Links with the UK
Ghana sees the UK as a trusted partner for culture, tourism, education and business, and views the UK’s goods and services positively. Major companies in Ghana include Standard Chartered, Vodafone, Tullow Oil, British Airways, G4S, Prudential, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Unilever and Diageo.
Economic and population growth
Ghana is developing as a regional hub. It allows 100% foreign ownership of businesses (with capital requirements) and has free zones where goods traded with other countries are exempt from customs duties. Ghana’s population is over 29 million and it has a small, but growing, middle class.
Government economic vision
Ghana’s government has set out a forward-looking plan for industrialisation and economic diversification. This includes stimulating private sector investment in key manufacturing sectors, infrastructure and mining. Increased oil and gas exploration and production is also helping to boost the economy.
Top five UK goods exported to Ghana, in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2023
|Miscellaneous metal manufactures||42.8|
|Medicinal & pharmaceutical products||41.0|
|General industrial machinery (intermediate)||27.4|
Total import value (into the UK from Ghana) and export value (from the UK into Ghana) over time
|Year||Imports (£billion)||Exports (£billion)||Total trade (£billion)|
ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: July 2023
Total trade is the sum of all exports and imports over the same time period.
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for Ghana.
Ghana: at a glance
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Opportunities for exporters
There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Ghana have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors:
Ghana’s oil and gas sector is driving growth in the economy, contributing 3.8% of the country’s GDP in 2018 (Ghana Statistical Service, 2018).
Involvement of key international players
The oil and gas sector in Ghana has already attracted international players such as Tullow Oil, ENI and Vitol, alongside the state-owned Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC). Aker has joined the market, having bought existing assets and announced new discoveries in January 2019. Ghana’s assets are offshore and suit UK expertise in that area.
New licensing round
A licensing round for new oil blocks opened in December 2018, with a number of international companies expressing an interest. Over time, this will lead to further exploration.
Openings in financial technology
Fintech is at the forefront of the drive to increase financial inclusion in Ghana. UK fintech firms could form partnerships with local counterparts to provide training and technology transfer services.
Security through new legislation
The Bank of Ghana has passed new laws to regulate and protect the industry from cyber fraud. Each organisation now has to operate a tested technology system equipped with fraud monitoring and detection tools. This means UK fintech firms can be assured that their investment in the industry is secure and stable.
A government committed to developing opportunities
The Ghanaian government’s development agenda aims to enhance growth prospects by digitising economic activities. This will boost the industry’s capacity to accept more players, and offer increased opportunities to companies operating in the fintech market - including UK firms.
Areas of focus in Ghana’s transport infrastructure sector include road-building, the development of ports, airport expansion and the construction of a national railway network. There’s also demand for manpower and training in the rail sector. UK companies in design and programme management are well positioned to play a key part in these projects.
Building and site development
Building and site development projects in Ghana offer UK businesses the chance to provide materials and equipment, as well as consultancy and project management services. Projects include the construction of low-cost and luxury housing, industrial and warehousing facilities, and commercial buildings such as shopping malls, offices and storage facilities.
Water treatment and distribution
Ghana’s government is keen to use its infrastructure investment fund to improve access to drinking water. There are opportunities for UK companies to develop water treatment plants and water distribution services.
Investment incentives for agribusinesses
The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre offers a range of incentives for UK agribusiness investors looking to set up production or processing enterprises in the country. These include tax holidays and the provision of technological, production and support services.
Involvement in government projects and programmes
The Ghanaian government is running a number of projects and programmes to support agriculture and agribusiness, such as ‘Planting for Food and Jobs.’ The aim is to raise awareness of the sector while increasing production of agricultural products. Numerous opportunities exist for UK firms to get involved and become key players in the sector.
The health sector in Ghana is moving from a mainly government-run network to a more diverse, decentralised system. UK firms have the chance to form a strong partnership with the government and offer services such as education and training, the construction of hospitals and clinics, and the provision of equipment.
The growth potential of e-health services
Over the years, Ghana has not been able to maximise the potential of e-health services. In line with the government’s ambition to resolve this situation, opportunities are now available for UK firms who can bring expertise in e-health solutions as well as telemedicine innovations and applications.
Openings for health insurance entrepreneurs
The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) was created as the key financing channel for the health sector in Ghana. However, it does not have a monopoly and other insurance entrepreneurs are welcome to enter the market, including those from the UK.
Skills gaps that need to be filled
Although Ghana has been mining for decades, a number of skills gaps exist that create opportunities for UK businesses. These include geological mapping and consultancy, machinery and equipment, contract drilling and mining, assaying laboratories, and minerals testing and processing.
A government committed to adding value to its resources
The Ghanaian government is helping to develop integrated industries related to the country’s bauxite and iron ore resources, and this has created openings for UK companies in a range of fields. These include refineries, sodium hydroxide manufacturing, iron and steel smelting and fabrication, railway and port construction, hydro power and natural gas production.
Incentives for minerals processing specialists
The Ghana Free Zones Authority promotes overseas investment by providing a variety of business incentives and customs exemptions. It’s particularly keen to attract UK organisations interested in setting up companies manufacturing ceramics, floor tiles, paints, cement, soap and detergent, glass, paper and plastics.