By many considered the “Gateway to West Africa”, Ghana is situated just above the Equator and borders with Togo in the east, Burkina Faso in the north and the Ivory Coast in the West.
After centuries under various European settlers, Ghana was the first country to the south of Sahara to achieve independence from colonial power. In 1957 the country detached itself from British rule and changed its name from the Gold Coast Colony to the independent state of Ghana. In 1960, Ghana officially became a republic with the pan-African hero Kwame Nkrumah as its first president.
Although the country is considered to be one of the most stable countries in Africa over the last decades, Ghana was hit by a string of political coups since its independence. In 1966, President Nkrumah was deposed in a coup and the National Liberation Council (NLC) took power in an attempt to restore democratic governmental rule. Eight years later, a growing discontent with the government led to a bloodless coup.
In 1979, Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings seized power and shortly after handed it over to the People’s National Party. However, political mismanagement led Rawlings to regain power in late 1981, becoming Chairman of the Provincial National Defence Council (PNDC).
Calls for democratic reforms led to the constitution of a multiparty system in 1992. Rawlings won the subsequent presidential elections and remained head of state until 2001 when John Kufour of the New Patriotic Party took over the presidential seat. In December 2004, the country will hold its fourth multi-party election since 1992.
COUNTRY REGIONS AND MAIN CITIES
Ghana is divided into 10 administrative regions; Greater Accra, Eastern, Western, Central, Volta, Borng Ahafo, Ashanti, Northern and Upper East & Upper West.
Its capital, Accra, is located by the Gulf of Ghana, in the southeastern part of the country. The area of what is now Accra, was originally inhabited by local Ghanese communities before Portuguese settlers arrived in the late 15th century. Two centuries later, the Dutch forced them out and together with English and Danish settlers, gradually created Ussher Town, Christiansborg and James Town.
After years of continued growth, the three towns eventually merged and formed the capital city of Accra. Accra today It contains fine public buildings reflecting its transition from a 19th century suburb to the modern metropolis it is today. Since the early 1990s, a number of buildings have been built and the city today has various examples of modern architecture.
Cape Coast is one of the most historical cities in Ghana and the capital of the Central region. Between 1700 and 1877, it was the capital of the Gold Coast and is today one of the country’s most important reverence point of the country’s colonial history. Kumasi is the capital city of the Ashanti region and the site of West Africa’s largest culture centre in addition to the Manhyia Palace, the former seat of the King of Ashanti. Sekondi-Takoradi is the capital of the Western region and the third largest city in Ghana. Other than its cultural importance to the country, the city is also the commercial and industrial centre of western Ghana.
Formally called The Gold Coast by Europeans who first discovered the shores of this magnificent landscaped West African country in 1471, Ghana’s cultural uniqueness, people friendliness and warmth and the picturesque countryside continue to be Africa’s most hospitable and peace loving nation.
The country’s economy is dominated by agriculture, which employs about 40 percent of the working population. Ghana is one of the leading exporters of cocoa in the world. It is also a significant exporter of commodities such as gold and lumber. A country covering an area of 238,500 square kilometres, Ghana has an estimated population of 22 million, drawn from more than one hundred ethnic groups – each with its own unique language. English, however, is the official language, a legacy of British colonial rule.In 1957, Ghana (formerly known as the Gold Coast) became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence. After leading the country for nine years, the nation’s founding president, Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown in a coup d’etat in 1966. After Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana was ruled by a series of military despots with intermittent experiments with democratic rule, most of which were curtailed by military takeovers. The latest and most enduring democratic experiment started in 1992 and it is what has gained recognition for Ghana as a leading democracy in Africa.
Ghana has several tourist attractions such as the castles, Wildlife Reserves, unique Natural Rock and Vegetation formations, lots of Water falls, etc. Most of the major international airlines fly into and from the international airport in Accra. Domestic air travel is thriving and the country has a vibrant telecommunications sector, with five cellular phone operators and several internet service providers.
Ghana is divided into 10 administrative Regions, subdivided into a total of 170 Districts.
Prepare and Plan Visit
In this initial contact the Relocation Coordinator will brief the Transferee, introducing destination services commissioned, and provide access codes to HTLC Network on-line City-Specific Resource Guides. In addition, the Relocation Coordinator will help the Transferee assess personal and family’s housing needs, as well as their hopes and plans for the sojourn in your new destination. The Transferee will be asked to fill out a Personal Needs Analysis Form, which will enable customized service delivery. After gaining a sense of the Transferee’s needs, the Relocation Coordinator will arrange appointments with schools and real estate agents, an appointment will be set up with one of the Local Counsellors for a city briefing and a programme will be finalised for accompanied property and school viewings.
Airport Pickup and Greeting The Transferee and family will be met at the airport by a Local Counsellor and accompanied to designated hotel.
Destination Country and City Information
The Transferee will be given a briefing on the local city and life in your new destination in general, and will be encouraged to ask any questions. An Information Pack on the destination city will be provided. This Pack includes an information sheet with the HTLC Network office and Local Counsellor contact information and emergency telephone numbers. Further, it includes a city and transport map as well as a hard copy of HTLC Network own City-Specific Resource Guide, which contains a wealth of information such as telephone access codes, English-speaking doctors and expatriate clubs. When available, a copy of the English Yellow Pages, local English language periodicals and other relevant information will also be included in the Information Pack.
City by Zone Tour
The purpose of this tour is to familiarise the Transferee with selected areas of the city and type of housing and amenities available, in order to be better prepared to select the neighbourhood most suitable for personal and family needs. The City By Zone Tour is often delivered in conjunction with a house hunting programme.
International Schooling The Transferee will be briefed on educational opportunities in the area. The Relocation Coordinator will schedule appointments at the selected schools, and the Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged appointments although the appointments will be privately held between the Transferee and school administrators. Where possible, the Relocation Coordinator will organise enrolment procedure and arrange for company invoicing.
Full-Day Househunting Programme Following an in-depth briefing by the Relocation Coordinator a programme of property viewings will be arranged. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged viewings of up to eight properties.
Two-Day Househunting Programme Following an in-depth briefing by the Relocation Coordinator a programme of property viewings will be arranged. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged viewings of up to fifteen properties.
Lease Negotiation After the Transferee has selected a property, the Relocation Coordinator will negotiate lease conditions with the real estate agency or landlord according to The national destination law. HTLC Network coordinator will prepare a contract that ensures legal protection for the client. Particular attention is given to include a break clause, as international assignments often change in duration and the aim is to give maximum flexibility within the limits of the national destination law.
Property Inspection and Inventory Once the lease has been signed, a thorough property inspection is taken in the presence of the Transferee. This includes an inventory of any furnishings, general condition of the property, and meter readings for utility contracts.
Utility Connections, Phone Line and Bank Account The Relocation Coordinator will arrange all utility and telephone connections, and a Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to open a bank account in the selected area.
Settling-In Assistance The Local Counsellor will spend time with the Transferee and family, assisting with requested elements of the relocation process, such as arranging language training, obtaining a satellite decoder or internet service provider, shopping for furniture or securing house contents insurance. Duration of this service depends on various company authorizations.
Car Purchase or Lease The Relocation Coordinator will brief the Transferee on the logistics of making an automobile purchase and will research reputable dealers in the area. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to dealers and act as a translator. Once the Transferee has made the selection, HTLC Network will take care of necessary documentation including insurance cover. For long-term rental HTLC Network will advise local availability of this service.
If the Transferee requests, and is eligible, the Local Counsellor will assist with National Health Registration. City hall registration is a separate service and if authorizied, HTLC Network will assist with the whole bureaucratic procedure at the relative cityhall.
Ongoing Phone Support The HTLC Network support Helpline is available to all Transferees for 90 days from date of property contract signing. Extensions to this Helpline can be added in periods of three months.
Car Importation Importation of car to your new destination, including full document assistance and re-registration with Vehicle registry.
Full Assignment Tracking Full tracking of all deadlines throughout duration of the Transferees international assignment, notification given of all scheduled renewal dates, such as housing contracts, Permit of Stay and Work Permits. Ad Hoc Services Service rendered both from back and front office is available on an hourly and daily basis.
Immigration procedures and requirements vary greatly from country to country. Documents requested from applicants depend on the citizenship of the individual applying and the status he wishes to obtain in the destination country, be it authorisation to work, authorisation for accompanying family members, tourist or study visas, temporary or permanent residency status.
• HTLC Network has been selected by many International Law and Immigration Firms as well as Global Relocation Companies to represent them exclusively for immigration
• We work closely with the relevant governmental and police authorities in each country
• Our Immigration Team are experts in immigration laws and keep abreast of changing requirements and procedures
• We prepare all documentation for HR, all you have to do is print out and sign
• We inform the Transferee which specific documents are required , which translations must be obtained and if these must be legalised
• We provide HR and Transferees with information on the process flow, timing and specific legal requirements of each destination
• We update all parties involved regularly as to the status of the application
• Whenever possible, we act with a Power of Attorney on behalf of the company and the Transferee; when the Transferee’s presence is required, he will be accompanied to the relevant office in the destination city
• Our Local Counsellors, residents and locals of the destination city, are able to present the all prepared documentation to the relevant offices in person; thus speeding up the process and ensuring an efficient service
For more info about our immigration services in Ghana please contact our marketing department at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accra stretches along the Ghanaian Atlantic coast and extends north into the country’s interior. Originally built around a port, it served as the capital of the British-ruled Gold Coast between 1877 and 1957. Once merely a 19th-century suburb of Victoriaborg, Accra has since transitioned into a modern metropolis; the city’s architecture reflects this history, ranging from 19th-century British colonial buildings to modern skyscrapers and apartment blocks.
Accra is Ghana’s primate city, serving as the nation’s economic and administrative hub. It is furthermore a centre of culture and tourism, sporting a wide range of nightclubs, restaurants and hotels.
A furnished house or apartment would be equipped with all fixtures and fittings. The kitchen would have electrical appliances, cutlery and crockery. All the rooms would be fully furnished and would include electrical appliances.
A semi furnished house would have basic fixtures and fittings, usually the kitchen would be equipped with fridge, oven etc. and there would be some furnishings in the other rooms.
An unfurnished house would be totally unfurnished with no kitchen equipment although there would possibly be kitchen cabinets and fitted wardrobes in the bedrooms and basic bathroom furniture.
You can negotiate with the landlord to a certain extent, but it would be unlikely that you could get more than a 10% reduction. As regards furnishings, these can also be negotiated but the rent will probably be altered as a result.
This depends on the Relocation Package you have; HTLC Network Basic Package includes 8 properties and the Standard Package includes 15 properties. You will be told at the outset how many properties you will be shown or how much time you have available to do the house hunting. The properties provided would be as close to your ‘Needs Analysis’ description as possible according to what is available on the market at the time.
You must write a Letter of Offer/Proposal, outlining the terms and conditions, rent requested etc. This must be signed by both parties and is legally binding until a final contract has been drawn up.
Officially, the landlord charges 6 months rent in advance. Rents are then due every 6 months. However, in reality, landlords rarely follow this criteria and may charge anything between 1 – 3 years rent in advance. Real estate agents usually charge a 2,5-5 % fee.
Legal expenses: It is best to have a contract drawn up by a local lawyer, so you are protected by the law should there be any disputes. Contract registration fees: The Tenant and the Landlord are required to register the rental contract together. A small fee is required. At times the rent includes the services of security guards, or there is a ‘service charge’ that includes this. This regards especially where the property is on an estate. Where security services are not available, it is recommended to employ security guards for extra protection.
– Write a Letter of Offer/Proposal.
– Contract drawn up by lawyer and signed by both parties.
– Payment of advance rent and legal fees for preparation of contract.
– Thorough inventory and property inspection.
The landlord has the responsibility to maintain the outside of the house, grounds etc., whereas the tenant must maintain the inside of the house. When breakages occur, the landlord will require full payment of repairs or replacement.
As in Ghana the system is to pay rent in advance, if you leave before that period expires, you will either need to find someone to take over the property (in which case the landlord will pay you back out of the advance payment of the new tenant), or you may have to wait for the repayment as the landlord will probably have already invested the advance. Consequently, a 3 months notice is advisable.
Only with the approval of the landlord. The details must be negotiated and written down so that there are no misunderstandings. Normally, the landlord pays for the cost of these alterations, but he will credit you for these expenses.
Electricity: Blackouts occur in some parts of Accra more than others so it is advisable to keep a supply of candles, matches, flash lights and extra batteries. When blackouts occur because of work on electricity cables by the electricity company, prior notice is given on local FM radio stations and on national TV. However, some blackouts occur with no prior warning, therefore some prefer to have standby generators and stabilisers so they are not inconvenienced by these blackouts.
Water: Piped water is available in some areas, but as the supply is intermittent, most people have large water tanks that can be filled by water trucks. This water should not be drunk without first purifying it. It is recommended that water be boiled vigorously for at least 3 minutes to destroy all bacteria and parasites. Many companies now supply water in plastic sachets but not all can be recommended. Bottled water is widely available from supermarkets.
Some properties have boreholes, which is an advantage for the tenant as the water is free, however, if the pump used breaks or is damaged in any way, the tenant is responsible for its repair or replacement.
Gas: Piped natural gas is not available at present, however, Natural gas pipelines are currently under construction in the 4 Ecowas countries of Benin, Togo, Nigeria and Ghana. Cylinders of liquid petroleum gas can be purchased and then refilled as required (this can be found at stations where you see the sign for LPG). There are also door-to-door delivery services for gas cylinders, but there is a small fee charged for this service. The delivery companies can usually be contacted by mobile phone.
Precautions: After a blackout there is usually a surge of power and also fluctuations in the power supply mean that stabilisers or voltage regulators are recommended. A good UPS is recommended for your computer.
Electricity, Water and Telephone, according to consumption.
Utility accounts are usually in the name of the landlord, but the tenant pays. The telephone bill is sent to your postal address (PO Box) and should be paid within the due date specified. The electricity bill is delivered to your house and should be paid by the due date specified. This also applies to your water bill if you have piped water.
Electricity: If you have a prepaid meter then you will need to recharge the card by going along to the electricity company whenever the units have almost run out. If you have a credit meter then the meter will be read once a month and a bill is brought to your house. This has to be paid within the due date either at the nearest Post office or the office of the Electricity company.
Water: For those with piped water there is a meter which is read every month and a bill is brought to the house. This has to be paid by the due date specified on the bill.
Telephone: The bill is sent to your postal address (P.O.Box) and has to be paid at the local Telecom office in your area within a due date. Continuing failure to do this will in worst cases eventually result in disconnection. As these bills sometimes get lost in the post, to avoid disconnection it is advisable to go and check at the office when a bill does not arrive after more than a month.
Mail is not usually delivered to the house, although some areas do have this service. As P.O. Boxes are difficult to obtain, many use the address of their company – a messenger checks the mail and delivers to the individuals. Courier services such as DHL or EMS, deliver directly to a property but clear directions must be given, as many roads neither have names nor houses with numbers. A telephone number should be given so that the courier can phone for directions.
Yes, both satellite and cable TV are available.
TVs imported from Europe must be tropicalised before they can receive the local channels – there are competent, experienced technicians who can do this. However, TVs that are already adapted can be bought at reasonable prices in Ghana. The voltage in Ghana is 220v, so American TVs (which are 110v) need a transformer. Decoders can also be purchased in order to receive other channels.
Telephone lines within and between the main cities and also for international calls are fairly reliable although occasionally the service breaks down.
– ID (e.g. passport)
– Two passport photos
– A utility bill (e.g. electricity bill with name and address)
A fee of approximately 800,000 cedis is paid and a letter of acknowledgement will be given to you.
– ID (e.g. passport)Once the application is made, you will normally have your telephone installed within two weeks, however, delays can occur. International Direct Dial (IDD) can be installed upon request for an extra fee.
Bills are sent to your postal address (P.O.Box) and have to be paid within the due date specified on the bill. Sometimes these bills get lost in the post, so it is safer to check at the Ghana Telecom office so as to avoid having the phone disconnected. There are also prepaid fixed phones where a card is inserted in the phone that can be recharged as required.
Internet connection at home is available, however, it is relatively expensive and not very reliable. Internet points are more popular. Most large hotels also have very good facilities for Internet use.
It is very easy to purchase a chip, which can be inserted into your mobile phone. These usually give you units and an expiry date. Once the units are used up you can still receive calls until the expiry date elapses. Refill cards can be easily obtained where the signs for phone cards are displayed. As prepaid card are most widely used, contracts are not necessary.
Mobile telephone networks now reach almost all of Ghana, however, reception is poor in remote areas.
Driving in Ghana requires extreme caution.
Trotros (private mini buses) and taxis are particularly dangerous and often cause accidents because of their reckless driving. Traffic is very heavy in the early morning between 07:00 and 09:00 and then after 16:00 to 20:00. In the beginning it might be prudent to use a local experienced driver until you are used to the driving here.
In Ghana, they drive on the right. Most trunk roads and intercity roads are paved but are not always well maintained, so potholes and poor surfaces are common in some parts of the city. On the outskirts of the city and also in rural areas, roads are often not paved, some are surfaced with laterite, which turns to mud in the rainy season and is extremely dusty in the dry season. Wear on vehicles is heavy due to these conditions.
Many foreigners prefer 4wd vehicles but 2-wheel drive cars are perfectly adequate for driving around
You can drive for up to 12 months on a foreign or International driver’s licence. After that you need to apply for a Ghanaian licence. In order to do so, take your licence with 4 passport photos to the Vehicle Licensing and Registration Office. The licence is valid for 5 years but has to be renewed annually.
Our Security Awareness Trainings cover a range of areas regarding safety, including ’ Personal Safety’, ‘Property Safety ‘and ‘Safety Whilst Travelling’; these sections include much advice and practical tips from locals and expats with many years living experience in the specific city. They look at situations and specific areas it is best to avoid and recommend steps to take in order to protect ones family.
As everywhere else, petty crime is prevalent also in Ghana, so reasonable security measures are advised. Serious crime is fairly low, thus foreigners can feel quite safe and free to move around, particularly during the daytime. Armed robbers do occasionally attack, particularly at night in certain areas, so caution is necessary. Awareness campaigns from the security services are made through local FM radio and national TV stations. Reliable security companies can be used who gives good protection at all times day. The police are ready to intervene when called upon.
Yes. Yellow Fever Vaccinations are required. All individuals entering the country MUST have a certificate attesting to the fact that they have had this vaccination.
Vaccinations recommended: Cholera, typhoid, hepatitis A and B, meningitis, rabies and tetanus. Malaria is a problem throughout Ghana so preventative measures are recommended.
Malaria is a problem throughout Ghana so it is important to take preventative medication. Malaria prophylactics are readily available at pharmacies throughout Accra. While you are in Ghana, be sure to use mosquito repellent after dusk, most houses have mosquito screens on all windows and doors. It is advisable to sleep under a mosquito net, which has been treated with insect repellent. These also are widely available.
It is important to avoid drinking untreated water, but bottled water is available.
A Residence Permit and a valid Work Permit.
Dependant family members can apply for Residency Permit on the basis of being accompanying family members; they do not have the right to work in the country. If they want to work, they require a Work Permit in their own right.
We can apply both for the work permit on behalf of the employer and transferee and for the Residence Permit with a POA.
– Extensive rapidly growing client list.
– Exclusive partner/representative of many Global Relocation Service Providers.
– Exclusive representative of many International Law and Immigration Firms.
– Quality control guarantee: Head Office directs all relocations and immigrations in every destination.
– All staff required to attend on-going training sessions and workshops to keep updated as to global mobility needs.
– No language barriers – Assistance provided in all major European languages and many others.
– Corporate consultation with HTLC Netowork’s’ Representatives at location of choice.
– HTLC Network own ‘Resource Guides’ providing a wealth of everyday information for expatlife in destination city.
– Comprehensive FAQs for each country serviced.
– Red Alert List to prepare for the specific challenges of each destination.
– Extra ‘Safety’ section in Resource Guides for countries posing specific security threats.
– 24-hour Emergency Helpline for Transferees throughout the duration of the relocation.
– Complimentary 3-month Helpline.
HTLC Network will prepare all the necessary paperwork, email it to the Company and direct as to how the various documents are to be printed out and signed. We will send one of our Local Counsellors with Power of Attorney to act on behalf of the individual and company.
When the Transferee has to be present to apply for a document, he will be accompanied by our Local Counsellor.
During HTLC Network’ initial teleconference with the client we go through an in-depth ‘Needs Analysis’ which can include Housing Budget variables for the Destination City. HTLC Network will work with the Company to ensure the workforce locate properties of a suitable standard within the parameters set by corporate policy.
Legally, yes, as long as it can be proved that the individual who signs the contract has the legal right to sign as a representative of the Company. Many landlords however, will not accept this as it is harder to take a foreign Company to court should there be any missing rent payments or problems. As landlord’s rarely accept a foreign Company signing the lease, it is usually signed by the local company that is VAT registered locally.
For the presentation of document application, it varies from city to city. Wherever possible HTLC Network will prepare power of attorney in order for a Local Counsellor to act on behalf of the Transferee and family.
To release the obtained documents, the Transferee and other members of the family must be present as an original signature is required.
All Local Counsellors are really ‘local’ to the area where they assist Transferees. They are selected for their good knowledge of their city area.
All Local Counsellors are trained by HTLC Network to follow our set pattern of delivering services using an in-house ‘Training and Operations Manual’.
All Local Counsellors are closely directed by Office Coordinators, ensuring a consistent standard of service is delivered.
All relocations are handled by the same system of centralisation. When required, we arrange for a member of our office team to go to the location of a group move to be an in-house Coordinator, working from the Client Company’s premises as a point of reference for HR, Transferees and their families.
In main centres we have several Local Counsellors.
HTLC Network aims to equip your workforce to settle into their new environment as soon as possible. Upon arrival they are presented with a local Information Pack. They are given access to our on-line City Specific Resource Guides that provide general local information as well as specific local information once a suitable property has been located.
We have a 24hour emergency helpline throughout the duration of the relocation. We provide a 90 day complimentary phone line that can be extended throughout the duration of the assignment.
Our aim is to teach the Transferee how to live in his new city and to equip him to be as independent as possible.
Area: 239,460 sq km
Time Zone: GMT + 1
Capital city: Accra
Togo, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast
Legislative Branch: unicameral National Assembly.
National Holiday: 6 March
Currency: cedi (CHC)
Population: 20 million inhabitants.
Religion: Muslim and Christian majority.
Other languages: Akan, Moshi-Dagomba, Ewe, Ga
Ethnic groups: Akan, Moshi-Dagomba, Ewe, Ga, Gurma, Yoruba