A guide to contracting in Ghana

contracting in Ghana - Ghana flag

27th July 2018

Ghana is famed for being a source of some of the most prized commodities in the world, including gold, oil, diamonds and – more relatably for many of us – the cocoa beans that make chocolate. Commonly nicknamed The Gold Coast, it is a tranquil place to live and work: in fact, it was named as Africa’s most peaceful country by the Global Peace Index, ahead of countries such as France.

Ghana might not be an obvious destination for many contractors, partly due to the country experiencing a financial crisis in the 1980’s following military coups. However, in a remarkable turnaround, it is now on track to become one of the world’s fastest growing economies, according to the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Brookings Institution. And, in a bid to stop the country becoming over-reliant on exporting and to diversify the economy, its President, Nana Akufo-Addo, has pledged to funnel revenues into education, agriculture and manufacturing, meaning that there will be increased opportunities for highly-qualified contractors in these sectors. There are also further prospects for professionals as a result of the country’s commitment to pursuing business-friendly programmes and policies, in order to encourage investment and growth across multiple sectors. As such, individuals with expertise in business growth strategies will likely find their skills are in high demand.

Contracting in Ghana: the Legal Bit

There’s no question that Ghana offers fantastic opportunities for international contractors, but there are a few key things to know before working there. Firstly, overseas workers will need a Work and Residence permit but only highly qualified and experienced candidates may apply to the Ministry of Labour for one. Crucially, while the application is in progress, contractors are not allowed to be present in Ghana.

After this permit has been authorised, contractors then need to apply to the Department of Immigration for a Residence Permit. Until this is approved, they can’t legally work. It can be a lengthy process, usually taking anywhere between 3-6 months for it to be processed, so contractors must bear this in mind when working out start dates and other practicalities.

One last thing to be aware of is that, in addition to these permits, the applicant must also undergo a medical examination in Ghana in order to receive a medical report.

As contracting in Ghana can be complex, in order to ensure that you are compliant with local legislation, we strongly advise that you partner with a specialist international contractor management company. Contact the team today to find out how we can help you.


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