Ghana Market Entry

Ghana Market Entry

Subchapters:

  • Market entry
  • Forms and conditions of operation on the market
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Issues of intellectual property protection
  • Public procurement market
  • Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes
  • Visas, fees, specific conditions of travel to the territory
  • Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic
  • Fairs and events

Market entry

According to cheeroutdoor.com, markets such as West Africa currently attract either investors who expect a relatively high level of risk, capital-strong large international companies that want to build strategic positions for the future, or companies that have long-term experience verified by local partners. Knowledge of local conditions can sometimes be key – many say that, for example, France and Great Britain still have the advantage that the know-how associated with doing business in African countries has been passed down from generation to generation, while new investors or traders from countries such as China are still gaining such experience here, sometimes at the cost of considerable losses. Ghana, as a country with relatively functioning institutions and a growing economy, is the gateway to the entire region for many companies. Opportunities are currently offered here by the started reconstruction of the economy, supported by income from the started extraction of oil and other mineral resources. In addition, the modernization of the outdated production base, the introduction of new technologies and the construction of modern infrastructure are taking place here. At the same time, this market also brings some special demands, such as unusual climatic conditions, dusty environments or significant fluctuations in electrical voltage. Other obstacles may be the high level of administration involved in importing; underdeveloped infrastructure; low law enforcement and fierce price competition for goods not only from Asia, but also from South Africa, Brazil and Turkey. Entering the Ghanaian market should be a decision made with the knowledge that African time flows at a slightly different pace than European time and therefore some steps may only pay off in the longer term. A reliable local partner or representative can be a decisive advantage here. Next, we present some practical advice on how to proceed when searching for it. The search should begin by identifying potential partners who can be approached with an offer for cooperation. In addition to personal contacts and recommendations, the source can also be websites where lists of Ghanaian importers and sales representatives can be found: www.businessghana.com, www.ghanayello.com, www.ghanadirectory.net, www.ghana.gov.gh, www.yellowpages.com.gh. In all cases, and especially if the partner contacts you himself, a thorough background check is recommended. The Embassy of the Czech Republic in Accra can help with this in the first phase, which will check the databases to find out whether these companies at least actually exist and are not just another trick of Internet fraudsters. Even when if partner survives this first round, it is far from won. Even the company that exists can be variously reliable and can put different realistic expectations into the partnership. It is necessary to check whether and to what extent the partner has real experience of working for international companies, whether he is possibly able to provide credible references. It is necessary to verify whether he actually has reported experience and knowledge of the local situation and import and export regulations. If the product requires follow-up customer care and services, it is absolutely necessary to find out on the spot what infrastructure it has available and at what level it will be able to provide services. We recommend checking the credit history and financial situation of a potential partner. This is possible, for example, in cooperation with specialized agencies that provide such services. Here are some links to such services: XDS Data Ghana Ltd. – http://xdsdata.com/Dun & Bradstreet Credit Bureau Limited – dnbghana.com HudsonPrice Data Solutions Limited – www.hudsonprice.com. We recommend building collaborations from small jobs that can test credibility and capabilities with minimal risk. Where this is not completely possible, a longer presence on the spot is recommended, which will allow you to find out how the partner will behave in reality and also allow you to check various references. In some cases, it can be difficult to find an exclusive representative because most representatives sell several different products. Here are some addresses to get information about distribution channels for imported goods: www.businessghana.com www.ghanayello.com ghanadirectory.net www.yellowpagesofafrica.com www.gepaghana.org. An independent, high-quality market research can be a step that will properly direct your efforts. Here are some possible contacts for companies operating in this field in Ghana. The companies were selected based on references and experience in cooperation with foreign partners. We will therefore also appreciate your possible experience with them. The Bureau of Market & Social Research Ltd (MSR) Address: House No 112, Haatso – Atomic Road, Email: [email protected] Tel: +233 302 542 607 Website: https://marketresearch.com.gh/ Oxford Research Group-GH Elim House, Spintex Road, PO Box SR 373 Spintex Road, Accra, GhanaTel: +233 0302 818371Email: [email protected]

Forms and conditions of operation on the market

Ghanaian laws are liberal in this regard. The best place that can help you open a representative office is the Ghana Investment Promotion Center. The procedure for registering a new company is relatively undemanding in terms of formality. The legal deadline for processing a registration request is 5 working days. It is necessary to obtain a certificate from the central register that there is no company with the same name, submit the company’s articles of association (company name, field of business, names of representatives and their powers), submit the names of auditors. After receiving the Certificate of Incorporation and Certificate to Commence Business, the company must be registered with the Internal Revenue Service and the Value Added Tax Service. The company forms are based on British law. More information at: Business Registration

Marketing and communication

About twenty advertising companies operate in Accra, some of them are branches of foreign companies. Several specialized companies also deal with marketing. Some examples: ORIGIN8 Limited – http://origin8gh.com/Adams360 – http://www.adamsghana.com/Aquity Media -https://www.aquitymedia.com/ A common way of promoting goods is through advertisements in daily newspapers, e.g..: Daily GraphicGhanaian TimesBusiness and Financial Times (B&FT)Further it is advertisement on television (4 TV channels) eg: GTVTV3 radio advertisement (90 FM channels) which is suitable for promoting consumer goods: Citi FM (97.3)Joy FM (99.7) Large-scale advertising using billboards is becoming more and more popular. However, the rate for advertising sometimes does not have to correspond to the quality, in some cases it is better to arrange the promotion in the Czech Republic.

Issues of intellectual property protection

In accordance with the TRIPS rules of the WTO, in 2003 the Parliament adopted relevant laws for the protection of intellectual property. Ghana is party to a number of agreements on the protection of brand, copyright, geographical indication, patents, etc.: Protection against Unfair Competition Act, 2000 (Act 589); Industrial Designs Act, 2003 (Act 660); Geographical Indications Act, 2003 (Act 659);Patents Act, 2003 (Act 657);Trademarks Act, 2004 (Act 664)Layout-Designs (Topographies) of Integrated Circuits Act, 2004 (Act 667)Copyrights Act, 2005 (Act 690).However, these laws are not followed. Piracy of software, music, movies or cheap imitations of global brand goods (overwhelmingly of Asian origin) is a widespread phenomenon and is rarely suppressed by state authorities.

Public procurement market

Government institutions or enterprises with state participation can issue tenders independently, in which case they usually also inform the PPA (Public Procurement Authority) and the announcement is also published on its website (but some announcements allegedly appear first on the website of the institution that announces them and only later on the PPA page). There are several types of tenders in Ghana, the difference lies in the type of interested party that can apply for the contract: International Competitive Tenders – are published in publicly accessible sources, companies registered all over the world can apply for them National Tenders Competitive Tenders) – are published in publicly accessible sources, only companies registered in Ghana can apply for them, Contracts with a limited number of sources (Restricted Selective Tenders) – are not publicly advertised, the government institution selects several potential bidders to approach. Single Source Procurements – are tendered in special circumstances where there is only one possible supplier (for example, special medicines in healthcare, contracts related to national security, etc.) Price indication (Price Quotation) – the contract is not advertised publicly – the government institution usually approaches several companies registered in Ghana with a request for a price quote. The participation of entities in tenders is defined in: Ghana PPA regulation act. In the event that an institution approaches you on its own, great caution is in order, because there are also many fraudsters who pretend to be persons entrusted with the implementation of various state contracts, who want to lure interested parties to pay various fictitious charges. In this case, we therefore recommend verifying the identity of the contractor through the PPA or the Czech Embassy in Accra. Many fraud attempts also relate to fictitious tenders issued on behalf of the ECOWAS regional organization. It is always a scam if they are announced by the “ECOWAS Secretariat based in Accra or Togo”. ECOWAS has no such secretariat, the organization’s secretariat in Abuja (Nigeria) is entrusted with the implementation of its tenders. Important contacts: www.ppaghana.org (Public Procurement Authority) www.ghana.gov.gh (main website of the Government of Ghana with links to other government institutions and businesses)

Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes

There are lower and higher courts (Supreme Court, Court of Appeal). However, the judicial system is slow and not always impartial. Several law firms already offer arbitration or conciliation services. In 2005, the Commercial Court was established to resolve commercial disputes. Ghana recognizes the decisions of foreign courts on the basis of reciprocity. Ghana has also signed the 1966 Convention on the Settlement of Commercial Disputes and recognizes the decisions of the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, it has also signed the Convention on the Recognition of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York Convention). When resolving commercial disputes, it is always desirable to give preference to out-of-court negotiations. Although there is a commercial dispute resolution body in Ghana, we recommend that you include a provision in the contract that any arbitration proceedings would take place outside of Ghana. Risks of the local market and investing in the territory The Ghanaian market is primarily price oriented. The wealthier class, on the other hand, focuses on luxury goods from global brands. Another risk is exchange rate fluctuations, high living costs and high interest rates on loans (from 26-35% annual interest). Corruption and transparent conditions in business practices are also a big problem. Usual payment conditions, payment ethics It depends on the size of the company – it is not usually a problem for large and state-owned companies to comply with the payment conditions. At the same time, ZÚ encountered cases where Czech traders were not paid for their goods and it is difficult to collect debts in Ghana. Access to contractual obligations is relatively free – it is therefore a good idea to agree on payment in cash in advance, especially when it comes to the first business. It is not recommended to pay in advance for purchased goods.

Visas, fees, specific conditions for traveling to the territory

Especially with the Covid situation, the conditions of entry into the country change frequently. For current information, contact the Ghanaian Embassy in Prague www.ghanaembassy.cz Na Zátorce 89/6 Bubenec 160 00 Prague 6 Czech Republic [email protected] There is a limited number of hotels in Ghana and Accra, paradoxically expect the price to be higher than in Europe, it is better to pay in cash, there are sometimes problems with the card. Drink only bottled water, Accra and Ghana in general, except for the northern part of the country, is relatively safe and there is no problem walking on the street. Unfortunately, thanks to the deteriorated economic situation and the spread of radicals from Mali to Burkina Faso and thus to the north of Ghana, the security situation is gradually deteriorating. Taxis are relatively cheap and safe, services such as Uber exist here. The international airport is almost part of the city center, the distances are small within the administrative Accra.

Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic

The Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) is one of the first places for most entrepreneurs looking for an Investor Permit for Ghana (Business Permit). The GIPC is responsible for registering all foreign investment into Ghana. An investor who invests under the GIPC Act is automatically entitled to a certain number of visas / work permits based on the size of the investment. When the investment is USD 10,000 or its equivalent in convertible currency or machinery and equipment, the business can obtain a visa / work permit for one employee abroad. Investments ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 entitle the business to two (2) automatic visas / work permits. An investment of $500,000 and above qualifies a business to employ four (4) foreign workers. The business can apply for additional visas / work permits, but the investor must justify, why a foreigner must be employed rather than a Ghanaian. There are no restrictions on the issuance of work permits and residence permits to investors for free trade zones. More information on employing foreigners at: www.ghanaimmigration.org/work_guide.htmlwww.mint.gov.gh The cost of employing local forces is relatively low: skilled laborer US$150-200/month, civil servant with university education US$250-450/month, labor productivity and especially work pace thus correspond to low labor costs. Learn more about local employee pay at: africapay.org. gh The cost of employing local forces is relatively low: a skilled laborer 150-200 USD/month, a civil servant with a university education 250-450 USD/month, labor productivity and especially work pace thus correspond to low labor costs. Learn more about local employee pay at: africapay.org. gh The cost of employing local forces is relatively low: a skilled laborer 150-200 USD/month, a civil servant with a university education 250-450 USD/month, labor productivity and especially work pace thus correspond to low labor costs. Learn more about local employee pay at: africapay.org.

Fairs and events

The most important events (fairs, exhibitions, shows, etc.) for the presentation of Czech exporters in Ghana can be found here: Trade Fairs Ghana

Ghana Market Entry