|Ghana - Consular Information Sheet
July 20, 2000
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Ghana is a developing country on
the West Coast of Africa. The capital is Accra. Facilities for
tourism are available in the population centers of the greater
Accra region, Kumasi in the Ashanti region, and in the Cape Coast
area of the Central region, but they are limited in the more remote
areas of the country.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport and visa are required,
as is evidence of a yellow fever vaccination. Travelers should
obtain the latest information and details from the Embassy
of Ghana, 3512 International Drive, N.W., Washington, D.C.
20008, telephone (202) 686-4520 or via the Internet at http://www.ghana-embassy.org,
or the Ghanaian Consulate General at 19 East 47th Street, New
York, N.Y. 10017, telephone (212) 832-1300. Overseas, inquiries
should be made at the nearest Ghanaian embassy or consulate.
DUAL NATIONALITY: The Government of Ghana treats a U.S.-Ghanaian
citizen as a Ghanaian only. If a U.S.-Ghanaian dual national runs
afoul of Ghanaian authorities, U.S. consular assistance may be
limited. For additional information, please see the Consular
Affairs home page on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov
for our Dual Nationality flyer.
SAFETY AND SECURITY: Due to the potential for violence,
U.S. citizens should avoid political rallies and street demonstrations
and maintain security awareness at all times.
CRIME INFORMATION: Pick-pocketing, purse snatching, and
various types of scams are the most common forms of crime confronting
visitors. U.S. travelers have reported instances of these types
of theft in crowded market areas, beaches and parks, and at tourist
attractions. Travelers who limit their display of jewelry and
handle their cash discreetly reduce their vulnerability to crime.
In recent years, U.S. citizens have reported substantial financial
losses from questionable transactions involving gold and other
precious metals. The Government of Ghana maintains strict regulations
on these natural resources. All agents must be licensed, and all
transactions must be certified. (Please see Customs Restrictions
Business fraud stemming from Nigerian scam operations targets
foreigners, including Americans, and poses a danger of financial
loss and physical harm. Persons contemplating business deals in
Ghana with individuals promoting investment in Nigeria, especially
the Central Bank of Nigeria or the Nigerian National Petroleum
Company, are strongly urged to check with the U.S. Department
of Commerce or the U.S. Department of State before providing any
information, making financial commitments, or traveling to Ghana.
Single copies of the Department of State’s brochure, Tips
for Business Travelers to Nigeria, are available at no
charge from the Office of American Citizens Services and Crisis
Management, Room 4811, Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20520-4818.
Please enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope. This brochure
and an accompanying booklet entitled Nigerian
Advance Fee Fraud are available for review at the Bureau
of Consular Affairs home page.
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported
immediately to local police and to the Consular Section of the
U.S. Embassy. The pamphlets A
Safe Trip Abroad and Tips
for Travelers to Sub-Saharan Africa provide useful information
on protecting personal security while traveling abroad and on
travel in the region in general. Both are available from the Superintendent
of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington,
D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs,
or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical facilities are limited, particularly
outside Accra. Travelers should be aware that evidence of and/or
assurances from U.S. insurance companies will not be accepted
as settlement of medical expenses in Ghana.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always
valid outside the United States. Doctors and hospitals often expect
immediate cash payment for health services. U.S. Medicare and
Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services
outside the United States. Uninsured travelers who require medical
care overseas may face extreme difficulties.
Please check with your own insurance company to confirm whether
your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical
evacuation, and for adequacy of coverage. Serious medical problems
requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United
States can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Please ascertain
whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor
or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you
incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric
treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas
insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State’s Bureau
of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical
Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available
via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202)
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Travelers should consider taking
prophylaxis against malaria. Information on vaccinations and other
health precautions may be obtained from the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention’s international traveler’s hotline at telephone
1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax, 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299)
or visit the CDC
Internet home page at http://www.cdc.gov.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign
country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ
significantly from those in the United States. The information
below concerning Ghana is provided for general reference only,
and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Fair
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor
Most primary roads are generally paved and well maintained. However,
roads outside the major cities are in poor condition. The road
from Accra to the central region tourist area of Cape Coast continues
to be the site of many accidents. Travel at dark, particularly
outside the major cities, is extremely hazardous, due to poor
street lighting and the unpredictable behavior of pedestrians,
bicyclists and farm animals, such as goats and pigs.
The safety standards of the small private buses that transit
roads and highways are uncertain. Travelers are encouraged to
consider this when making travel arrangements.
Travelers are routinely stopped at police checkpoints throughout
Ghana. Automobiles and passengers may be searched. Drivers must
possess an international drivers license (available from AAA and
the American Automobile Touring Alliance). Foreign nationals are
expected to carry documentation of their status, such as a passport
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) has assessed the Government of Ghana’s Civil Aviation Authority
as Category 1 -- in compliance with international aviation safety
standards for oversight of Ghana's air carrier operations.
For further information, travelers may contact the Department
of Transportation within the U.S. at telephone 1-800-322-7873,
or visit the FAA’s
Internet home page at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/. The U.S.
Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air
carriers for suitability as official providers of air services.
For information regarding DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers
may contact the DOD at telephone 618-229-4801.
SERVICE OF REGIONAL AIRLINES: Service provided by a number
of regional air carriers, including Ghana Airways, is reported
to be unreliable. The airlines are known to alter scheduled stops,
cancel or postpone flights on short notice, and regularly overbook
flights. Travelers may experience unexpected delays even after
checking in, and should be prepared to handle alternate ticketing
and/or increased food and lodging expenses.
CUSTOMS RESTRICTIONS: Visitors entering Ghana with more
than 5,000 dollars (US) in cash are required to declare the amount
upon entry into Ghana. Currency exchange is available at most
banks and at licensed foreign exchange bureaus. Currency transactions
with private citizens are illegal.
The Government of Ghana maintains strict regulations on the import
and export of gold, diamonds and other precious natural resources.
Only agents licensed by the Precious Metals and Mining Commission,
telephone (233)(21) 664-635 or 664-579, may handle import-export
transactions of these natural resources. Any transaction lacking
this Commission’s endorsement may be illegal and/or fraudulent.
Attempts to evade regulations are punishable by prison terms.
In rare instances, visitors arriving in Ghana with sophisticated
electronic equipment (video cameras and laptop computers) may
have to deposit 17.5 per cent of the item's value with the Customs
and Excise office at the airport. To get the deposit refunded,
visitors must apply to the Customs and Excise Office in central
Accra 48 hours before departure.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S.
citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which
sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States
and may not afford the protections available to the individual
under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe
than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating
Ghanaian law, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned.
Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs
in Ghana are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences
and heavy fines.
PROHIBITIONS ON PHOTOGRAPHY: Taking pictures near sensitive
installations, including military sites and government buildings,
is prohibited. In some instances, film and cameras have been confiscated.
CLOTHING PROHIBITIONS: The wearing of any military apparel,
such as camouflage jackets or trousers, or any clothing or items
which may appear military in nature, is strictly prohibited.
CHILDREN’S ISSUES: At this time, Ghana is not a signatory
to the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. For
on international adoption of children, international parental
child abduction, and international child support enforcement issues,
please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html
or telephone (202) 736-7000.
EMBASSY LOCATION/REGISTRATION: U.S. citizens are encouraged
to register with the Consular section of the U.S. Embassy Annex,
10th and 11th Lanes, near Danquah Circle, OSU; and to obtain updated
information on travel and security in Ghana; telephone (233-21)
776-601 or 02, fax (233-21) 775-747. The U.S.
Embassy is located on Ring Road East, P.O. Box 194, Accra,
telephone (233-21) 775-347 or 48. The Embassy maintains a home
page on the Internet at http://usembassy.state.gov/ghana/.