Doing business

Current Business Situation

Ghana is one of the most stable and open democracies in Africa. Evidence of this is the recent change of government through its electoral process in December 2016 and the swearing in of a new president in January 2017.

Ghana’s economy is rich in natural resources and key sectors include services, mining, oil and gas and agriculture in particular cocoa and cashews. Oil, Gold and Cocoa are the mainstays of the economy but little value-add is undertaken, which the Government is trying to address via policies including a factory in every district. The Government also made a commitment to provide free education for senior secondary school students from 2017.

The government is striving to make Ghana the gateway to West Africa by positioning the country as a hub for import/export, storage, assembly, distribution, manufacturing and the transshipment of goods, services and passengers.

In 2016 Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth was 3.5%, and is expecting GDP growth of 6.3% in 2018 on the back of 8.5% in 2017.

The country ranks 8th out of 54 countries on the 2016 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) and 7th out of 48 countries in Africa on the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI).

Business culture

Ghanaians have a friendly and personable nature and generally expect a hand shake when meeting a guest for the first time. Ghanaians find it offensive to shake hands with the left hand.

It is not advisable to take an aggressive approach when conducting business especially in the early stages of the business relationship and it is important to build relationships with potential business partners prior to closing any business deals.

Formal business attire is expected during business meetings although customary or traditional wear is also common in Ghana. Many people tend to wear more relaxed and casual clothing on Fridays.

Setting up in Ghana

Australian companies are advised to spend time investigating the market, obtain professional advice where appropriate and thoroughly investigate the issues in entering the market and establishing business relationships.

Australian firms wishing to operate in Ghana should commit to the highest level of corporate behaviour and familiarise themselves with Australia's law and penalties pertaining to bribery of foreign officials.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) is the agency responsible for promoting investment into the country. The GIPC has developed a simplified registration process for any business setting up in the country.

Banking and finance

There are around 23 banks in Ghana. The market is dominated by six major banks that include two state-owned banks alongside four foreign owned banks.

Credit card facilities are available but are not widespread. Visitors are advised to have cash at hand to pay for most services.

Links and resources

Government, business and trade

Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Ghana Chamber of Mines
Ghana Investment Promotion Centre
Ghana Revenue Authority

News and media

Business and Financial Times
Citi News
Daily Graphic
Ghana News Agency

Please note: This list of websites and resources is not definitive. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Austrade. The information provided is a guide only. The content is for information and carries no warranty; as such, the addressee must exercise their own discretion in its use. Australia’s anti-bribery laws apply overseas and Austrade will not provide business related services to any party who breaches the law and will report credible evidence of any breach. For further information, please see foreign bribery information and awareness pack.