The Republic of Ghana
Situated in West Africa on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea, Ghana is bordered to the northwest and north by Burkina Faso, to the east by Togo, to the south by the Atlantic Ocean, and the west by Côte d’Ivoire. Formerly called the Gold Coast, Ghana currently ranks as Africa’s top gold producer. It is also the world’s second-largest cocoa producer after Côte d’Ivoire. The country is home to a diverse culture and economic endowments.
Ghana has a typically tropical climate thanks to its proximity to the equator and low elevations – the entire country lies below 1,000m (3300ft). Daytime temperatures are high throughout the year, approaching or surpassing 30°C (86°F) on most days, and humidity is also very high, especially along the coast. Temperatures tend to drop to around 20°C (68°F) at night, more noticeably in the relatively dry north than in the humid south. The most temperate part of Ghana is the highlands area flanking the Volta Basin, which is often pleasantly cool after dusk.
There are two rainy seasons: March to July and September to October. Rainfall is highest in the south, with some areas receiving more than 2,000mm each year, but the drier north more typically receives about 800mm annually.
Light and loose is the way to go in this humid tropical climate. Bring light trousers or skirts made of a natural fabric such as cotton, combined with a stash of cotton T-shirts. Ghanaians are relatively relaxed about dress codes, but women should keep their shoulders covered and wear a skirt below the knees in the predominantly Muslim north. One sweater or sweatshirt should be adequate, since night-time temperatures are seldom chilly. As for footwear, a good pair of walking shoes with solid ankle support is a must, but you will also want sandals or thongs. If you forget anything, do not stress: there are numerous clothing shops in Accra, and having new clothes made from local fabrics is quick and affordable. For official Bank events the dress code is business attire.
Currency and exchange
The Ghanaian cedi (GHS) is the unit of currency of Ghana and the only current legal tender. One cedi is divided into 100 pesewas. Currently, a US dollar converts into around 7.65 Ghanaian cedis. The USD and other major convertible currencies can be freely exchanged at banks, currency exchange offices (bureaux de change) and major hotels.
Official Language: English
National and international telecommunications and internet services are available in most hotels, restaurants, residences and public offices in Accra through fixed and mobile networks, broadband and fiber optics systems.
There are four mobile phone providers in Ghana, all of which support GSM of up to 4G LTE 800(20), LTE 1800(3), LTE 2300(40), LTE 2500(41), LTE 2600(7), LTE 2600(38).
The operators are MTN Ghana; Vodafone; AirtelTigo, and Glo. All four operators provide both prepaid and postpaid options. Customers can choose contract or prepaid cards that are sold through authorized distributors and agents and are also available in shopping centers.
You can use your electric devices in Ghana, if the standard voltage in your country is between 220 - 240 V (as is in the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia and Africa). In Ghana, the standard voltage is 230 V, and the frequency is 50 Hz. If the standard voltage in your country is in the range of 100 V - 127 V (as is in the US, Canada and most South American countries), you may need a voltage converter in Ghana if your equipment does not support both types. You can also consider a combined power plug adapter/voltage converter. Bring plug adaptors as Ghana uses UK standard electrical plugs.
All visitors to Ghana must possess a valid passport and a valid visa/entry permit. Nationals of ECOWAS member states and other countries with which the Government of Ghana has specific bilateral agreements are exempted.
Requirements for those wishing to obtain a Ghana entry visa before arriving in Accra:
- Applicants should be legally resident in the country where Ghana’s Mission is situated.
- Proof of travel (invitation letter or letter of confirmation of participation from the Bank).
- A completed application form.
- Applicant’s passport photographs should have been taken not more than three months before the date of submission.
- Applicant should attach a copy of a return ticket or print-out of travel itinerary.
- An international certificate of vaccination for yellow fever.
- Applicant’s passport must have a validity of at least six months.
Nationals of ECOWAS member states and some other African countries are exempted from obtaining a visa before entering Ghana. Citizens from African Union member states who are not ECOWAS nationals may obtain a visa on arrival after paying the required fees. Similarly, holders of diplomatic/service passports of selected countries, persons in direct airside transit, as well as holders of official passports of some specialized agencies listed in the visa regime of Ghana are exempt from obtaining a visa.
Visa on Arrival
The Ghana Immigration Service has introduced this visa policy for visitors/business people who travel at short notice from countries where Ghana has no mission or consulate. The policy authorizes visas to be granted on arrival at the airport or other entry points, subject to the satisfaction of specific immigration requirements.
Requirements for emergency entry visa
- An application letter from the host, stating where the traveler is coming from. If the host is a company/organization, it must be on letterhead.
- State where the traveler is going to lodge.
- State the point of entry into Ghana.
- How long the traveler is going to stay.
- A photocopy of the traveler’s passport (biodata page).
Special dispensation for Annual Meetings Participants/Invitees
Under a particular arrangement, the Ghanaian government intends to grant entry visas on arrival to participants, such as invited journalists, and any accompanying persons, coming from a country where there is no Ghanaian diplomatic representation, as part of the hospitality it is extending to everyone participating in the 2022 Annual Meetings.
To enable the Ghanaian government to issue the visa letter, any participant in that case, should provide the Bank with a copy of his/her passport page, his/her arrival date and flight details. Once the letter is issued, the Bank will send it to the applicant. This letter will allow him/her to board and obtain the visa on arrival in Ghana.
Covid-19 and yellow fever guidelines for travelers
Ghana has lifted the majority of Covid-19-related domestic measures and travel restrictions as of March 28, citing a decline in the number of infections recorded.
The wearing of facemasks is no longer required outdoors, but attendees of indoor events must wear masks and adhere to handwashing and other protocols. Churches, mosques, conferences, workshops, private parties and events, cinemas, theatres, sporting events, political gatherings, and funerals may resume at full capacity; however, participants must be fully vaccinated.
International Travel Restrictions
Fully vaccinated travelers can enter without restriction, while unvaccinated travelers must present a negative PCR test result not older than 48 hours and will be vaccinated on arrival. The country has also opened its land and sea borders to passenger traffic.
All Ghanaians leaving the country must be vaccinated. By definition, a fully vaccinated person is someone who has taken both first and second doses of the following shots: Oxford AstraZeneca, BioNTech Pfizer, Moderna and Sputnik V. A single dose of Johnson & Johnson is also accepted as full vaccination.
Yellow Fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required on arrival from all foreign travelers nine months of age and older entering Ghana.
Advice: Before embarking on travel, seek updates and reconfirm travel guidelines relating to Covid-19 rules.
Ghana Missions abroad and geographical distribution
Ghana currently maintains 55 Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates-General (please see Appendix A). To complement the work of the Missions, 59 Honorary Consulates have also been established. Several Missions are also concurrently accredited to countries where Ghana does not have a resident diplomatic presence.
Foreign representations of the Republic of Ghana – Please click here for a full contact list.
Over 20 local and international airlines operate in Ghana. They include:
- Air Côte d’Ivoire
- Air France
- Ethiopian Airlines
- Royal Air Maroc
- Brussels Airlines
- British Airways
- Air Burkina
- Delta Air Lines
- United Airlines
- Kenya Airways
- Tap Portugal
- Middle East Airlines
- Africa World Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Air Peace
- Rwand Air
- Turkish Airlines
- South African Airways
The Government of Ghana and Bank protocol officials will facilitate customs formalities for members of delegations participating in the Annual Meetings. Special arrangements will be made to ease customs formalities in accordance with national legislation.
It is strictly forbidden to bring prohibited substances into Ghana, including drugs, morphine, opium, cannabis, etc.
Firearms are prohibited. Any visitor wishing to bring a weapon of any kind into the country, including sporting weapons, must obtain a firearm-carrying permit. Dangerous goods are strictly forbidden from being brought into or exported from the country.