Ghana - Country Commercial Guide
Market Challenges

Learn about barriers to market entry and local requirements, i.e., things to be aware of when entering the market for this country.

Last published date: 2022-03-16
  • Ghana aspires to industrialize, modernize its agriculture, and provide economic opportunities for its growing population of roughly 31 million. One of key constraints to this vision is its inconsistent and costly supply of electric power, and the sector’s significant financial deficit.
  • Access to financing remains a significant challenge for local companies. Commercial bank rates average 28 percent.  Government debt remains high, at 81.5 percent of GDP (December 2021), and domestic revenue mobilization remains a challenge.
  • Exporters to Ghana without attractive financing options will find themselves at a disadvantage.
  • Because of historical connections to Europe and geographic proximity, European companies benefit from well-established business connections in Ghana.   U.S. companies can also expect significant competition from companies from China. However, U.S. firms are steadily increasing market share across key sectors.
  • Ghanaian buyers are price sensitive and thus, while U.S. products and services are perceived as high quality, durable and state-of-the-art, cheaper (often Chinese) products are sometimes purchased for cost reasons. Although new U.S. equipment is bought by Ghanaian companies, re-conditioned U.S. goods (e.g., vehicles and equipment) have been particularly successful in the Ghanaian market.
  • West Africa has a well-founded reputation for fraudulent business offers and commercial scams. Ghana is no exception. Recipients of unsolicited offers to participate in government procurement opportunities in Ghana should proceed with caution and require upfront payments prior to shipping samples or committing significant resources. Fraudulent procurement tenders using the name of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) are particularly common. U.S. companies that receive unsolicited tenders or are told that they have won a bid without participating in a tender should contact the U.S. Commercial Service Ghana for assistance in determining whether a tender is legitimate. 

African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA): Ghana is host to the Secretariat of the AfCFTA, which came into force on January 1, 2021, and is designed to facilitate intra-African trade and investment and grow regional value chains.  The Secretariat is seen by many as an opportunity for Ghana to become the commercial hub of West Africa and beyond, and many companies are eyeing Ghana not only as a vibrant market itself but also as a springboard for Pan African market entry and expansion. 

Contact: Commercial Service Ghana at office.accra@trade.gov can assist companies to understand developments related to the AfCFTA, including the status of negotiations and implementation, as well as the commercial opportunities created by this regional integration effort.