The WABER 2017 Conference took place at the University of Ghana in Accra, Ghana on 16-18 August 2017. The Minister of Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah, gave the Opening Address. During the Opening Session, Professor Kabir Bala of Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria was presented with a Citation in honour of his distinguished contribution to the development and mentoring of early career built environment academics in Nigeria.
The keynote speakers were:
Professor Jason D. Shaw (Chair Professor of Management at Hong Kong Polytechnic University & Editor-in-chief of Academy of Management Journal)
Professor Oluwole Morenikeji (Professor of Urban and Regional Planning & Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) at Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria)
Professor Will Hughes (Professor of Construction Management and Economics at University of Reading, UK).
Below is the Foreword for the conference proceedings written by Dr Samuel Laryea.
FOREWORD FOR WABER 2017 CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS
It is my pleasure to welcome each of you to our 7th West Africa Built Environment Research (WABER) Conference taking place on the campus of University of Ghana in Accra, Ghana.
Thank you for coming and a very warm welcome to Accra and the beautiful campus of the University of Ghana. When you have some time, I recommend a visit to the upper campus of University of Ghana to enjoy the full beauty of this university. You will find buildings of architectural significance and you will also be able to see from there an aerial view of parts of Accra.
The delegates at this year’s conference come from Chad, Ghana, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, Kazhakstan, Nigeria, South Africa, Sweden, Uganda, UK and USA. I welcome each of you personally. Please take every opportunity to interact, exchange ideas and develop collaborations with colleagues from other places. To everyone who has come from outside Ghana, we extend a very special welcome to you by saying “Akwaaba” which means “Welcome” in our local language.
I know many of you have travelled long distances to get here. I also know that many of you have made considerable sacrifices by drawing on your own resources in order to be at this conference. We appreciate your efforts and hope your expectations will be met as we progress through the conference programme. It is always my hope that this conference provides each of us with a valuable professional development experience and opportunities for a productive and rewarding career.
I am delighted that we have three excellent keynote speakers this year who will interact with delegates on a range of important topics on the programme but also on issues that you may wish to discuss with them during breaks. Feel free to discuss professional issues on your mind with them. It is a credit to our three keynote speakers that all of them kindly agreed to come and share their time, knowledge and expertise with us. So I would like to welcome and honour our three keynote speakers: Professor Jason D. Shaw (Chair Professor of Management at Hong Kong Polytechnic University & Editor-in-chief of Academy of Management Journal); Professor Oluwole Morenikeji (Professor of Urban and Regional Planning & Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) at Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria) and Professor Will Hughes (Professor of Construction Management and Economicsat University of Reading, UK). I thank each of you profoundly for accepting our invitation. I hope everyone here benefits from the illumination your presence provides. Have a nice stay in Ghana and enjoy your interaction with delegates.
From an initial submission of 181 abstracts, we eventually accepted 98 papers for publication in the conference proceedings. About 84 of the accepted papers have been scheduled for presentation at this conference. Some authors opted for the publication only route and their papers have not been scheduled for presentation. We congratulate all authors of published papers in our WABER 2017 conference proceedings. Thank you for your commitment to scientific research, professional development, and the hard work put into doing the research and writing of the papers.
I look forward to the paper presentations. Some of you would have noticed that we have introduced a new format into our paper presentation system. In previous years, all paper presentations were done using traditional conference style presentation. This year, we have a combination of traditional conference style presentation and poster presentation which we are adopting for the first time. We have designed the format of the poster presentation session to be as interactive as possible for authors and the audience. We want every presentation to be seen, every author to be heard, and audience interaction with each author. That is the basis for our design of the poster presentation session. This change has not been easy for some authors to accept. I know some authors still prefer traditional style conference presentation. However, I ask for your cooperation and support in making the poster presentation session a success. Please embrace the change we have introduced in order to realise and enjoy its benefits. I can assure you that your poster presentation will be seen by everyone in the audience and you will be fully heard. A poster presentation is one of the most effective and most widely used ways to present research. I hope that all of us adapt well to this new system and we use our poster presentation session as an opportunity to enjoy an alternative way of presenting our research.
I turn my attention now to the invaluable members of our scientific committee and review panel. Peer review is essential to good science; credit must be given to our expert reviewers from 17 countries who have so generously given their time and knowledge to contribute to the peer review process for this year’s conference. I wish to thank each reviewer personally for your effort, contribution and essential service as gatekeepers for the scientific integrity of published research papers. Without the expert contribution of our referees, this conference will not enjoy its high reputation. So thank you once again to all reviewers particularly Assoc. Prof. Eziyi Ibem, Dr Carmel Lindkvist, Assoc. Prof. Emmanuel Essah and Prof Will Hughes for your significant contributions in this regard.
Organising a conference of this scale successfully requires the backing and support of some sponsors and partners. I would like to say a big thank you to Pinsent Masons who have provided us with significant support this year. Pinsent Masons supported us to initiate our Construction Law Seminar in April (26-27) this year. The April event was attended by more than 200 people. We just finished a 2nd Construction Law Seminar (14-15 August) and that one too was attended by more than 200 people. Rob Morson who represents Pinsent Masons at this conference was instrumental in the planning and success of the Construction Law Seminars. Rob, thank you so much for your contribution to the work we are doing here. I hope you enjoy your time at this conference. Our other sponsors/partners have also been extremely supportive and generous. Procurement and Project Management Consultancy (PPMC) Ltd have been regular sponsors of WABER Conference – Thank you for your financial support over the years. Dataware Consult became our official IT partner earlier this year – Thank you for providing various forms of IT support for our events. McOttley Capital are our newest partner. We appreciate your financial contribution and look forward to the start of a great relationship between WABER and McOttley. Finally, special thanks to EPP Books Services for sponsoring prize items for the Gibrine Adam Award which we introduced two years ago to recognise and encourage promising young researchers. Last but not least, I thank Excelsis Ghana who are doing video recording and documentation of this conference.
I must conclude by acknowledging and appreciating the roles and efforts of the following people for the significant contributions you have made towards the successful organization of the conference: Florence Laryea, Assoc. Prof. Eziyi Ibem, Solomon Kwofie, Emmanuel Ansah, Georgina Bediako, Assoc. Prof. Emmanuel Essah and Dr Afolabi Dania. Organising a conference of this scale is always an enormous task so I thank each of you for your dedication and important contribution. I thank Florence and Eziyi for their work regarding the production of this publication. This publication contains useful and interesting content that is indicated on the contents page. I hope you will enjoy reading the content.
On the whole, I am pleased to say that this year has been a successful and productive one for WABER Conference. To all of you who have contributed in various ways, I thank you very much. To all delegates at this year’s conference, I thank you once again for your participation. Enjoy the conference, engage in the exchange of ideas and knowledge, interact and build new relationships for the future, and have a safe journey back home.
We wish everyone at this conference the very best for all of your endeavours and hope to see you again in the future.
Sam Laryea, PhD, PGCAP, FHEA, MSCLA, MASAQS, MRCIS, MCIOB, PrCPM
Chairman of WABER Conference
Accra, Ghana, 16th August 2017