Harriet Thompson

The British High Commissioner to Ghana, Harriet Thompson, has reiterated the High Commission’s commitment to addressing climate change and reducing emissions through UK Aid’s funding for the International Finance Corporation's EDGE certificate for green buildings.

She also highlighted key contributions of the High Commission in providing solutions at the city level through partnerships. 

“We are working to address broader challenges in the built environment, through partnerships with the cities of Tamale and Sekondi-Takoradi to identify urban flooding hotspots and model damage from floods which are being increasingly caused by changing weather patterns and intense rainfall".

“I am pleased to say we recently launched a second phase of this project and will be working with both cities to identify specific solutions to flooding issues – a very live issue given how much rain we have been having” Harriet Thompson expressed further.

The 5th Ghana Green Building Summit organised by Yecham Property Consult was held from October 5-6, 2022 at the green certified CalBank Head Office in Accra and opened by its Managing, Philip Owiredu.

For the second year running, the summit followed a hybrid style that attracted 204 in-person delegates and 1,415 online users who participated virtually from over 30 countries. There was also participation from 35 partner organizations and 27 speakers from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Finland, Australia, Singapore, USA and the UK.

Delivering the keynote address, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of Energy revealed that an Energy Performance Certification Scheme is being developed for public buildings using their specific energy consumption (KWh/m2).

"A tool for the assessment and the certification in this respect is being developed. Measures are also being put in place to train the needed professionals for the assessment", the Minister emphasised.

He also pointed out that 17 new energy efficiency standards and labelling regulations for appliances including those commonly used in buildings such as electric kettles, Television sets/Monitors, Clothes Washing Machines, Rice Cookers. These regulations will be ready soon for enforcement. 

Representing the substantive Minister of Works and Housing, the Deputy Minister, Abdulai Abanga noted that the Ministry has also initiated the process to establish the Ghana Housing Authority which will have the mandate to regulate, plan, develop and manage housing developments in Ghana. 

Being a landmark 5th anniversary, there were a few exciting additions this year. During the summit, an EXPO was held where organizations showcased their green innovations, products and services. The summit concluded with a Gala Dinner Awards Night held at Labadi Beach Hotel, to acknowledge key stakeholders and recognize key facilities in the green building space.

Whilst awareness and interest in green buildings have increased steadily in the last few years as a result of this particular advocacy, affordability and other community issues like absence of green social spaces, reliable transportation, robust infrastructure, increased traffic and pollution have been some of impediments to the holistic development of green buildings and creation of livable cities. Providing practical solutions is what inspired the summit’s theme this: Re-imagining affordable housing and livable cities through green solutions.

This theme cut across many insightful discussions and presentations as speakers re-imagined building materials, construction methods and funding options. There was also a mayors’ roundtable that addressed the challenges and opportunities in creating livable cities. That panel included Jaewon Peter Chun, President at World Smart Cities Forum (WSCF); Abdallah Mtinika, Mayor Temeke municipality Dar es Salaam Tanzania and Prof. Manuel Antonio Alculete Lopes de Araújo, The Mayor of Quelimane, Mozambique.

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