Ghana’s construction sector was worth about US$10 billion in 2021 and ranks among the seven largest construction markets in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

As a leading gold producer and major oil and gas supplier, the government is committed to transforming the country from a low-income economy dependent on raw material exports to a fully industrialised, middle-income economy.

Over the past six years, Ghana’s GDP has more than doubled. The government is now pushing ahead with a raft of infrastructure projects to improve living standards, facilitate transportation and boost intraregional trade. 

ConstructAfrica’s 124-page Ghana Construction Market Report 2023, published in May, is designed to help companies to understand the market, minimise risk and set a strategy for participating in the Ghanaian construction sector. The report identifies project opportunities and details key clients and contractors in the industry.

It provides actionable insights to help companies succeed in Ghana with details on public procurement and tendering processes, key players in the construction industry, and local costs for construction materials, equipment and labour. The report also contains information on upcoming and ongoing projects in Ghana.

“It is one of the few reports that you come across that really captures the entire sector and gives a proper overview for investors and players,” said Kofi Adafor Ofori-Amanfo, general manager, John Murphy Construction, reviewing the report. “This is a report that once purchased really equips you with vital information to make necessary decisions about investing in construction in Ghana.”

Details on how to purchase the report can be found here.

Now let's take a look at 10 flagship projects in Ghana:

The Western Railway Line 
The US$3.2 billion Western Railway Line project, also known as the Takoradi-Kumasi Line, entails the construction and rehabilitation of 299km of railway connecting Ghana’s western trade corridor to the Port of Takoradi. The project is designed to ease road congestion and facilitate the transportation by rail of bulk commodities such as manganese and bauxite. 

Construction work has been ongoing on the project for several years, with the local Amandi contracted to carry out the 78km Manso-Huni Valley and the 22km Kojokrom-Manso sections. In August 2022, a consortium of Thelo DB of South Africa and Transtech Consult of Ghana signed a 25-year rail management agreement to provide planning, construction and acceptance services for the Western Railway Line project. 

Future work will focus on upgrading the rail infrastructure from Huni Valley to Dunkwa and constructing a new greenfield line from Awaso to link up a newly discovered bauxite deposit in Nyinahin and then from Nyinahin to Kumasi. The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in June 2023 provided funding for the feasibility study for the greenfield line and has agreed in principle to pull together US$2.1 billion in funding for the Western Railway Line.

Agenda 111
The Ghana health infrastructure project known as Agenda 111 was launched in 2020 to redress six decades of underinvestment in the country’s healthcare system. It aims to ensure that every region and district has a hospital in order to increase access to healthcare. 

The US$1.76 billion project involves the construction of 101 district hospitals and seven regional hospitals, two psychiatric hospitals and the rehabilitation of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital. For each facility, US$13 million has been budgeted for construction and US$4 million for medical equipment. 

Each hospital campus will feature an accident & emergency department, paediatric and maternity wards, an isolation ward and four surgery theatres. There will also be accommodation blocks for families and doctors, and diagnostic laboratories. 

At the end of June, a Ministry of Information official said that 88 contracts out of the 111 projects planned had been awarded and construction was about 50% complete on 54 of the hospitals. These are all expected to be commissioned by the end of the year.

Some of the hospitals projects have encountered delays due to challenges in securing land, while three contractors have had their contracts terminated after missing key performance indicators.

The Agenda 111 programme is expected to create 33,900 jobs for construction workers and 34,300 health workers.

Nuclear Power Programme
Having exhausted the options for adding further hydropower generating capacity, Ghana hopes to bring its first nuclear reactor on stream by 2030. The government is in the process of selecting the technology and choosing a vendor country, having received five responses to its request for interest in 2021.

Vendors from the US, Russia, Canada and South Korea responded to the call. Potential sites have been identified for the project and have been subject to seismic studies. The cost of the programme has been estimated at US$1.2 billion based on a 1,000MW plant, with a contract expected to be signed sometime in 2024-5.

In October 2022, Japan and the US signed a strategic collaboration to support the deployment of small modular reactor (SMR) technology in Ghana, beginning with a feasibility study. The proposal envisages Ghana becoming a hub for SMR technology deployment in the broader Africa region.

The One District One Factory Initiative (1D1F)
The 1D1F initiative was launched in 2017 to catalyse the growth of Ghana’s manufacturing sector. The initiative is managed the Ministry of Trade and Industry and it seeks to spread investment across Ghana, creating employment in rural and semi-urban communities.

Private sector investors are offered tax incentives, import duty exemptions and soft loans to set up medium to large-scale manufacturing operations in Ghana. The government also commits to procuring goods produced by 1D1F companies in place of imports. The priority investment sectors identified by the ministry are agricultural processing; garments and textiles; pharmaceuticals; components manufacturing; paper and paper products; and packaging materials.

Thanks to the initiative, 126 new factories have opened in Ghana and another 140 are under construction, with 27 more in the pipeline. The products manufactured at the new factories include steel rebar, street lights, tomato paste, beer, shoes and ceramic tiles.

Kumasi Light Rail Network
There are long-standing plans to build a light rail network in Ghana’s second city Kumasi to ease traffic congestion. The Ministry of Railways Development has been in discussion with a group of Czech companies led by Knights A.S. for half a decade about developing a three-line system. A feasibility study was completed following the signing of a memorandum of understanding in August 2019. However, funding has yet to be secured to allow construction to commence. The government hopes to execute the project as a public-private partnership. Previously, Czech Export Bank has expressed an interest in supporting projects in Ghana.

Boankra Inland Port
The US$330 million Boankra Integrated Logistics Terminal is under construction in the Ashanti region of Ghana. Construction of the inland port began in November 2020 after more than 18 years on the drawing board. The terminal is being developed across 413 acres of land by the project concessionaire, Ashanti Ports Services, which is a joint venture of the local Afum Quality Limited and DSS Associates from South Korea. Ashanti Ports Services was awarded a 30-year concession to design, finance, develop and operate the dry port by Ghana Shippers Authority. 

Upon completion, Boankra will have an inland clearance depot, customs bonded and unbonded estates, commercial areas such as banks, offices, trading facilities, vehicle parking areas, light industrial areas and an administration complex. The most recent estimate given for completion is November 2024.

The inland terminal will be connected to the Tema and Takoradi seaports by road and eventually railway. It aims to provide improved logistics for importers and exporters in the centre and north of Ghana and also for landlocked neighbours Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. The terminal will form part of the planned 5,000-acre Greater Kumasi Industrial City and Special Economic Zone Project. Ghanaian contractor Justmoh Construction has completed the surfacing work and drainage system and will soon commence the mounting of structures. 

Keta Sea Port and Port City 
In 2019, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) began masterplanning the development of the country’s third commercial port to be built in the Volta Region of Ghana. The idea is to develop the main port infrastructure under a public-private partnership. In August 2022, interested parties were invited to submit proposals. The project would be developed over four phases with the first phase estimated to cost US$600 million. The masterplan envisages the development of special economic zones in the port area and services such as containerised and bulk cargo handling, dry docking, bunkering and a cruise terminal.  

Accra-Kumasi Highway
Improving the quality of roads in Ghana is a major priority for the government. Just 27% of the country’s roads are paved. The upgrade of the N6 road, also known as the Accra-Kumasi highway is a key project. The road connects the country’s two largest cities and is used to move exports from Ghana’s ports to Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. The rehabilitation is being carried out in sections and has included the Pokuase Interchange, the Pokuase-Ofankor section and the Ofankor-Nsawam road. The local Maripoma Engineering is executing the Ofankor-Nsawam road works.

In June, construction got underway on four new by-passes. The work has been split into eight lots with contracts worth US$172 million awarded to local contractors Justmoh Construction, First Sky Limited, Hardwick Limited, Nag Fairmount Co, Access Limited, Joshob Construction and Kofi Job Company Limited.

Clearing of the road alignment for the Accra-Kumasi by-passes
Clearing of the road alignment for the Accra-Kumasi by-passes
Source: @mrhgovgh

Appolonia City
Appolonia City is a satellite city in the Greater Accra metropolitan area being developed by Rendeavour. The masterplan for the site was prepared by the US' Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Spread over 941 hectares, the city once fully developed will house 100,000 residents in 25,000 homes. The plans for the site include residential, commercial and retail areas as well as a 30-hectare business park for high-tech industry. Other elements include a central park, a university, civic hub and market street.

In August 2022, the first office building in the city opened. The US$4 million four-storey Adumuah Place was developed by Gateway Real Estate Africa. Rendeavour says it will invest more than US$250 million over the lifetime of the project, delivering infrastructure such as roads, water, sewerage and power. Residents have the option to buy a house or purchase a plot and build their own home. Real estate developers can also purchase bulk plots for building homes.

The Ghana International Trade Fair Centre Redevelopment Project
This project entails redeveloping 156 acres of land in Accra to create a modern Trade and Expo City. The project site is the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre which was established in the 1960s and has fallen into disrepair.

The plan is to revive the site to serve as a hub for domestic, regional and international trade and commerce, hosting conventions, meetings and exhibitions. The first phase, which covers about 100 acres, will focus on the development of a modern convention centre with exhibition halls, three hotels, residential apartments, a mall and cinema, a marina and amusement facilities including a water park. There will also be a business park, commercial offices, a technology hub, a Made in Ghana market hall, and a cultural pavilion.

The second phase will focus on the development of the AfCTA Secretariat building and high-end apartments around the Africa Lake. The masterplan was drawn up by Sir David Adjaye Associates.

The masterplan for the site
The masterplan for the site
Source: GTFCL

State-owned Ghana Trade Fair Company Limited will develop the basic infrastructure at the site and lease out plots of land designated for specific purposes to investors and developers. It will retain its principal investor position in core developments such as the convention and exhibition centres and continue as the anchor landlord of the site. 

According to an investor presentation, construction of the horizontal infrastructure was due to begin at the start of this year, followed by work on the mall in the second quarter and the exhibition halls in the third quarter. The convention centre construction is slated to begin in the fourth quarter.

In May 2023, Africa Data Centres announced it would build a US$300 million data centre in the technology hub. Construction was due to get underway in June.

In March 2022. GTFCL signed a memorandum of understanding with Singapore’s Stellar Holding to create a joint venture to carry out the redevelopment of the site. The total investment was estimated at US$1 billion.

Report cover

Top photo: Accra at night (© Wirestock | Dreamstime)

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