On the 11thMay,2021, The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, visited the CSIR-Building and Road Research Institute. The visit was part of his tour to the various Institutes of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to ascertain the activities of all thirteen Institutes as well as know how best the Ministry could help boost research and development activities.
After touring the Civil Engineering lab, Pozzolana factory and the Brick factory, Dr. Afriyie stated that, ‘Ghana is sitting on a Gold mine’. This was as a result of the expertise and professionals CSIR-BRRI and CSIR has as a whole. Due to this, he promised to make sure as the sector minister to get organizational linkages and partnerships with the CSIR-BRRI in order to boost production and commercialization activities.
Furthermore, he would make sure policies are changed and pushed to be able to get the Institute into a state of Self-Sufficiency which would translate into the President’s vision of ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’.
With regard to the Institute’s production of Pozzolana and bricks, he commended CSIR-BRRI for contributing to the construction industry with the use of raw materials such as clay. He then promised to help build capacity of the Institutes production.
Significantly, he mentioned that he as the sector minister would do everything in his capacity to push for parliament to pass the law for 1% of Ghana’s GDP to go into Research and Development activities to help improve CSIR.
He finally made it clear that, all the above mentioned would not be noticed by the general public if visibility is poor. Since this is one major challenge for the CSIR, he promised to help push CSIR-BRRI and the whole CSIR to the forefront to help showcase their innovative ideas as well as scientific research activities.
The West African Building Research Institute (WABRI), which is the forerunner of the present Building and Road Research Institute (BRRI), was established in 1952 in Accra to serve as a potential support and adviser to Government during the Development and consolidation plans of 1951-1957/58 in which significant place was given to housing development schemes. Its activities were confined, however, essentially to the evaluation of the performance of foreign building materials under tropical environments.
In 1960, WABRI was renamed Building and Road Research Institute, under the then Ghana Academy of Sciences. In 1963, the Institute was moved to the campus of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) to offer its expertise and services to the University. The institute’s mandate was expanded to include road research in 1964, when the need to provide research and development (R & D) support for road construction industry became pertinent.
Through researchers from a wide professional spectrum, the Institute has successfully carried out its research activities in the built environment, as well as in the area of road safety management to support the socio-economic development of Ghana.