Page last updated at 15:12 GMT, Wednesday, 9 December 2009

South Korea in $10bn Ghana homes deal

Ghanaian hawker sleeps on the streets in Tamale district, file image
Ghana's cities are said to be woefully short of housing

A South Korean firm has agreed to build 200,000 homes in Ghana over the next six years at a cost of $10bn (£6.1bn), Seoul officials say.

Construction firm STX will set up a joint venture to share the cost of the project with Ghana's government.

Seoul officials say 90,000 of the homes will be owned by the Accra government - the rest will be sold.

South Korea says it intends to seek more opportunities to help build infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa.

The country, like other rich nations, has already signed various deals in Africa giving it access to farmland to help shore up food supplies.

STX said its housing deal will involve construction in 10 cities, including the capital Accra, from 2010 to 2015.

The firm signed the deal in Seoul with Ghana's Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing Robert Abongo.

The Korean Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs said the deal had been completed after officials had been to Ghana to promote Korean building firms.

"Korea [has a] lack of natural resources and thus is keeping an eye on the African continent - just as developed nations and China are fiercely doing so - to secure natural resources," said a ministry statement.

"Sub-Saharan Africa is rich in natural resources but is a civil-war devastated area with poor infrastructure. Korea sees the region as a new construction market."

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