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Ghana Innovation

Ghana ranks 99 out 123 countries surveyed in the 2023 Global Innovation Index, which was developed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Cornell University, and the INSEAD business school. 

This annual report evaluates countries based on various indicators, such as institutions, human capital and research, infrastructure, market sophistication, business sophistication, knowledge and technology outputs, and creative outputs.  Ghana’s 99th ranking signifies progress in its innovation ecosystem, but also points to areas where improvements are needed.

Factors Contributing to Ghana’s Ranking

1.    Political Stability and Economic Growth: The Ghanaian Government has implemented policies and initiatives to promote innovation.  Programs like the National Innovation and Research Commercialization Policy aim to boost the country’s innovation landscape by supporting research, development, and technology commercialization.

2.    Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: Ghana’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has witnessed growth with the emergence of start-ups and innovation hubs.  Ghanaian startups have attracted venture capital on a relatively high level based on Ghana’s broader purchasing power parity.  Ghana also has a relatively strong level of innovation linkages in terms of cluster development. 

3.   Ghana’s ICT access, ICT use, and the ecological sustainability of its energy use registered relatively high scores. Its level of formal training provided by firms is a strength area.   Ghana demonstrated an relatively high level of business sophistication and creative outputs, especially with regard to industrial designs. 

Challenges and Areas for Improvement

While Ghana has made progress, several challenges hinder its climb up the innovation ladder:

1.    The report cited the global ranking of Ghana’s universities and the amount of domestic and international (corporate) investment in R&D as challenges.   Access to credit is a major impediment to innovation.  Finance for startups and scaleups and domestic credit to the private sector as a percentage of GDP is particularly low. 

2.   Enabling Technology: Ghana has a relatively low level of high tech imports as a percentage of its trade.  Its spending on software remains below global averages. 

3.    Legal Framework: Laws such as Ghana’s Technology Transfer Law slow investments due to its time-consuming and extensive review and approval process.  Likewise, the minimum investment threshold in Ghana’s Investment Promotion Act can prevents smaller foreign investors from effectively partnering with local companies and startups.  

Opportunities for U.S. Companies 

U.S. goods and services are well-known for their innovative technologies, robust security features, and after-sale service sales.  U.S. training, along with certification and expertise, is also highly valued. 

•    Partner with existing Ghanaian startups to further develop and scale within Ghana and wider Africa.   Providing financing and access to credit is key. 
•    Introduce new Web 3.0 services such as AI driven services, decentralized data infrastructure, and edge computing infrastructure.
•    Provide education and specialized training modules for workforce development and continuous education in ICT areas, in particular. 

Industry Events

There are several annual industry events that bring together this local ecosystem for policy discussions and to share latest technology developments, offerings, and forecasts. U.S. companies can partner with CS Ghana to participate in events such as: 
•    Tech In Ghana, November 26-27, 2024  
•    Ghana Tech Summit, TBD late 2024

For more information about Ghana’s tech startup ecosystem, contact Victoria Agbai or Laurie Kelleher at: or Telephone +233(0)30-274-1870.  Please see our Country Commercial Guide and our wide range of market intelligence reports available on our website at