- Download our Moving to Ghana Guide (PDF)
The cost of living in Ghana is higher than new arrivals may expect. Ghana's capital city, Accra, ranked as the 178th most expensive expat destination out of the 227 cities analysed in the 2023 Mercer Cost of Living Survey.
Accommodation in Ghana is particularly pricey and will take up most of an expat's budget. Household utilities and communication technology are also costly. Transport expenses in Ghana are relatively low, however, even for those who choose to drive.
As the standard of public healthcare is poor, foreigners moving to Ghana typically opt for private healthcare and must invest in a comprehensive international health insurance policy. Luckily, many expats in Ghana have this expense covered by their employer.
Cost of accommodation in Ghana
Accommodation costs in Ghana are sky-high, and rent will account for a large proportion of an expat’s budget, especially in Accra. As the country is developing and more international companies are setting up offices in the Ghanaian capital of Accra, the foreign population is rapidly growing. The demand for accommodation is high, but there is a short supply of quality and secure housing for expats. This pushes up prices.
Cost of transport in Ghana
Most modes of public transport in Ghana, including trains, buses and tro-tros (informal minibus taxis), can be erratic and unreliable. For this reason, most expats living in Ghana opt to drive or hire a driver to transport them daily.
Compared to rental prices, the cost of purchasing a reliable car is fairly high, and petrol prices are constantly fluctuating. That said, these costs are still relatively low compared to other countries.
Cost of groceries in Ghana
Ghana offers a unique grocery shopping experience. Local markets are filled with fresh produce, spices and a variety of unique local products. While staple items like rice, vegetables and fresh fish are generally affordable, imported goods can be significantly pricier.
Another thing to note is the fluctuation in prices depending on where one shops. City supermarkets might have prices on par with what expats would expect in major cities across Europe or the US, while local markets, especially in less urbanised areas, can be much cheaper. The key to managing one's grocery budget in Ghana is a blend of local and imported items, coupled with a sense of adventure in trying local flavours and cuisines.
Cost of entertainment and eating out in Ghana
Ghana offers a rich tapestry of entertainment options, from local festivals to contemporary music scenes. While a local night out, including music, dance and local brews can be very pocket-friendly, more Westernised entertainment options, like upscale clubs or bars, might feel more like a night out in Sydney or Amsterdam in terms of cost.
The culinary scene in Ghana is diverse. Street food, a staple for many locals, offers delicious dishes at very reasonable prices. However, dining at upscale restaurants, especially those offering international cuisines, can cost as much as a meal in a mid-range restaurant in European cities or the US. Drinks, especially imported ones, can add to the bill.
Cost of education in Ghana
Education in Ghana varies significantly in terms of cost and quality. While English is the medium of education at Ghanaian public schools, most foreigners prefer to send their children to an international school. However, these schools come with a price tag reminiscent of private education in their home countries.
For parents concerned about the cost, it's crucial to consider the overall package offered by international schools. Many provide state-of-the-art facilities, extracurricular activities, and a globally recognised curriculum. If relocating for work, it's always a good idea to see if educational allowances can be negotiated into the employment contract, as this can significantly offset the expense.
Cost of healthcare in Ghana
The cost of public healthcare in Ghana is low, but the quality of treatment offered by public hospitals in Ghana is unlikely to meet the standard that most expats are accustomed to. We advise that those moving to Ghana for work should try to negotiate some kind of allowance towards the cost of health insurance into their employment contracts.
Private healthcare in Ghana is often the best option for expats. New arrivals should ensure that the health insurance policy they purchase covers them for emergencies or medical evacuation outside of Ghana. The cost of private health insurance will depend on an expat's age, lifestyle habits and health status.
Cost of living in Ghana chart
Prices may vary depending on the product and service provider. The list below shows average prices in Accra for October 2023.
|Accommodation (monthly rent)
|Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre
|Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre
|One-bedroom apartment in the city centre
|One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre
|Food and drink
|Milk (1 litre)
|Loaf of white bread
|Chicken breasts (1kg)
|Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)
|Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant
|Big Mac Meal
|Bottle of beer (local)
|Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)
|Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)
|Basic utilities (average per month for a standard household)
|City-centre public transport fare
|Gasoline (per litre)
►For more on money matters, read Banking, Money and Taxes in Ghana
What do expats say about the cost of living in Ghana?
"Imported groceries are expensive. However, locally grown fruit and vegetables are very affordable. Ghana has wonderful bananas, pineapples and avocados." Get some insights into living costs in Ghana from an Australian perspective in Chris' expat interview.
"My housing is cheap as are utilities, but I don’t have air conditioning and other fancy amenities. Many things here are expensive. Ghana is no longer the cheap place I moved to." Read our interview with Trish for more on expenses and other aspects of life in Ghana.
Are you an expat living in Ghana?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Ghana. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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