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University construction experts key to building economic growth in developing countries

building in Africa

building in Africa

Construction experts from around the world gathered at the University recently to examine how the sector can help build economic growth in developing countries.

Dr Tabarak Ballal from the University's School of Construction Management and Engineering organised the workshop. She said: "The challenges facing developing and emerging economies are diverse.

"One billion people lack access to safe drinking water, 2.6 billion people lack adequate sanitation and 1.8 million people die every year from diarrhoeal diseases. It is imperative developing countries work closely with leaders in areas such as construction as they can help secure their economic future."

The two-day workshop, sponsored by the British Council, brought together delegates representing construction contractors, architects, academics and researchers from countries including Sudan, Kazakhstan, China and Brazil.

A crucial outcome from was the formation of a new network of researchers who will meet annually to report on issues and present new research opportunities from their respective countries.

The workshop attracted high-profile attendees included keynote speaker Mr Gil-Hong Kim, Director of Sustainable Infrastructure Division of the Asian Development Bank and Mr Jonathan Mitchell, Head of Economic Growth at Coffey International Development.

Mr Mitchell commented: "The conference was excellent, a real breath of fresh air with practitioners, academics and industry actors together in the same room - exploring practical ways that the construction sector can be a sharper focus for development in emerging economies."

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