LOCAL CULTURE AND BACKGROUND

GREETINGS

Greetings in Ghana are important. Vistors should try to remember not to greet, eat, direct or give things out with their left hand. All greetings start with a handshake and start from the right and work round to the left – no matter the hierarchical structure of the welcoming group. This also applies at funerals where the bereaved will be at the centre of a seated area – start at the right and work one’s way around the whole line. A lack of a formal greeting in a public forum can be interpreted as impolite or disrespectful.

Ghanaians appreciate good conversation, and greetings – if time permits – should be a little longer than just “Good Morning”. It may be prolonged to find out about family, health, job etc. On first meeting some Ghanaians of rank, they often appreciate being addressed by their proper title (if one exists). Thus, you should try to use Professor, Director, Reverend, etc. Especially important are the honorific ones amongst which are, Otumfo – ‘the powerful one, Katakyie – ‘the warrior’.

In the North of the country or if one is amongst people of Northern background, the person perceived to be the most important is greeted first and then the greetings should be hierarchical (if in doubt, follow the example of any Ghanaian colleague).

TIMELINESS

Please be flexible with time in Ghana as Ghanaians are known to have a relaxed approach toward time management. Although Ghanaians have a flexible approach to time, it is necessary to make appointments before doing business in Ghana. These should be scheduled in advance.

TIPPING

Tipping is a common practice in Ghana. The accepted standard in restaurants is a couple of Cedis, although sometimes an additional service charge will be charged (often in the case of a large party). Bar staff are also tipped. Most people providing a service expect a “dash” (tip) in return, and it is sensible to carry a few low denomination Cedi bills in an outside pocket where they can be easily retrieved i.e. without going into a bag, wallet or purse.

DRESS

Men – Most office staff wear trousers with shirt and tie, though short sleeved shirts are acceptable in certain cases. Suits are the normal wear for official occasions. Jackets are frequently taken off, so shirts with breast pockets are useful. Dinner jackets are worn occasionally. Casual clothing is the rule for weekends and many evening parties.

Women – Cotton clothes are worn all year round. In the office the dress code is smart casual with dresses, skirts, trousers and tops or lightweight suits being customary. Dresses or evening skirts and tops are
standard wear for smarter cocktail and dinner parties. Long dresses (but not too formal) are occasionally worn. If you attend functions where many Ghanaians will be present, it is better to avoid very short dresses and strapless or near strapless tops.

THINGS TO DO

Ghana is known for diverse wildlife, old forts and secluded beaches. Coastal towns Elmina and Cape Coast contain posubans, colonial buildings and castles-turned-museums that serve as testimonials to the slave trade. North of Cape Coast, the vast Kakum National Park has a treetop-canopy walkway over the rainforest.
Make the most of Accra; see a large collection of Ghanaian art in the National Museum and Independence Square, dominated by the Independence Arch and the Memorial of the Unknown Soldier. The Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, which houses the remains of Ghana’s First President, is a favored destination of many tourists in Ghana.

TRAVEL TIPS FOR GHANA

WATER

It is not advisable to drink tap water in Ghana. Bottled water would be a better choice, and should be available from your hotel and from most stores and supermarkets.

HEALTH

Temperatures are fairly consistent throughout the year. The average daily temperature is approximately 30° Celsius. While temperatures do drop at night, visitors from cooler climates will generally consider most parts of Ghana to be hot both day and night. In the south of Ghana, including Accra, there are two rainy seasons: the first from March to July and the second from September to November. The coolest month is August. Humidity is lower from around August until October/November. The dry season is marked by the Harmattan – a dusty wind which blows from the Sahara – which starts in December and can last a couple of months, coating surfaces in a thin layer of brown dust.

WEATHER

Tropic diseases, like malaria, are prevalent in Ghana. It may be worth taking suitable anti-malarial medication while in the country, but also make sure to take adequate precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes i.e. avoid wearing dark clothes, apply mosquito repellent and wear long sleeved shirts and trousers when going out at night, and sleep with the air conditioner on.

MONEY

The local currency is called the Ghana Cedi (GH¢), pronounced “CD”. There are 100 Pesewas (GHp) in 1 Cedi. The exchange rate is approximately £1 = GH¢5.40. This rate changes on a daily basis. Banking hours are 08:30 – 16:00 on weekdays and some banks have Saturday banking hours between 10:00 and 14:00. It is not advisable to carry large sums of money on you or to give out money. It is possible to use credit cards and make secure transactions online and at ATMs/cash machines, but usual precautions should be strictly applied. There are ATM machines at various banks, but check that they can take Visa-branded cards before using. Visitors are advised to bring dollars, sterling or travellers cheques, all of which can be exchanged at hotels or a local Forex Bureaux.

EATING OUT in Accra is very easy as there are a wide variety of outlets offering a good selection of food, including numerous ‘chop bars’ (local restaurants often on the road side) serving typical Ghanaian dishes such as Banku, Tilapia or Jollof Rice. There is also a great selection of restaurants offering local, continental, and foreign cuisine. You can also get a taste of Ghanaian food
CENTRE FOR NATIONAL CULTURE Shop till you drop. Crafts, kente and other traditional cloths are for sale at the Centre for National Culture. There are ten (10) of such Centres spread across the country. Always bargain when you go shopping in local markets and especially with hawkers and street side retailers.
In Accra, visit the Arts Centre, within the Premises of the Centre for National Culture where you will find the largest collection of small arts and souvenirs. Close by is the Makola Markert. This market is a large and busy open-air market attended by traders from surrounding villages. The Osu Night Market is illuminated by hundreds of lanterns and candles. Visit this market throughout the night to sample authentic Ghanaian food.
GO FISHING in a local fishing boat. Sport fishing is especially popular. At the mouth of the Volta River, anglers have the chance to catch barracuda and Nile perch. Beautiful lakeside hotels and properties are dotted all along the southern end of the Volta Lake. Popular destinations include Akosombo, Ada and Sogakope.
SANDY BEACHES Relax on the beaches of the Atlantic coast. Between them, Labadi Pleasure Beach, Kokrobite Beach, Coco Beach Resort, White Sands Beach Resort, Dixcove, Busua and Ada offer tropical palms, spectacular Atlantic breakers and swimming (but beware of the strong currents and tides). Also dotted along the coastline are several beach hotels including La Palm Beach Hotel, Labadi Beach Hotel, Ada Beach Resort, Elmina Beach Resort and Busia Beach Resort. These resorts oer activities both by night and day. The visitor is never bored.
MOLE NATIONAL PARK Explore Mole National Park, the largest and one of the best-equipped nature reserves. Visitors can explore either on foot or 4-wheel drive vehicle, but must always be accompanied by a guide. Camp and discover the area at will. Mole is the largest game reserve in Ghana, ideal for safaris. Elephants, Tigers, Lions, Giraffes, and Buffalos are some of the wildlife you will find in Mole.
  • Be patient – but persist
  • Respect the laws of Ghana
  • Be aware fraud is on the ascendancy
  • Live your values
  • Be aware there is a gulf between rhetoric and action
  • Insist on written agreements and offers
  • Ensure you have safeguards in all legal agreements
  • Have a long-term vision.
  • Don’t cut corners or sacrifice your values
  • Don’t promote corruption
  • Don’t fight government and its agencies
  • Don’t insist on Western business logic
  • Don’t take all you hear at face value
  • Don’t sign any contracts before talking to your local lawyers
  • Don’t rush to the Courts – make room for alternate dispute settlements
  • Don’t get frustrated by delays
  • Don’t rely on political patronage

THE GOLDEN RULES OF GHANA

1.  Everything is possible.
2.  Nothing is easy.
3.  Western business logic does not apply.
4.  It is a fun project if there is no deadline.
5.  You must persist – things will come your way eventually.
6.  Patience is the essence of success.
7.  When you are optimistic, think about Rule #2.
8.  When you are discouraged, think about Rule #1.

USEFUL WEBSITES

GHANA
www.ppbghana.org Ghana Public Procurement Board
www.ghanastandards.org Ghana Standards Board
www.investinafrica.com/initiatives/african-partner-pool Invest in Africa –African Partner Pool
www.gipc.org.gh Ghana Investment Promotion Centre
Useful information on investment opportunities.
www.ghanainvestor.com Comprehensive one-stop-shop for trading with and investing
in Ghana
www.oxfordbusinessgroup.com
/country/ghana
Oxford Business Group
In-depth analysis of Ghana’s economic outlook
WEST AFRICA
www.ecowas.net “Economic Community for West African States” (ECOWAS).
www.waen.com West Africa Enterprise Network
www.waba.co.uk West Africa Business Association
AFRICA
www.afdb.org African Development Bank
www.newafrica.com/maps Maps of Africa
http://www.fco.gov.uk/africa The Foreign & Commonwealth Oce’s Africa Department
Choose “Country Profiles” for background information on a country
GENERAL
www.dfid.gov.uk Department for International Development
www.imf.org/external/country The International Monetary Fund
Features statistical country briefs
www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook US Government site Contains useful country briefs

LEGAL FIRMS IN ACCRA

Ntrakwah & Co.
E37 Abafun Crescent,
Labone,
Accra
Contact: Bridget Atta-Konadu
Mobile: +233 208 846 354
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +233 302 777 068
Fax: +233 302 783 100
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.ntrakwahandco.com

Ntrakwah & Co. is a corporate law firm that offers technical skills and trustworthiness, with an
insider’s knowledge in business, IP, tax, construction, litigation and international arbitration.

bentsi-enchill, letsa & Ankomah
4 Momotse Avenue,
Adabraka,
Accra

Contact: Elizabeth Ashun
Mobile: +233 244 313 147
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +233 302 208 888
Fax: +233 302 226 129
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.belonline.org

Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah is a corporate and commercial law firm in Ghana with broad
expertise and experience in providing first-rate legal services for international and local corporations
in all sectors of the economy.

kimathi & partners
No. 6 Airport Road,
Airport Residential,
Accra
Contact: Marijana Dacosta
Mobile: +233 577 736 740
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +233 247 960 465
Fax: +233 302 766 870
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.kimathilegal.com

Kimathi & Partners is a coporate law firm dedicated to providing its clients with the very best of
service. Their focus is to provide top-notch legal service and they are available to clients around
the clock to ensure all their legal needs are met.

Useful Phone Numbers

Philip Boison, British High Commission Deputy Post Security Manager
+233 242 281 278
Jill Tay, Consular Section BHC Vice Consul
+233 244 334 528
Osu Police Station +233 302 776 150
Cantonments Police Station +233 302 773 900
Fire/Police 191/192
SSNIT Trust Hospital
Cantonments Road
Opposite Goil Filling Station, Osu, Accra
+233 302 776 787
Dr Irene Sogbodjor (Dentist) Spaes Dental Clinic
Ringway Estate, Accra
+233 (0) 302 223 250

RESTAURANTS

GHANAIAN / AFRICAN

AU GRAND ECUYER

West-African cuisine. Located in Osu (next to the Honeysuckle Pub).
Tel: +233 302 768 643

BUKA

West-African cuisine. Located in Osu (near the old American Embassy).
Tel: +233 244 842 464

GOLD COAST RESTUARANT AND COCKTAIL BAR

Ghanaian cuisine. Located in Airport Residential (near Nyaho Medical Centre).
Tel: +233 302 799 834

ORIENTAL

IMPERIAL PEKING

Chinese cuisine. Located in Airport Residential (behind Airport Koala).
Tel: +233 302 761 299

SANTOKU

Contemporary Japanese Cuisine. Located in Villagio Vista (near African Regent).
Tel: +233 302 761 299

NOBLE HOUSE

Chinese Cuisine. Located in Osu on Salem Rd.
Tel: +233 302 930 010

ITALIAN

MAMA MIA’S

Pizza and pasta open air restaurant. Located on Ringway Estates, Osu. Closed on Mondays.
Tel: +233 302 768 643

MICHELANGELO

A home-style Italian restaurant. Located on Nortei Ababio Street, Airport Residential Area.
Tel: +233 244 233 533

NICOLINO

Italian pasta and pizza restaurant. Located at Alliance Francaise in Airport Residential (Near Opeibia
House).Tel: +233 302 799 834

CONTEMPORARY DINING

URBAN GRILL

An up-scale contemporary restaurant. Located above Coco Lounge at Stanbic Heights in Airport City.
Tel: +233 246 666 000

BISTRO 22

A gourmet restaurant. Located in Labone (across from Zenith Bank).
Tel: +233 508 262 222

CAFE KWAE

A small boutique diner. Located at 1 Aiport Square in Airport City.
Tel: +233 204 004 010

COCO LOUNGE

An fun contemporary restaurant. Located at Stanbic Heights in Airport City.
Tel: +233 244 222 202

ROCKEFELLA

Modern restuarant with a wide variety. Located in Osu.
Tel: +233 501 301 200