moving to ghana

Moving to Ghana

Ghana Score
Shithole Paradise

What is Ghana?

moving to ghana flag

Ghana is a multi-ethnic West African country with one of the freest and most stable governments on the continent 

The Republic of Ghana lies in West Africa and borders Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Togo, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Ghana’s pretty diverse, with a geography which ranges from tropical rain forests, grasslands and forests to coastal savannas.

As per usual, the British used to colonize this country in the 19th century, which gained independence in 1957.

After this, of course Ghana experienced military coups, economic instability, and so on.

Politically speaking, Ghana is a unitary constitutional democracy led by a president, and since 1993 Ghana has had one of the freest and most stable governments on the African continent.

Yes, that isn’t really saying much, due to the subpar standard most of the other African nations are setting, but still.

Ghana scores pretty decently in healthcare, economic growth and human development.

It’s a middle income country, producing things like cocoa, petroleum and gas, and engaging in industrial mineral extraction.

English is the official language, but Ghana only gets a “Moderate” score on average.

In addition, there are 11 other languages, and French is widely taught in schools.

Doing gay stuff is illegal, witchcraft is believed to exist, and some other superstitious nonsense still prevails.

There is a pretty large degree of freedom of press and freedom of speech, especially compared to other African countries.

Fun fact: Ghana means “strong warrior king”.

living in ghana map
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Requirements for moving to Ghana

Moving to Ghana isn’t as easy as getting on a plane and making your fortune there, as is the case with many other countries.

You’ll have to apply for a visa in advance at an embassy.

Getting a residence permit is possible, and these usually last a few years, but you’ve got to prove you make a solid income – and can thus pay 30% of it to the Ghanaian government.

Becoming a citizen is also an option, and you can even keep your old nationality.

The cost of living isn’t a deterrent at all, as can be expected from an African country.

The level of English is Moderate, and because it’s an official language of Ghana you shouldn’t run into that many issues communicating with locals.

What is the cost of living in Ghana?

Ghana sports a very low cost of living, clocking in at around 650 USD per person per month.

That’s very easy to get for anyone with some form of international income – but keep in mind you have to give 30% of it to the government.

If you want a somewhat decent life, with healthcare, some luxuries, a safe house and so forth, I’d say aim for at least $1,500 to $2,000 a month, which is still very doable for anyone.

Benefits of living in Ghana

  • Low cost of living

    Ghana’s cheap, with an average cost of living under $1,000

  • Decent residency and citizenship options

    You can get a residence permit for several years, and dual citizenship is also possible

  • Nice weather

    A lot of sunny days and a pleasant average temperature

  • Growing economy

    With an average GDP growth of 6% over the last 10 years, Ghana is seeing a very robust economic boom

  • Pretty stable

    Ghana is one of the most stable countries … in Africa

living in ghana

Downsides of living in Ghana

  • Taxes on international income

    Residing in Ghana means you’ll pay up to 30% on your international income

  • Humid

    Ghana packs a sweltering 83% humidity

  • Poor visa system

    You need to apply for a visa beforehand to enter Ghana

  • African country

    Even though Ghana’s definitely near the top of the top of African countries, it still has to deal with issues like corruption, subpar infrastructure, superstitions, and so on

Moving to Ghana - by the numbers

Ghana Score
Shithole Paradise

Climate: 7.4/10

Hours of sunshine (7.5/10) Temperature (10/10) Rainy days (10/10) Humidity (2/10)
26.5 C – 79.5 F

Level of English: 6/10

Moderate Proficiency

Cost of Living: 9.5/10

Minimum Annual Wage Average monthly cost single person

Rent differs hugely between the city center and outside, easily 5-7 times as much in the center

Taxes on international income: 5/10

0 to 30%

If you’re a resident, you will be taxed on all your income. You’re a resident when you’re present in Ghana for 183 or more during any 12-month period which starts or ends in the fiscal year.

Economic growth: 9/10

Average GDP growth over the last 10 years: 6.1%

Safety: 7/10

Global Terrorism Index (10/10) Intentional homicide rate (8/10) Rape rate (3/10)

Visa: 7.7/10

  • Visa (5/10)

    You need to apply for a visa beforehand at an embassy or consulate. The validity and requirements of the visa depends on the embassy. You can extend this in theory for a period of 3 months, provided you show them you’ve got the dough. Fortunately, there are plans to implement an e-Visa … but those plans were announced 3 years ago and still nothing

  • Permanent Residence (9/10)

    You can get a residence permit for a period of 4 to 8 years, when you either work there or prove you’ve got a steady income. Once you’ve been here for 5 years, you can go for an “Indefinite Residence Permit”. Sounds good, but of course there is a lot of paperwork, hassle and good-will from government bureaucrats involved

  • Citizenship (9/10)

    You can get it through naturalization after 6 years, but you’ve got to prove you speak a native language (there are a lot of choices here). Dual nationality is allowed

moving to ghana

How is life for expats in Ghana?

I would say living in Ghana as an expat is about as good as it’s going to get in Africa.

Low cost of living, pretty stable (for Africa), decent health care, moderate English proficiency, freedom of press, sunny and warm, nice beaches, typical African nature, decent options for residency and citizenship make a compelling argument for moving to Ghana.

Of course, you’ll have to take into account the 30% taxes on your international income, corruption, superstition, subpar infrastructure and some other annoying factors.

That being said, I was pretty surprised, and a score of 74% is nothing to scoff at.

If you really want to live in sub-Saharan Africa, Ghana’s one of the best options.

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