Engage Certified Architects Else Face Sanctions -Atta Akyea

The Minister for Works and Housing Hon. Samuel Atta Akyea, has cautioned the general public to engage only registered Architects and Firms for their building projects else face sanctions.

Mr. Atta Akyea revealed that under the on-going review document for the Building Regulations of Ghana, the engagement of registered Architects and Firms for all building projects in the country is mandatory.

Government, he said has already launched the Ghana Building Code, a document that covers all essential areas necessary for the smooth and safe operation of the building and construction industry all aimed at strengthening the regulatory regime within the building and construction industry.

Mr. Atta Akyea was speaking at the 19th Induction Ceremony for newly registered Architects by the Architects Registration Council (ARC). 29 new Architects were admitted onto the Standing Register of the Council.

The ceremony which was held in Accra at the Ghana Shippers House brought together the academia and key stakeholders in the building and construction industry. Guest Speaker was Ing. Charles Darku, Former MD of Tullow Oil. Chairman for the occasion was Arc. Ralph Sutherland of Sutherland & Sutherland Architects who in his opening remarks charged the inductees to accept the mantle of responsibility guided with a clear vision to succeed.

Overall Best Candidate was Kafui Kweku Anyomdie with Emefa Sedinam Ama Homenya and Abdel-Jawad Abbas occupying the second and third positions respectively.

Held under the theme: “Regulating the Practice of Architecture - The Future”, the Induction Ceremony bridges the academic and professional life of every architect. It climaxes six years of academic qualification at the university, a minimum of two years of post-qualification coaching and apprenticeship under a qualified senior architect, structured seminars and tutorials and finally professional examination, with a minimum pass mark of 60% to gain state licensing.

Hon. Atta Akyea commended the Architects Registration Council for carrying out its statutory role in regulating the practice of Architecture in Ghana and also the Ghana Institute of Architects for upholding the standards and professional ethics within the built environment; urging both to continue to enhance their level of cooperation and take steps to unremittingly compliment the efforts of each other as he emphasized the distinct functions of the 2 bodies as a government regulatory body and a professional association of architects respectively.

Welcoming guests, Registrar of the ARC, Arc. Mrs. Stella N.D. Arthiabah, congratulated the inductees for what she described as reaping the fruit of academic exploits in architecture and at the same time putting on a new cloak of professional responsibility to the benefit of society. “This annual gathering is very significant on the Council’s calendar, as it exudes the quality and growth of the body of architecture and the high standard of professional skill in the country” she reiterated.

In a bid to further extend services to the doorstep of practitioners and the public, Mrs. Arthiabah stated that two new offices have been opened at Labone in Accra and Adum in Kumasi. Aside regulating the practice of Architecture these two new offices, she added, will run the ongoing registration, categorization and continuous technical development services for architectural technologists, technicians and Draughtsmen through the National Board of Control (NBoC), set up under the auspices of the Ministry of Works and Housing to streamline all activities within the architecture practice.

Mrs. Arthiabah assured the public on behalf of the ARC together with all other sister regulatory and professional bodies that they will continue to give guidance in providing better livable spaces, specifically tailored solutions to indigenous concerns of cost, material use, environmental sustainability, waste management and the adoption of other non-conventional materials to realize the manifestation of affordable housing for many Ghanaians.

With this, she called on all architects to tap the diverse opportunities in contributing to governance, public service, education, security, human behavior, natural environment, etc. and render services to meet the changing trends and demands of society.

She seized the occasion to invite the general public to join the Architects Registration Council this year as it marks 50 years of quality service to the nation.

In a goodwill message, President of the Ghana Institute of Architects (GIA), Arc. Richard Nii Dadey observed that new entrants in architecture including the inductees are special as they are entering the professional world at a time it behooves the Ghanaian architect to be ‘awake’ and not restrict him/herself.  “In these changing times if you remain in that little niche you will eventually become irrelevant, the way forward is to evolve yourself from “end to end” he advised.

Guest Speaker, Ing. Charles Darku asked the inductees to be aware of the responsibilities ahead stressing that the many years of preparation in achieving this feat does not matter anymore as they enter the job market; what will distinguish them is how they leverage on what they have and build on the unique traits not found in the classroom such as good ethical conduct, vision, planning and the high standards of professionalism; ingredients of order and sanity in a practice evident of sound regulation.