Tech Nova Guide For International Travellers To Ghana

This article was updated on 11th October 2022

Are you, a family member, or a friend coming to Ghana for the holidays? Are you planning to visit or relocate? Do you want to know how to get around town? Order food online?

Well, you’re in luck. Today, we’re presenting you with a comprehensive guide on navigating Ghana (albeit more specifically Accra) and all the products and tech you need to help you for a fruitful visit or have a better relocation experience.

Let’s get started:

Mobile Data And Internet

Networks To Use:

  • MTN
  • Vodafone
  • AirtelTigo

Ok, so you’ve gotten off the plane and are ready to begin your journey. The first thing you want to do is get a SIM card to get access to the internet. So what’s the best option?

Well, first thing first: You will have to register your SIM card especially if you’re a foreign visitor. You’ll likely have to do that at the local network store.

Currently, MTN is leading the way as far as having the best experience with mobile and internet data. Although they are a bit pricier than their competitors, MTN appears to be the better choice, especially for customer service and the provision of data. You’ll get access to their 4G internet service when you sign up and potentially be on their 5G service in 2022.

If you’re staying in an apartment or home, MTN offers the option of Fibre Broadband Internet. They also provide a portable internet broadband service with their TurboNet device.

MTN Turbonet Device

If you find MTN a little out of your price range, your second-best option is Vodafone. You can also get Fibre Broadband internet and a portable broadband device they offer called Smartsurf.

Vodafone Smart Surf Mobile Broadband

There are other competitors on the market including AirtelTigo and Glo. You can also use Surfline which provides 4G internet services but not mobile services for smartphones.

Getting Around Town (Ride Options)

Best Ride-hailing options:

  • Uber
  • Yango
  • Bolt

You probably might not have the capital to purchase/rent a car but you definitely need to get around town in the interim. So what are your options?

Uber is a safe option. The ride-hailing app is currently available in both the iOS and Google Playstore. You can order Uber with options including Uber Select and Uber Share (which lets you share a ride with another person going on your route).

Uber is currently available in Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi, Cape Coast, Tamale, and Sunyani.

You can also use Uber’s nearest competitor Bolt (also available on iOS and Google Playstore). Sometimes Bolt’s fees are marginally cheaper the Uber but they both offer the same experience. You can order Bolt rides in AccraCape CoastKumasiTakoradiSunyaniKoforidua, and Ho.

Not to be left out, the ride-hailing company Yango is also available in Ghana. The ride service operates in Accra and Kumasi at the moment.

If you want to explore the city in other ways, Ghana still offers Taxis and the popular “Trotros” which are very cheap. You’ll be sacrificing comfort for cheaper fees.

Image Credit: CNN

Moving Money Around (Online Payments)

Best options for online payments

  • Money Mobile (MTN, AirtelTigo and Vodafone)
  • expressPay (Mobile app)
  • Hubtel (mobile app)
  • Zeepay (remittance app)
  • Zazu (remittance app)

Ghana is trying to be more cashless and now there are a lot of options including fintech apps and bank apps you can explore.

At the basic level, there’s Mobile Money. All the telecom operators have their own Mobile Money platforms and it’s possible to send money between networks (some of these transfers carry a fee). Your mobile money options include:

  • MTN – MTN Mobile Money
  • Vodafone has Vodafone Cash and
  • AirtelTigo has AirtelTigo Cash

Mobile Money is the closest thing to peer-to-peer payments in Ghana although there are some fintech apps like Bitsika and Abeg (In Nigeria) that provide similar functionality.

To activate your mobile money, you just need to contact a branch of your telco and add funds to your wallet to start. Vodafone has the option to self register a mobile money wallet by texting “Register” to 558 or dialing *558#.

Apart from using mobile money, there are a number of fintech and payment apps that you can use for purchasing products and services.

expressPay is the most popular fintech app in Ghana. With expressPay, you can add your mobile money wallet or your bank account and pay for online services including DSTV, mobile, and internet data. You can also pay for products in-store using their QR code feature.

Need money from folks abroad? Folks in the UK can send money via expressPay. But there’s a fintech app that does that and that’s Zeepay as well as Zazuu.

With Zeepay, you can receive remittances from the UK by downloading their app on Google and the iOS store.

TV and Entertainment

Best options:

  • Netflix
  • DSTV/Showmax
  • Amazon Prime Video

So what happens when you don’t want to go out and feel like setting home and watching TV? Well, you have some online streaming options. If you have an existing Netflix account, you just need to log in and start streaming. But you will be limited to the specific content in Ghana.

If you’re looking for an alternative, you can try the Showmax app which is a streaming platform version from DSTV’s partner, Multichoice. And yes, you can stream live sports games if you get the Pro version.

You can also get Amazon Prime Video as an alternative ($5.99/month).

Food Delivery

Best options:

  • Glovo
  • Bolt Food
  • Jumia Food
  • Hubtel
  • Noknok

If you don’t feel like heading out to town, you can use a bunch of food delivery apps to deliver a wide range of meals to your location.

Glovo is currently the most visible platform when ordering food online. You can download their app from the iOS and Playstore and order online. You can pay for your meals by adding your debit or bank card to your Glovo profile.

Another option is using Bolt Food. It works the same as Glovo and is available on both the Google Playstore and iOS store. (PS: We have a guide for ordering from Bolt Food)

Hubtel is also a great option for ordering meals as well. You can get the Hubtel app on iOS and Google Playstore.

Lastly, there’s a grocery app called NokNok which allows you to order grocery items including cereal and other store items to your location.

So we’ve covered internet and data, entertainment, food, and finances. We hope this helps a bit when you’re in Ghana getting around town and using all the tech available at your disposal.

Hope you have a good stay in Ghana!

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