The Ghana Institute of Architects says COVID-19 has impacted negatively on their businesses but believes the future looks brighert for the industry.

Speaking to Joy Business on the sidelines at a programme to commemorate the World Architecture Day in Accra, President of the institute, S M Quartey said businesses of members almost came to a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s been a massive setback in many regards. As you may know, construction is something or buildings are things people don’t consider a part of one’s basic necessity. Covid-19 brought with it a lot of economic hardships and how to live through the next day. And when people are in such state, the last thing they would be thinking about is construction of buildings, houses, offices.

“There are also a lot of international partners who are involved in our real estate industry and once there was the travel ban, we could not go and they could not come in also, so it’s had a major impact on architecture generally”, he stated.

Also, Mr. Quartey debunked claims that their services are overpriced; hence not many people can engage an architect.

“Truth be told that it’s often not the reality. It’s often overrated. The service and the quality that you get in engaging an architect, is often something that most people who have done that can attest to it. You build a building to last a lifetime. These are the products we do. It’s not for today, it’s not for two or three years, it’s for a lifetime and perhaps, it’s worth the investment”.

He added that “most people will probably build once in a lifetime or may never build. If you’re engaging an architect’s service to dream of something that will serve your interest today…10 years, 50 years and even be passed on to your children, it’s probably worth the investment to get an architect’s input”, he noted.

An architectural student from the Central University, Hendricks Stanley who presented on the topic “Disaster Management and Emergency Housing”, urged government to create housing opportunities for individuals who might be displaced after a disaster [flood or fire].

“We have a whole lot of people who have been displaced and end up creating slums, because when we leave people on their own without showing them care, then they end up building up slums. Now, what if we have a type of housing that can be provided for them, a community that can be created for them? So that immediately after the disaster strikes, they themselves can put up these structures. This is very feasible because we have a lot of open spaces that the government can provide”, he explained.

This year’s World Architecture Day is themed, “Toward a better Urban Future”.

The day was commemorated in Ghana by the Ghana Institute of Architects at the Nubuke Foundations in Accra which was dubbed, My City My Vision, ‘Imagine Ghana’.

The event saw six architects making a presentation on various topics to address different architectural issues in Ghana.