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HOW TO Guide

How To look for work in Ghana


  WELCOME  TO  GHANA !

 

LOOKING FOR WORK IN GHANA

 

This page emphasizes on employment for foreigners already in Ghana, mainly spouses/partners of expatriates posted here.

The employment of spouses/partners is an ongoing issue within the expatriate community worldwide. Despite the fact that many are qualified, it is estimated that only 9% of spouses/partners looking for employmemnt on location have found a position matching their qualifications,

The situation in Ghana is not positive for two main reasons:
- the job market: despite the large number and diversity of foreign employers, including numerous regional offices, the number of positions offered is very limited. We are aware of about two dozens positions a year, mainly job offers posted in the Classifieds section of accraexpat.com . Most of them are from Embassies, aid agencies and international schools. As far as the private sector, we regularly learn about positions getting filled by locally based expats but this is mostly happening by networking,
- the legal side: spouses/partners obtain legal residence in Ghana through their working spouse/partner and have no right to work so they cannot take up employment without securing a work permit. Work permits are a scarce commodity and are mostly based on quotas related to the level of investment made by the employer. It is a workable constraint but a real one. This concerns the private sector: there is more flexibility in the diplomatic and non-profit sectors. Note that a work permit costs $1000 per year ($500 for citizens of ECOWAS countries). For more on work permits, see the “How To with immigration” page.

A few useful job websites and pages are:

IMPORTANT
Stay away from any human resources professionals and from companies which charge a fee to receive applications or to conduct interviews.
Do not pay any monies based on promises or as a first step of an application process.
Besides the fact that no fees should be requested during a recruitment process, there has been confirmed scams.

Should the non-profit and cooperation sector be of interest, the following sites list openings:

  • Relief Web
  • Devex
  • for opening at UN and other international organisations, visit the Jobs pages of each website and choose Ghana, such as for UNICEF,

and those directories can be useful:

There are positions for Ghana on LinkedIn most of the time.
Research can be done on Internet by identifying companies and international organizations working or based in Ghana.
Joining expat job forums online will help you to stay informed and also make useful contacts.

Members of Ghana's diaspora and returnees may visit the Back To Ghana website and the Employment page of the Ghanaian Diaspora website.

In Ghana
Job openings are usually found in various local newspapers, mainly Daily Graphic (print version).
For contacts within your national business community, the bilateral Chamber of Commerce of your country of origin if any - see the Business category of our Expat Groups page - as well, the economic mission of your embassy should be contacted.
After registering on our website, expatriates can post free ads in the Job (search) category of the Classifieds section.
One can also join our Facebook group and post there (visit and like our page too).
Networking
As always with job hunting and especially abroad, once in Ghana, networking is of upmost importance. One must get out, meet other expatriates, make his/her search known and establish channels to be informed about job openings and business news that could potentially generate employment opportunities.

CV
Review your CV and fine tune it for the global job market if you are a first-time expatriate as well as to Ghana/West Africa.

Flexibility
One should explore all options and look at all available opportunities. Ghana's job market is somehow limited so one should think outside of the box of his/her professional profile and past experience and be ready to take on jobs that you would not consider in your home country. Do not hesitate to apply for every job opportunity you feel you could fit.

Scams
To avoid scams, ignore e-mails sent to you offering jobs without an obvious reason. Companies or recruiters who ask for money or unwarranted documents are mostly job offers scams. Such scams include request to register on a Ghana Expatriates Board.
Do not hesitate to ask for our opinion by writing to help@accraexpat.com.

In conclusion, the possibilities to find work in Ghana are low and most families here become single income households. Accompanying spouses/partners must take that in account when the couple makes a decision to accept a position in Ghana or not.
On the other hand, it is very possible and common for non-working expatriates to have a fulfilling life in Ghana, especially in Accra, where:

  • one can create a good social circle within a large and diversified foreign community,
  • social life is not intense but there is a regular number of events,
  • there are many expatriate groups or organizations to get involved with, and
  • the good weather allows sports and outdoor activities on a daily basis.

Should a spouse/partner be fully part of the decision to move to Ghana, well-informed, aware of what his/her relocation involves and have the right attitude and will to make his/her experience here a positive one, then it should be so, personally and for the couple. 
First time expatriates must be particularly aware of what moving abroad will entail for them and prepare for a relocation to Ghana. Do not hesitate to contact us with your questions at help@accraexpat.com.

Should your spouse be a Ghanaian, we advise to join the International Spouses Association of Ghana (ISAG).


Note on salaries
Salaries for locally hired expatriates vary, depending on the employer and the positions but as an example, a expat local-hire position in the Immigration Department at the Canadian High Commission pays around US$ 2000. Local employers are generally not able to match the salaries expected by expatriates.

In general but mostly considering how the Ghana Cedi has depreciated since 2013, it is recommended to negotiate a salary in a stable international currency, usually US$, even if paid monthly in Cedis at the prevailing exchange rate.

Extra care must be given when considering working for a local entity as there has been cases of job descriptions, contracts and company commitments not followed, salary payment delays, end of employment balance not fully paid, etc.

Note on taxation
In Ghana, like in the USA, employers deduct income tax at the source at the time of payment. It is then the employee’s responsibility to declare its annual income with the Individual Income Tax Return (I.T. form 21 issued by the Ghana Revenue Authority) and include all receipts of prepaid taxes. Locally hired foreigners working for tax-exempt organizations such as embassies are exempt of income tax.

The rates of income taxes in Ghana are staggered, not progressive and have been modified in January 2016.
There are five tax levels applicable to monthly salaries as an employee or annual income if you are self-employed.

The tax rates are as follows:
- 0% for the first GHS 216 (monthly) / GHS 1,440 (yearly for self-employed persons)
- 5% for the next GHS 108 / GHS 720
- 10% for the next GHS 151 / GHS 1,008
- 17.5% for the next GHS 2,765 / GHS 25,632
- 25% for everything exceeding GHS 3,240 / GHS 28,800

For example, a tax of GHS 374.88 would be withheld on a gross monthly income of GHS 2,500.

Note on Social Security and Pensions
Ghana’s social security system requires the employer to pay 13% of a person’s wage for the mandatory social security, while the employee pays an additional 5.5%.

Whether legal or not, foreigners are generally not subjected to SSNIT payments (Social Security and National Insurance Trust) payments and this has been an ongoing issue which we are following.


Comments on your experience and knowledge on this, as a job seeker and employed in Ghana, are much appreciated and will be published after review. Kindly write to feedback@accraexpat.com.



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