new regional offices – the Ashanti Regional Office in Kumasi which will also oversee the northern sector, and the Greater Accra Regional Office will handle the southern sector. Fifteen (15) new staff are joining our team this October. We are most excited about this addition, and look forward to a much-enhanced output by the Council in service to our dear Ghana.
We are most grateful for the support and collaboration of the Ministry of Finance (MOF), the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, the Public Services Commission (PSC), the Controller and Accountant General’s Offices; and most especially, Mr. Chairman, Senior Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen, our Hon. Minister for Works and Housing (MWH), Hon. Samuel Atta Akyea, under who’s auspices this august ceremony is holding. The achievements, thoughts and actions we are sharing with you today have been with his support and advice. It is with great pleasure I welcome you, Hon. Samuel Atta Akyea, as Special Guest of Honor for this 18th Induction Ceremony.
Mr. Chairman, Hon. Samuel Atta Akyea, Ladies and Gentlemen, our Guest Speaker for today wears several hats – he is a statesman, banker, engineer, among others, and interestingly, an honorary fellow of the GIA. He is also known for carrying a grace for transforming struggling organizations into viable ventures and has led major reforms in the banking, finance, education and sports sectors in Ghana. Ladies and Gentlemen, please help me welcome our highly esteemed Snr. Minister, Hon. Yaw Osafo Marfo, to the 18th Induction Ceremony at which we present Sixty (60) new Architects to the nation. We are most grateful for your coming, and are confident that your words of advice as Guest Speaker and our subsequent engagements will catalyze a turnaround in the construction industry.
Ladies and Gentlemen, our Chairman today is a man of several passions, sometimes I wonder how he gets around. Of these, there are 2 I am curious to know – Architecture and your Alma Mater, Achimota School, which one comes first? He is a past president of the Institute of Architects, and has mentored many young and upcoming probationers into professionals. His support to the ARC and me has been exceptional, serving on several committees and volunteering his time and knowledge to assignments of the Council. Arc. Osei Kwame Agyeman, it is with great joy and much gratitude that I welcome you as Chairman for the 18th Induction Ceremony for newly admitted Architects by the ARC.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish now to extend a special welcome to our sponsors; Pascico Ghana, Joel and Olga Hyde Foundation, Aluglass Ltd, EPP Books, and LG. We cherish our long-standing partnership and your continuous support. You are warmly welcome to the 18th Induction Ceremony for these 60 newly qualified persons.
Examiners, Resource Persons, Family members of Inductees, Media persons, Ladies and Gentlemen, you are all most warmly welcome. We hope that you will also find amidst the activities of this ceremony, some inspiration and pieces of advice to enhance your own lives.
You are all most warmly welcome!