Working in Ghana

Ghana abounds with natural resources, from gold and bauxite to cocoa and offshore oil reserves. It has a much higher per capita output compared to the poorest countries in West Africa, but Ghana remains dependent on international financial and technical assistance. The domestic economy still revolves around agriculture, which accounts for a huge portion of its GDP and is the primary source of income for more than half of the workforce in Ghana.

Most people moving to Ghana don't do it for work but to volunteer for a relatively short period. However, those with the right skills and expertise will find that the economic climate in Ghana is bright.

Job market in Ghana

While the prospect of farming is unlikely to tempt foreigners to leave their home and work in Ghana, there are countless private sector opportunities in mining, oil, gas and the shipping industries. There is also substantial diplomatic representation in Ghana, given the relative peace and stability in the country, and expat diplomats are likely to find a place in this sector.

Ghana’s growing service sector is another driving force behind its economy. Tourism is booming because, unlike many of its neighbouring West African counties, it has enjoyed political stability for a long time. This has created a high level of safety and a positive perception of the country among tourists. As a result, there are many secure jobs in the hospitality sector.

Expat expertise is also usually sought in project management, financial control and general management positions. However, employers and organisations assume that, through skills transfer, many of these positions will eventually be handed over to locals, so expats should, therefore, prepare themselves to share their know-how with colleagues.

Otherwise, Ghana’s position as a developing country also necessitates a large government funding and NGO sector, and it follows that many expats travel to the country to volunteer or use their skills in a more meaningful way.

Finding a job in Ghana

Work permits are essential for those working in Ghana, and are arranged by and limited to the company that arranges for the expat’s employment. Foreign companies in Ghana are given a work permit quota based on the amount of money invested in the country. For example, companies who’ve invested more than 500,000 USD are entitled to a quota of up to four expat employees. 

Considering this, most expats find work before arriving in Ghana either through companies they've worked for previously or through international job listings. Networking with contacts in Ghana or other expats already working in the country can also lead to opportunities. 

Holli Our Expat Expert

I'm a writer at heart with a double life as a regional sales manager in the telecoms industry in Africa. My work and social life take me around the continent, and provide me with a plethora of interesting material to ramble about, which I try to do at least weekly on my blog, Holli's Ramblings