Since 2017, it seems there is only one professional architect qualified enough to design all the big building project in Ghana, which has made all the local Ghanaian architect practically useless.
Sir David Frank Adjaye, as we all have come to know, is a Ghanaian-British architect. He is known for designing many notable buildings around the world, including the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. His reputation is well established as, no doubt, a world-class architect.
However, for obvious reasons, which include him being close to people like Gabby Asare okyere Darko, and the President, he has become the alpha and omega of mega project to the detriment of his local colleagues.
Many first heard of him when he presented the design he has made for the construction of the National Cathedral. He was introduced to Ghanaians as one of their own who is putting Ghana on the world map with his incredible architectural works. He was celebrated, and the design of the cathedral cheered.
Later, when the La trade fare in Accra was being cleared for reconstruction, his name popped up as the main designer. There were no alarm raised. People still considered it to be normal. Several projects were offered him, including the Maritime port city.
What has now become the last straw, which has opened the eyes of the architectural industry, is the recent massive health infrastructure project the government intends to undertake. I speak of the Agenda 111. On the day the project was launched, it was mentioned that, Sir Adjaye had been awarded and paid for the design of all the hospitals. Allegedly, to the tune of 36 million dollars. Again?
This sparked controversy. Apparently, the architects in Ghana could not hold their anger anymore. In a long epistle, one Architect Asare has pointed to all the facts that clearly show that, there might be some level of unfairness, underhand dealings and cronies going on.
His major point was the disregard for due process in all the works David Adjaye had been dashed to do. Literally.
What makes matters worse, is the recent attempt to take away from the locals works that they have done and credit it to the British man.
Now, it has been revealed that, the Estate Management Unit of the Ghana Health Service engaged a consultant some years ago to develop a standard modular concept for our health facilities.
The brief was for a design that would enable us upgrade the different levels of healthcare facilities as and when needed. It was also to provide the blueprint for our capital investments in healthcare.
That modular concept was used to build the Dodowa Hospital, Ga East Hospital, and most of the facilities that have now been abandoned.
It was so detailed and functional, and the company that built it won some reputable awards.
In comes Agenda 111 and a new design has been procured from Sir David Adjaye for a colossal amount. The state is paying fresh money for a design concept we already have and being used.
Now, assuming we decided just before Agenda 111 not to go with the existing modular designs, and we needed a new design direction, wouldn't it have been prudent to have employed a transparent competitive process?
It is safe to conclude, therefore, that, this is just another 'chop-chop'. Is the most respected Sir David Adjaye being used as a vehicle to siphon money from the public kitty? Your guess is as good as mine.
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