Ghana - Country Commercial Guide
Market Overview
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Ghana is a country of 31 million people with a fast-growing, young, globally and digitally connected population. Many Ghanaians have strong personal or business ties to the United States, and a strong affinity for American brands and technology. Ghana is the third largest U.S. export market for goods in Sub Saharan Africa. Beyond its traditional industries of agriculture, mining - and more recently, oil and gas production – Ghana’s digital, financial services, construction, education, and franchising sectors are growing fast.  

Ghana’s developing healthcare system, tourism sector, roads, rail, shipping, and port infrastructure offer opportunities for U.S. companies. Ghana’s Atlantic ports and daily direct flights from the United States make it an excellent platform for doing business in Africa. As the host to the new African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat, Ghana is at the heart of Africa’s transformative regional integration and can be a good  place to launch your business strategy for the African continent. Please see ongoing market intelligence reports about Ghana’s dynamic economy.

The country’s capital, Accra, is a bustling metropolitan area that is home to roughly two million people. Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti Region north of Accra, is another large population center and an active commercial center with roughly the same population.

At present, Delta operates a daily, direct flight to Accra from New York (JFK), and United operates frequent flights to Accra from Washington, Dulles (IAD). International visitors arriving by air will enter Accra through Kotoka International Airport. Please see the Business Travel section regarding visas.

There are several business hotels in Accra. Restaurants offering Ghanaian cuisine as well as food from around the world are plentiful. Taxis are available at the airport and Uber and other ridesharing services are well established in the market. Money can be exchanged for Ghanaian Cedis at Kotoka International Airport or at hotels and at some banks.  ATMs accepting international bank cards are plentiful in Ghana’s city centers. Kumasi offers a few hotels that meet international business standards; other locations offer several budget to mid-priced hotels.

Ghana enjoys a vibrant media, with more than 350 radio stations, 120 television operators, and 250 newspaper and magazine publications. Many media outlets have a website and social media presence. 

U.S. companies seeking to do business in Ghana are advised to take a long view, taking time to get to know potential business partners and to develop relationships that go beyond email and texts. U.S. companies that can send a representative to visit Ghana and meet potential partners and make site visits will make a favorable impression on potential partners.

Ghana is blessed with a rich diversity of ethnic groups, each with its own unique culture and way of life. The major ethnic groups are Akans (45.7%), Mole Dagbon (18.5%), Ewe (12.8%), Ga-Dangme (7.1%), Gurma (6.4%), Guan (3.2%), Grusi (2.7%),  Mandi (2.0), and other (1.6%). Less than 1% of the population is non-Ghanaian, and 90% of that population comes from other ECOWAS countries.  See 2021 Ghanaian Census Data for more information.

The official language and the language of business is English, which is the primary medium of instruction in all schools. Ghanaians speak local languages, as well, and many are conversant in several.

Ghanaians are known to be very hospitable people. They are also very religious, with roughly 95% engaging in an organized religion. Approximately 71 percent of the population is Christian, 19 percent is Muslim, 5 percent adheres to indigenous or animistic religious beliefs, and the remaining 5 percent belongs to other religious groups or has no religious beliefs.

Traditional leaders such as chiefs and queen mothers continue to play an important role in many aspects of daily life, especially in terms of regulating social norms in rural areas and in controlling land and other natural resources. Companies may need to develop relationships with traditional leaders, particularly if they are pursuing large projects in the leader’s area of jurisdiction. 

Although there are occasional disagreements in rural areas among ethnic groups, mainly over land ownership or traditional leadership succession, Ghana has enjoyed peaceful transitions of government following elections for decades.


Although Ghana’s economy expanded at an average of seven percent per year from 2017 to 2019, growth slowed to 0.5 percent in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. While growth increased to 5.4 percent in 2021, high government debt and the failure to adequately pursue fiscal consolidation of government finances closed international capital markets to Ghana.  Combined with global dynamics, this fueled a steep currency depreciation and inflation that reached over 50 percent in 2022. In response to the economic crisis, the government concluded a staff level agreement with the IMF for a $3 billion, 3-year Extended Credit Facility, which was approved by the IMF board in May 2023. With its debt levels determined to be unsustainable, the Government of Ghana announced a standstill on external debt payments in December and embarked on a domestic debt exchange to restructure outstanding domestic bonds. Given the current economic climate, growth in 2023 is expected to slow to 1.5 percent from 3.2 percent in 2022, according to the IMF. 

The main sub-sectors that expanded in 2022 (year-on-year) were Gold Mining (32%); Information & Communication (20%); Education (10%); Health & Social Works (9%); Fishing (9%); Public Administration & Defense, Social Security (6%); Financial and Insurance Activities (6%); Livestock (6%); and Transport and Storage (5%). The economy remains highly dependent on the export of primary commodities such as gold, cocoa, and oil, and is vulnerable to slowdowns in the global economy and commodity price shocks. Other challenges to Ghana’s economy include access to foreign capital at an affordable rate, low internally generated government revenue, and inefficient state-owned enterprises. Private consumption (69.6% of GDP in 2021) has been dampened by the current economic dynamics. 

The domestic currency, the cedi, depreciated by 30 percent against the U.S. dollar in 2022.  Interest rates in Ghana continue to be high mainly because of the monetary policy of the Central Bank, including its attempts to curb inflation, as well as borrowers’ high default rate. The monetary policy rate, which serves as the basis for most commercial banks determining their interest rate, is at 29.5 percent as of May 2023.

According to the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, the sales and activities of U.S. multinationals in Ghana stood at $3.2 billion in 2020, the last year for which data was reported.  

The United States exported $974 million in merchandise goods to Ghana 2022.  Top U.S. exports included: cars and other vehicles, oil and gas-related products, poultry, vaccines and other medicinal products, earth moving equipment, and tires. The top countries supplying Ghana’s merchandise imports in 2022 (the last year in which full international data is available) included: China (18%, a decline from 23% in 2021); Togo (11%, likely reflecting a new pattern of transshipment to Ghana from Togo’s port of Lomé); the United States (8%); India (6%); the Netherlands (6%),  Belgium (5%); the United Kingdom (3%).

Ghana’s exports to the United States reached $2.7 billion, ($2.3 billion of which was Ghanaian exports of crude oil to the United States).  Ghana’s exports also included cocoa bean, paste and butter, apparel, rubber, and cassava.  Ghana’s top global exports include cocoa, gold, and oil.  Ghana’s top global export markets include Switzerland (27%), India (15%), South Africa (12%), United States (6%), Germany (6%), China (5%) and Burkina Faso 4%).  

Further, Ghana’s services imports and exports have grown exponentially in recent years. Ghana’s growth in imports of services has been one of the fastest in Sub Saharan Africa. Ghana imported $12 billion in all types of services from the world in 2020 and exported approximately $9 billion in the same year. This growth is led by imports of business services, a category that includes computer and related services, as well as architectural/engineering, legal, accountancy and advertising services. Inward travel/tourism as well as freight services are other growth areas. 

Precise statistics showing the U.S. proportion of Ghana’s $12 billion in services imports are not available.  However, U.S. companies play a very significant role in Ghana’s services sector. There is a strong presence of U.S. ICT services providers in the market (see ICT section). The number of Ghanaians studying in the United States is growing (an educational export for the United States). Finally, U.S. providers of financial services, express delivery, logistics, consultancy/legal services, and companies providing services to Ghana’s oil and gas and mining sectors play a prominent role and contribute to U.S. services exports to Ghana.    

Political Environment

Visit the State Department’s website for background on the country’s political and economic environment