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Africa Outlook

McAdam Design Ghana
McAdam Design
design consultancy
project management
construction project management
civil engineering design
Africa construction
Great British Infrastructure Forum


Quality, Delivery and Excellence

McAdam Design Ghana Ltd is excelling in the delivery of top class Project Management and Consultancy Services in the sub Saharan region

Writer: Phoebe Calver

Project Manager: Stuart Parker

McAdam Design (Ghana) Ltd, linked to McAdam Design Ltd based in the UK, is a privately owned, limited liability company, specialising in providing project management, design and construction supervision services. 

Working in collaboration with its local construction partners in Ghana, the Company has assisted its clients for the past four years using its technical expertise and innovative spirit. This has led to the delivery of projects in a multitude of sectors, specifically including infrastructure associated with industrial development, water supply and treatment, wastewater and sanitation, housing and energy. 

“The genesis of our idea to embark upon a new project management and design consultancy business began with a family visit to Ghana in 2010,” explains Peter Quartey-Papafio, Director of McAdam Design (Ghana) Ltd. “At the time the UK was in the middle of a recession and we noticed this was a huge contrast to Ghana’s booming economy, with a -GDP growth of more than 10 percent and numerous opportunities for infrastructural development at that time.”

Following assessments based on key factors such as the country’s booming economy, political stability and its close links with the UK, Ghana was found to be an attractive location to establish a new consultancy business.

“Between 2010 and 2013 I spent time investigating the viable sectors that we would target, meeting with potential clients and forming strategic alliances with associations and key local consultants in Ghana,” adds Quartey-Papafio. “These alliances were formed with companies that held a similar ethos of client-focused and quality delivery for service as McAdam Design.”

“Over the years we have been able to differentiate ourselves from other design consultancy companies by taking time to fully understand our clients’ needs and particularly the commercial considerations of their projects.” 

Quartey-Papafio continues: “We recognise the importance of the financial viability for our solutions, alongside technical feasibility, ‘value engineering’ is at the core of all of our design solutions.”

Early development

During the early stages of its establishment in Ghana, the Company focused strategically on the water sector rather than spreading itself too thin by trying to enter a multitude of other sectors such as roads, housing, energy and oil & gas. 

“In Northern Ireland McAdam Design is one of the leading civil engineering consultancy firms that specialises in both water and wastewater sectors,” states Quartey-Papafio. “We wanted to develop our initial offering in Ghana to reflect the strength of the UK company.”

This strategy proved to be successful during the Company’s early stages, leading it to win its first contract in 2015. The contract comprised an 18 month consultancy commission with Ghana Water Company Limited, acting as the Employers Representative on the US$65 M Akwatia Water Expansion Project. 

Quartey-Papafio continues: “Since that point in 2015 we have evolved through the widening of the sector-base that we serve. We now provide our project management, design and construction supervision services on projects ranging from the development of large industrial parks and housing projects and prestigious mixed used sites to development projects in the oil and gas sector.

Industry knowhow 

One of the key factors to the Company’s success has been the development of strong relationships with clients, enabling them to fully understand their required needs and ensuring that McAdam Design delivers commercially and technically viable solutions. 

“Many of the projects that we are currently working on are long-term schemes with phased development timelines,” adds Quartey-Papafio. “Some of these projects will take up to 10 years before they reach completion.

“We work closely with our clients throughout the duration of their projects and beyond, guiding them through inception, feasibility, design, procurement, construction and commissioning. At present these clients include BlackIvy, Rendeavour, LMI Holdings/Murphy Construction and Zen Petroleum, who are developing a mixture of large greenfield sites, large housing developments, water and wastewater infrastructure, as well as fuel supply, distribution and retail facilities.”

McAdam Design’s team of specialists have significant industry knowhow which is shown in the way the projects have been successfully carried out for our clients.

“Our success is clearly demonstrated by the instrumental role of the McAdam Design team in a number of prestigious projects currently taking place in Ghana,” Quartey-Papafio affirms. “We are acting as project managers for US client BlackIvy LLC’s WestPark Industrial Development Project, a 400-acre US$200 M greenfield site located near Takoradi we are providing Traffic, Geotechnical, Procurement and Construction Supervision services.” 

One of the most recently awarded contracts is to provide project management services to Zen Petroleum - a large independent Ghanaian fuel supply, distribution and retail company - also offering technical support to aid the proposed development project to construct 20 filling stations in Ghana this year. 

Stable platform 

Ghana has provided a stable platform from which the Company is able to build its portfolio and range of services. There are a tremendous amount of exciting opportunities ahead for McAdam Design within the sub-Saharan region that Ghana is located in. 

Quartey-Papafio states: “Our strategy for identification of potential infrastructural projects in other regions is achieved through collaboration with our partners - both consultants and contractors - who either have a presence or knowledge of opportunities in other regions.”

A good example of this in action is seen in the Company’s current business development within Kenya, which is exhibiting GDP growth of more than five percent. 

“Following on from the identification of the opportunities available to us, we have submitted a number of tenders alongside a South African consultant partner,” Quartey-Papafio says. “Success in our business development activities will enable us to provide consultancy services for water and wastewater schemes delivering them directly to public bodies in Kenya.

“At present we are also part of the Design-Build-Fund team, acting as Designers for a large US contractor who is seeking to secure a significant infrastructure scheme in the sub-Saharan region. We have also been taken on board as Designers for a prominent Ghanaian contractor for a large renewable energy project.  Key Design-Build contractors will provide a significant portion of the growth of our business in Ghana.”

Expansion into the growing renewable energy market in Ghana is seen as a promising move for the Company and a new string to its bow.

“We plan to leverage our relationships with consultant partners and clients in order to win work in other countries through the model we’ve employed in Ghana,” explains Quartey-Papafio. “With thanks to our strong and highly experienced team, we feel very optimistic about the future.”

Looking forward, predictions from respected experts such as the McKinsey Global Institute and Deloitte show substantial growth in the sub-Saharan Africa region, driven by a young population, a growing consumer sector and rapid urbanisation over the next five to 10 years. 

“We hope that this will provide us with an environment in which we can secure commissions on many of the numerous infrastructural development opportunities which will arise,” concludes Quartey-Papafio. “McAdam Design is very well positioned to secure significant work in both Ghana and the wider region. Our aim is that we will be one of the leading multi-disciplinary professional services construction consultancy company in Ghana within the next 3 years and more widely in other regions in sub-Saharan Africa after that.”