Prices of cement in Ghana is expected to fall in the near future as manufacturers submit proposals for the usage of local materials for cement production.
Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority, Prof. Alex Dodoo reveals two cement companies in Ghana want to replace clinker, a vital ingredient in the manufacture of cement.
Ghana spends over half a billion dollars annually importing clinker and according to Prof. Alex Dodoo, the move will reduce Ghana’s dependence on clinker, thereby boosting economic growth.
“Two major players have submitted proposals to the Ghana Standards Authority to have cement not made from 100 per cent clinker. The companies intend to supply raw materials other than cement producers.
“No longer will clinker be seen as the only ingredient that will be used for cement but there will be other locally-available substitutes so that the price of cement will fall, creating jobs, thereby reducing our dependence on clinker,” he said.
He was speaking at a public workshop in Kumasi under the theme: “Facilitating the implementation of science-based sustainable construction technologies.”
The workshop came about as a result of a discussion between the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the German government in 2018 and it seeks to strengthen the capacity for Ghanaian construction laboratories and institutions to test Ghana’s buildings and develop new sustainable construction materials.
Also present at the meeting were cement manufacturers, a delegation from the Building and Road Research Institute of Ghana (CSIR-BRRI) and technical universities in Ghana.
The workshop was organised by the Technology Consultancy Centre UNESCO Centre of Excellence in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ghana Standards Authority, Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action and Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) Germany.
Dr. Wolfram Schmidt, a senior researcher at the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) Germany emphasised Africa’s role in testing out local materials for the manufacture of cement.
He however, believes a standardisation of these materials will ensure its usage in concrete technology.
“The future of concrete technology will be invented in Africa. The continent is very rich in resources but we’ve never considered it in the past for concrete technology.
“We need to find ways to bring these resources to standards because they’re the same materials which are already standardized,” he is optimistic.
“We’re trying to develop researches that can create businesses,” he added.
The Director-General of the Technology Consultancy Centre (TCC) UNESCO Centre of Excellence, Prof. Francis Davis asked industry to reach out to academia with their needs.
He believes it will help in proper uptake of the outputs.
“Industry would have to reach out to academia with their needs. Once academia is equipped with needs of the industry, they go into research in trying to find solutions to their needs. Once those solutions are found, industry because they’re interested in the research, they’ll take the solutions and continue from there,” he said.
“Once we find interest and need in the research academia has done, government and industry should fund the development,” he said.
Prof. Davis also noted TCC UNESCO’s aim at reaching out to industrial partners to solve their needs.
“Our major stakeholders of we go to them, engage them, know their needs and then come and deal with it. By this, we’ll be able to stop the research work that we finish and only end up on the shelves. We really want our research to impact society,” he said.