Ghanaian architects query its government over projects awarded to David Adjaye

President of the Ghana Institute of Architect Richard Nii Dadey says the government must adhere to the law in the award of key projects to architects.

Sir David Adjaye receives his knighthood on behalf of HM Queen Elizabeth II

Speaking on Joy News, Nii Dadey said the government must be fair in its awarding contracts to architects.

His comments come after a local architectural firm, Design Associates Development Consortium, petitioned Ghana’s president over the award of multiple projects to Sir David Adjaye, renowned for his iconic design ideas.

Design Associates Development Consortium, in its petition, cited legal breaches in the award of multiple projects to Sir David Adjaye.

In the petition addressed to the President and copied to the Speaker of Parliament, the President of the Ghana Institute of Architect, Registrar of the Architects Registration Council of Ghana and Executive Director of the Ghana Institution of Engineering, Coordinator of the Consortium, Dr Ekow Sam, said in the petition that the projects were awarded Sir Adjaye without regards to Ghana’s procurement laws (Act 663).

The petition signed by Dr Ekow Sam said that the award of the National Cathedral, New Parliamentary Chamber, Marine Drive Master Plan and International Cancer Centre for Children as well as Trade Fair Centre Redesign, GNPC Takoradi Office Complex, Airport City Two Design, New Railway Terminal Design and Redevelopment and Expansion of Ghana Embassy in US were awarded to Sir Adjaye’s Adjaye and Associates without adhering to principles of transparency, fairness, equity and laws governing the procurement of professional services by statutory companies and bodies.

The statement further explained that Sir Adjaye, who was the Principal Architect of Adjaye and Associates, was not a licensed or registered architect to carry on the profession of Architect under the Architects Decree, 1968 (NRCD 357) as amended.

“It is even more startling when one considers the fact that Adjaye and Associates is currently recruiting architects at the international level, when within the country, there are locally trained, qualified, certified and registered architectural firms who can deliver the services sought.

“Due to the monopolisation of awarding projects to Foreign Architects and Engineers, the negative impression and image is being created in the public that, locally trained architects and engineers are incompetent and not qualified to undertake such projects in the country, which is totally untrue,” the petition stated.

Nii Dadey said the petitioned was justified since most local architects feel sidelined mainly by the government and private institutions for iconic projects awarded to persons or groups who are not recognised by the Institute -- in contravention of the law.

He however, admitted that not all the projects awarded to Sir Adjaye are government-led, although many of them are.

He said that for government contracts of immense significance, it would be proper for the government to open the process for the whole body of architects to bid competitively.

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