Seated at the coast of the Gulf of Guinea is Accra, the capital of Ghana and Africa’s rising city of startups. It is an emerging entrepreneurship and startup ecosystem blended with unique culture.
Accra is one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in West Africa, as well as a hotspot for digital nomads. The Government of Ghana will launch its Ghana Digital Acceleration Project in 2023 with support from the World Bank, which has approved $200 million to increase access to technology and boost digital innovation.
In 2022, UNDP Africa announced an initiative to invest $1 billion in eight startup hubs across Africa, including Accra. In 2021, Google announced plans to invest $1 billion over the next five years to support Africa's digital transformation. In 2022, Google’s Black Founders Fund invested up to $100,000 in capital and $200,000 in Google Cloud Credits in three Ghanaian startups: Built, Kudigo, and Zuberi. Africa Data Centres announced it is building a 30MW data center facility in Accra.
Launched in 2022, the One Billion Successful Women Entrepreneurs Worldwide initiative aims to empower female entrepreneurs with advice, grants, and education. The first Women Entrepreneurship & Leadership for Africa educational program kicked off in Accra in April 2023. MEST, a well-established ecosystem hub in Accra, has trained over 800 African entrepreneurs and invested in over 80 startups. Web3 Accra took place in July 2022. The Ghana Startup Summit took place in November, and Ghana Tech Summit 2023 is scheduled for September. E-mobility startup Cargo Bikes Africa signed a $20 million agreement with Mana Mobility for the production and marketing of electric vehicles in October 2022. Bboxx acquired solar company PEG Africa for $200 million in April 2022.
Ecosystem by the Numbers
In 2021, the Bank of Ghana announced the development of a digital currency, known as the e-Cedi, and the bank has since partnered with Fintech EMTECH with the aim of increasing financial inclusion by 75% by the end of 2023. In January 2022, the government of Ghana launched the payment system PAPPS to facilitate cross-border payments. Mobile payment app GhanaPay launched in June 2022. Zeepay raised a $10 million Series A in August 2022. Fintech DKK Partners opened its African hub in Accra in Q1 2023.
Agtech & New Food
Accra will host one of eight UNDP Pan-African Innovation Hubs being established across the continent, and the Accra hub will focus on Agtech. In September 2022, the Africa Stakeholders Conference on Climate Smart Agriculture gathered researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders. Agribusiness marketplace Farmerline raised a $1.5 million seed round in September 2022, and has partnered with the Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agribusiness Technical Assistance Facility to support agribusinesses that source from smallholder farmers.
Logistics & Transportation
In the 2022 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index from logistics industry analysts Transport Intelligence, Ghana improved its global ranking by eight places from the year before, coming in at #32. Ghana scored highest in digital readiness. CARISCA’s latest Logistics Managers Index showed a rise in logistics activities in Ghana. Freight forwarder Worldwide Logistics Group announced the opening of its first African branch in Accra in January 2022. Supply chain platform Jetstream Africa raised a $13 million seed round in January 2023.
Reasons to Move Your Startup to Accra
Strong Business Environment
Thanks to a strong, stable democracy, Ghana is now one of the most attractive destinations in Africa for foreign investors. The Fitch Solutions Operational Risk Index ranked Ghana the most attractive market for trade and investment out of 16 West African countries. Accra is home to many ministries, bank headquarters, and large markets, and is conveniently located near Tema Port, a key cross-country border for international trade.
The Ghana Startup Bill project aims to provide legal backing to startups and promote the use of new technologies. YouStart was introduced in 2022 to create a million jobs by 2025 by providing loans to youth-led enterprises. Africa Street MBA Accelerator has a particular focus on underrepresented entrepreneurs. The Google Ghana Internship Program 2023 offers students the chance to intern as software engineers.
Young, Tech-savvy Talent
In 2022, Ghana was home to 17 million internet users, and the internet penetration rate stood at 53% of the population. The median age in Ghana is 21.5 years. The country has made strides in expanding training in technical skills, and the 14th African Standby Force Training Implementation Workshop was held in Accra at the end of 2022 to explore options to further expand technical training.
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