Ghanaian Architects protest multiple government projects awarded to Sir David Adjaye

Sir David Adjaye has won many prestigious awards for his iconic designs

President of the Ghana Institute of Architect has urged the government to adhere to the law in the award of key projects to Architects.

Architect Nii Dadey said concerns by a consortium of Ghanaian architects against projects awarded to Sir David Adjaye, a UK-based Ghanaian Architect, are justified and called on the government to pursue fairness.

Speaking Wednesday on MultiTV’s current affairs programme, PM Express, Nii Dadey said local Architects feel sidelined by the government, mainly, and other private institutions for iconic projects awarded to persons or groups who are not recognised by the Institute — in contravention of the law.

Earlier through a petition, Design Associates Development Consortium, a local architectural firm, cited legal breaches in the award of multiple projects to Sir David Adjaye, renowned for his iconic design ideas.

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).

Dr Sam claimed in the petition 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.

A statement issued and signed by Dr Ekow Sam, Consortium Coordinator in Accra, said 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.

On PM Express on Nii Dadey said it is clear that Dr Sam is protesting against an injustice which he believes has been carried out, but admitted that not all the projects awarded to Sir Adjaye are government-led, although many of them are.

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

Watch more from the discussion on PM Express on Wednesday. Lawyer, Kojogah Adawudu and President of Ghana Institute of Procurement Supply, Collins Agyemang Sarpong took part in the discussion.

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