Cost of Living in Ghana

The cost of living in Ghana is higher than new arrivals may expect. Ghana's capital city, Accra, ranked as the 63rd most expensive city to live in out of the 209 cities analysed in the 2018 Mercer Cost of Living Survey. 

The cost of accommodation in Ghana is expensive and will take up most of an expat's budget. Household utilities and communication technology are also costly. Transport costs in Ghana are fairly low, however, even for those who choose to drive.

As the standard of public healthcare in Ghana is poor, foreigners moving to Ghana need to invest in a comprehensive international health insurance policy. Luckily, many expats in Ghana have this expense covered by their employer.


Cost of accommodation and utilities in Ghana

Accommodation is expensive in Ghana and rent will account for a large proportion of an expat’s budget. As the country becomes more developed and international companies set up offices in the Ghanaian capital of Accra, the foreign population is growing quite rapidly. The demand for accommodation is high but there is a short supply of quality and secure housing for expats. 

Due to the relatively undeveloped nature of communications technology in Ghana the costs of telephone line rental, monthly internet and mobile phones tariffs are fairly high and free Wi-Fi is only rarely available.


Cost of transportation in Ghana

Most modes of public transport in Ghana, including trains, buses and tro-tros (informal mini-bus taxis), can be erratic and unreliable. For this reason, most expats living in Ghana opt to drive their own vehicle or hire a driver to transport them on a daily basis. However, the cost of purchasing a reliable car is quite high, and petrol prices are steadily increasing although it's still relatively cheap when compared with other countries. 


Cost of entertainment and eating out in Ghana

The cost of entertainment and eating out vary according to an individual expat's tastes and preferences. Dinner for two at a restaurant which serves local cuisine is highly affordable, while international fare is much more expensive. 

However, Ghana is quite expensive when it comes to entertainment such as cinema and theatre tickets. 


Cost of healthcare in Ghana

The cost of public healthcare in Ghana is low, especially since the introduction of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

However, the quality of treatment offered by public hospitals in Ghana does not meet the standard that most expats are accustomed to. Therefore, those moving to Ghana for work should try to negotiate some kind of allowance towards the cost of health insurance into their employment contracts.

Private healthcare in Ghana is often the best option for expats. New arrivals should ensure that the health insurance policy they purchase covers them for repatriation and treatment outside of Ghana.


Cost of education in Ghana

While English is the official language in Ghana, most schools – especially those outside of Accra – teach in local languages. This, as well as the general standard of education at public schools, means that most foreigners living in Ghana opt to send their children to an international school. Although the fees at these schools vary, they tend to be expensive and expats should try to negotiate an allowance for school fees from their employer.


Cost of living in Ghana chart

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices in Accra for August 2018 

Accommodation (average monthly rent)

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

GHS 6,000

One-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre

GHS 2,100

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

GHS 17,000

Three-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre

GHS 6,100

Food and drink

Milk (1 litre)

GHS 11

Dozen eggs

GHS 13

White bread 

GHS 5

Chicken breasts (1kg)

GHS 30

Packet of cigarettes (Marlboro)

GHS 8

Public transportation

City centre bus/train fare

GHS 3.50

Taxi rate per km

GHS 6

Petrol/gasoline per litre

GHS 5

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

GHS 30

Coca-Cola (500 ml)   

GHS 6

Cappuccino

GHS 11

Bottle of beer

GHS 6

Three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant

GHS 100

Utilities

Internet (uncapped ADSL per month)

GHS 250

Mobile call rate (mobile to mobile per minute)

GHS 0.30

Electricity (average per month for a standard household)

GHS 400

Hourly rate for domestic help

GHS 15