A guide to Ghana's legal framework and relevant status

The country operates a legal system that is premised on English common law. The laws of Ghana are composed of: the Constitution; statutes enacted by Parliament; orders, rules and regulations made by any person or authority with power conferred under the Constitution; the existing law; and Common Law, which is defined as the rules of law generally known as the doctrines of equity and the rules of customary law, which are rules of law that by custom are applicable to particular communities in Ghana, including those determined by the Superior Court of Judicature.

General Framework For Investments

The Directive Principles of State Policy, prescribed under the 1992 Republican Constitution of Ghana, emphasise the encouragement of foreign investment in Ghana, subject to any law that is in force and regulates investment in Ghana.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act 2013 (Act 865) and the Free Zones Act 1995 (Act 504), respectively, promote economic development and regulate the activities of investors in Ghana. The GIPC law regulates companies in all sectors of the economy. The Ghana Free Zones Board (FZB) has the mandate to regulate businesses (excluding banking and insurance) classified as free zone companies which export at least 70% of their products and services. There is also sector-specific legislation that regulates specific industries. Investment guarantees include:

  •  Non-discriminatory application of rights and obligations under investment law;
  •  Safeguards against expropriation;
  •  Guaranteed transferability of capital, profits, proceeds of sale/liquidation, interest and dividends, and personal remittances attributable to the investment (net of all taxes and other obligations) subject to Bank of Ghana (BoG) directives on foreign exchange (forex) transactions;
  •  Payments in respect of foreign loan servicing;
  •  Fees and charges in respect of technology transfer agreements registered with the GIPC;
  •  Amicable settlement of disputes in respect to any enterprise between a foreign investor and the government and with a submission for arbitration under the UN’s Commission of International Trade Law
  •  Application of the framework for bilateral or multilateral agreements on investment protection to which the government and the country of which the foreign investor is a national are parties; and
  •  Application of any other national or international mechanisms for the settlement of investment disputes agreed to by the parties. Additionally, free-zone companies enjoy exemptions with respect to:
  •  Direct and indirect taxes;
  •  Income tax on profits for the first 10 years from the date of commencement of the operation, with a subsequent income tax rate of 8%. In the “Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2015 Financial Year”, the government proposed to review the Free Zones Act to enhance the relevance of activities in the sector in order to ensure greater emphasis is placed on manufacturing and value addition. It also proposed that the corporate tax rate of companies after the 10-year tax holiday be increased from 8% to 15%; and
  •  Payment of withholding tax by shareholders on dividends.

Choosing The Corporate Vechicle

In Ghana a local entity may be established by either: the incorporation of a private or public company limited or unlimited by shares (for profit) or by guarantee (not for profit); or by registration of an external company, i.e. a branch of a company (for profit or not for profit) incorporated outside of Ghana. The minimum capitalisation (either cash or capital goods relevant to the investment or a combination of both) of a local enterprise is determined by the nationality of the shareholders and nature of business. The minimum foreign capital required is as outlined below:

  •  A joint venture company made up of Ghanaian and foreign shareholders requires a minimum foreign capital of $200,000, with the Ghanaian partner having not less than 10% equity participation; and
  •  Where the company is wholly foreign owned, the minimum foreign capital required to be invested is $500,000.
  •  For trading, a minimum foreign capital of $1m should be invested. Additionally, the company is required to employ at least 20 skilled Ghanaians. The stated minimum foreign capital requirements stated above do not apply to a foreign spouse of a Ghanaian citizen ordinarily resident in Ghana for a continuous period of five years or who holds an indefinite resident permit prior to registration of a company. Additionally a citizen of Ghana who loses his or her citizenship by reason of the assumption of the citizenship of another country shall not be required to comply with the minimum capital requirement stated above.

There are no minimum capitalisation requirements for external companies. However, if automatic expatriate quotas are required by an external company, the paid-up capital requirements stated above have to be fulfilled.

Acquisitions

A company seeking to do business in Ghana may acquire an equity stake in an existing company (investee company). Such an acquisition does not obviate the obligation to comply with minimum capitalisation requirements. Where the industry or sector in which an investee company operates is regulated, the approval of the regulator may be required. Additionally, the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is required where an investee company is listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE). Acquisitions of 30% or more of the shares of a listed company or its holding company triggers a mandatory takeover offer and is regulated by the SEC.

Banking & Financial Services

The BoG must approve any agreement or arrangement that would result in a change in the control of any bank, non-banking financial institution or their holding companies. Consequently the sale, disposal or transfer of 10% or more of the capital or voting rights of a firm (significant interest), an amalgamation or a merger requires BoG approval.

Capital Markets

Ghana’s capital markets are regulated by the SEC, which has the legal mandate to protect investors and maintain the integrity of the securities market and the GSE. There is also the Ghana Alternative Market (GAX), which is a parallel market to the GSE and which focuses on small and medium-sized enterprises that have potential, including start-ups. The GAX affords companies the opportunity to secure long-term capital, broaden their investor base, and provide liquidity for their shareholders and investors.

Insurance Industry

In the insurance sector, the acquisition or sale of a significant interest in an insurance company also requires the prior written approval of the National Insurance Commission (NIC). A significant interest is defined as any interest in the company that entitles a person to control 10% or more of the voting rights, dividends or share in any distribution of the surplus assets of the company. The NIC will not grant approval unless it is satisfied that the acquirer is qualified to have an interest in the insurance firm.

Mining

The acquisition of a stake in a mining enterprise that vests in any person, either alone or with an associate or associates, control of more than 20% of the voting power at any general meeting of a mining company or of its holding company requires the approval of the minister responsible for mines. The Mining Act is being reviewed in order to tighten regulations in the areas of revenue, licensing and protection of the environment.

Petroleum

In the upstream sector, there is a local content requirement for a non-transferable minimum of 5% shareholding by Ghanaian companies operating in the upstream sector. This requirement can only be waived on the authority of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources. The downstream sector in Ghana covers the import, export, re-export, shipment, processing, refining, storage, distribution, marketing and sale of petroleum products. A maximum 50% stake may be acquired by a non–Ghanaian national in the downstream sector in Ghana.

Telecomes

In the communications sector, the National Communications Authority must approve the transfer of shares in a licensee company if the transfer would result in a change of control of that company and cause that company to breach licence terms relating to its ownership structure.

Protection Of IP Rights

Ghana has legislation protecting intellectual property (IP) and is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and a signatory to the under-listed WIPO-administered treaties including:

  •  Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademark;
  •  Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property;
  •  Washington Treaty on Intellectual Property and Respect of Integrated Circuits;
  •  Hague Agreement concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs;
  •  Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement concerning the International Registration of Marks;
  •  WIPO Copyright Treaty;
  •  Patent Law Treaty; and
  •  WIPO Performance and Phonograms Treaty. Ghana has in place IP legislation governing geographical indications, trademarks, unfair competition, copyright, industrial designs, patents and the layout designs (topographies) of integrated circuits. There are civil and criminal sanctions for the infringement of IP legislation in Ghana.

Competition

Ghana’s Protection against Unfair Competition Act 2000 (Act 589) codifies the common law tort of passing off. The act sets out the various practices deemed as unfair competition, defines these practices and outlines the extent of protection provided under Ghanaian law and other related matters. Major practices considered to be unfair under the law include: causing confusion with respect to another’s enterprise or its activities; damaging another person’s goodwill or reputation; misleading the public; discrediting another person’s enterprise or its activities; unfair competition in respect of secret information; and unfair competition in respect of national and international obligations. The plant breeders’ bill that is currently before Parliament is yet to be passed, as there is an ongoing debate on the impact it will have on the agriculture sector.

Technology Transfer

A Technology Transfer Agreement entered into under the GIPC Act and the Technology Transfer Regulations 1992 (LI 1547) may cover any of the following:

  •  The assignment, sale and licensing of all forms of industrial property, except for trademarks, service marks and trade names when they are not part of a transfer of technology;
  •  The provision of technical expertise in the form of feasibility studies, plans, diagrams, models, instructions, guides, formulae, basic or detailed engineering designs, specifications and equipment for training, services involving technical advisory, and managerial personnel and personnel training;
  •  The provision of technological knowledge necessary for the installation, operation and functioning of the plant and equipment, and turnkey projects; and
  •  The provision of technological knowledge necessary to acquire, install and use machinery, equipment, intermediate goods or raw materials that have been acquired by purchase, lease or other means. Technology transfer agreements entered into under the GIPC Act and Technology Transfer Regulations, 1992, LI 1547, must be registered with the GIPC. The Technology Transfer Regulations, 1992, LI 1547, set royalties and fee thresholds in respect to any know-how, technical/assistance/ management services, patents and other industrial property rights. The regulations further provide guidelines for the duration of a technology transfer agreement, which shall be for a period not exceeding 10 years, but an agreement may be renewed by the parties for subsequent terms, each not exceeding five years. LI 1547 provides further mandatory terms and conditions that must be contained in a technology transfer agreement and provisions that shall be deemed unenforceable. The mandatory clauses include the following:
  •  Provision of requisite training of the transferee’s personnel with an attached detailed training schedule;
  •  Payment of taxes on royalties by the transfer of the technology;
  •  Description of the technology and supporting documentation in English;
  •  Obligations of the holder of the technology to ensure: (i) efficient performance of the technology; (ii) continuous availability of spare parts; (iii) access by the transferee of improvements and innovations; and (iv) process performance guarantees covering large projects involving technical complexity.
  •  Confidentiality restriction on sub-licensing;
  •  Duration of 10 years (renewable by the parties for subsequent terms each not exceeding five years;
  •  Application of Ghanaian law where the technology transfer agreement is made under the GIPC Act and its regulations;
  •  Amicable settlement, or where there is no settlement, the dispute may be submitted to arbitration under the following options: (i) within UN Commission of International Trade Law rules; (ii) rules of any bilateral agreement; and (iii) other international dispute settlement agencies.

The inclusion of provisions governing the underlisted issues in a technology transfer agreement are unenforceable:

  •  Transfer of technology freely and easily available in Ghana;
  •  Restriction on volume of production and resale in the transferee’s country;
  •  Prohibitions on export to certain geographical areas apart from that agreed on by the transferor;
  •  Procurement of equipment and inputs from the transferor or specific source, unless not available otherwise;
  •  Compulsory employment of the transferor’s personnel, unless considered essential, with remuneration comparable to what exists in the international market under a properly drawn up management or technical services agreement;
  •  Obligatory transfer of improvements to technology unless mutual or reciprocal;
  •  Payment for rights after their expiration, termination or invalidation;
  •  Restrictions on the use of rights after expiration of agreement;
  •  Restrictions on judicial proceedings regarding validity of rights;
  •  Restrictions on research and development;
  •  Restrictions on the production of similar products as subject to technology transfer;
  •  Need for consent of the transferor prior to modifications, except where a technology is being used under a licence or trademark; and
  •  Obligations to sell the subject matter of a technology transfer to the transferor or persons designated by the transferor at a particular price, unless the production is solely for the benefit of the transferor, the transferor enjoys special distribution rights or the market the item is destined for is exclusive.

Labour & Immigration

The Labour Act 2004, (Act 654) governs the rights and obligations of employers and employees, except for employees of national security agencies and intelligence organisations. The National Labour Commission (NLC) is the administrative body responsible for the administration of the Labour Act and the settlement of disputes. The commission employs negotiation, mediation and voluntary or compulsory arbitration in the exercise of its mandate. The orders of the NLC are enforceable only upon the orders of the High Court.

Ghana’s labour law regulates three categories of workers: permanent, casual and temporary. The law makes it mandatory that a person who is employed for a period exceeding six months – either at a stretch or a cumulative number of days within a year – is deemed to be permanently employed, and an employer is therefore required to secure the terms and conditions by means of a contract. A person engaged on a seasonal or intermittent basis for a period of less than six months is categorised as a seasonal worker. A temporary worker on the other hand is a person who is employed continuously for a minimum of one month, but is neither a permanent nor seasonal worker. No formal contract is required in respect to temporary or casual workers and remuneration is calculated on a daily basis.

A contract of employment must contain the following mandatory provisions:

  •  Name of employer/employee;
  •  Date of first appointment;
  •  Job title or grade;
  •  Rate, method and intervals of pay;
  •  Hours of work;
  •  Compensated annual leave;
  •  Conditions relating to incapacity to work due to sickness or injury and the details of related remuneration;
  •  Details of social security or pension scheme;
  •  Notice period for termination for employees and employer;
  •  Disciplinary rules;
  •  Grievances or dispute procedure; and
  •  Overtime payment where applicable.

Termination Of Employment

The Labour Act provides the employer with the right to terminate the employment of any employee. However, the act delineates certain boundaries within which an employer can exercise his discretion. A termination prescribed by the employer, except for cases related to redundancy or certain causes, is deemed fair under the following circumstances:

  •  By mutual agreement;
  •  Incompetence or lack of qualification;
  •  The inability of the employee to carry out his or her duties due to a medical condition, sickness or an accident; and
  •  Legal restrictions prohibiting a worker from performing his or her contracted responsibilities.

Unfair Termination

Termination is deemed to be unfair under the following circumstances, and the law puts the onus of proof of the fairness of the termination on the employer.

  •  Involvement by an employee in trade union activities (which will apply only to unionised workers) or seeking office as a workers’ representative;
  •  Victimisation as a result of a worker’s complaint;
  •  Race, gender, colour, ethnicity, religion, creed, social, economic or political status;
  •  Disability;
  •  Where the qualifications required are different from what was required at the time of employment; and
  •  Ill treatment by an employer or failure by an employer to take action on repeated complaints of sexual harassment that compels the employee to leave his or her employment.

Process For Termination

The employer is required to provide the employee with written notice of termination or to make payment in lieu of such notice, except for proven misconduct, which could warrant a summary dismissal.

Remedies For Unfair Termination

The employee will be entitled to the following benefits upon the termination of appointment;

  •  Remuneration earned prior to the termination;
  •  Deferred salary due to the termination, if any;
  •  Grants and awards;
  •  Compensation with respect to sickness or any work-related accidents; and
  •  Where the employee is employed under a foreign contract (i.e. a contract where the employee is recruited outside of Ghana to work in Ghana), the employer is also required to pay – in addition to the first and fourth above-listed – the costs incurred by the employee and his dependants for repatriation to his or her home country.

Trade Unions

Ghana’s labour laws allow employees, with the exception of those responsible for policy decisions and management or performing duties that are highly confidential, to form or join trade unions of their choice for the promotion and protection of their economic and social rights. The terms and conditions of unionised workers are negotiated between the union and their employers and prescribed within a collective bargaining agreement.

Employment Of Expatriets

An application for a work permit for expatriate staff may be made directly to the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) or through selected sector regulators to the GIS. These work permits are generally short term, may be renewed and are not transferable The number of automatic immigrant quotas allowed under the GIPC law are dependent on the capital investment made by the company. Immigrant quotas are issued by the GIPC in consultation with the GIS. These quotas have an indefinite duration and can be transferred by a company to expatriate employees. The capital investment and quota prescribed by the GIPC are as follows:

  •  One person for capital between $50,000 and $250,000;
  •  Two people for capital between $250,000 and $500,000;
  •  Three people for capital between $500,000 and $700,000; and
  •  Four people for capital above $700,000.

Payment Of Pensions

Ghana operates a threetier social security system. The first two tiers are mandatory and the third is voluntary. All businesses (employers) registered in Ghana are required to contribute to the first and second tiers irrespective of the number of employees or whether the company contributes to another scheme for its employees, locally or internationally. Employers are required to contribute 13% and employee contribute an amount equal to 5.5% (deducted at source by the employer) of the employee’s basic salary to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT). This money is to be invested (in trust) for the employee’s pension. Of the 18.5% total contribution, the employer will remit 13.5% to the Tier 1 Basic Social Security Scheme, which is publicly managed, and the remaining 5% to a Tier 2 privately managed pension scheme, which is chosen by the employer, for investment.

Social security contributions are portable, that is they can be transferred from one social security scheme in one country to that in another country, and are to be paid in respect to both local and expatriate staff. The guidelines issued by the SSNIT exempt the following categories of expatriates from contributing to Tier 1:

  •  Expatriate workers engaged on a short-term assignment; and
  •  Expatriate workers who contribute to a pension scheme in their own home country, with evidence to be provided in the form of pay slips showing deductions made to the scheme.

Capital & Profit Transfer

Investments registered with the GIPC and the FZB are guaranteed unconditional transfer of dividends or net profits attributable to the investment made in the enterprise, payments in servicing foreign loans, fees and charges arising from technology transfer agreements registered under the GIPC Act, and remittance of proceeds, net of all taxes and other obligations from the sale or liquidation of the enterprise or any interest attributable to the investment in the enterprise.

Currency Regulations

Ghana’s forex regime is governed by the Foreign Exchange Act, 2006 (Act 723). The BoG regulates forex business and transfers between residents and non-residents. Payments to or from Ghana between residents and or non-residents must be made through a bank. However, transfers to or from Ghana must be made through a bank, a dealer or person licensed to carry out the business of money transfers. The BoG periodically issues directives on forex-related transactions, and investors should ensure they stay informed regarding new rules.

Foreign Currency Accounts

Residents and non-residents are allowed to maintain foreign currency accounts. The accounts may be credited with transfers in foreign currency or other foreign currency accounts. Balances are freely transferable and may be debited for payment of transfers to other foreign accounts and for the purchase of external currency. Residents are also permitted to maintain forex accounts into which can be credited forex earnings that are not converted into cedi balances. Generally, balances on these accounts can be transferred with the necessary supporting documentation. The BoG periodically issues directives on limits on forex transactions.

Anti-Money Laundering Rules

Pursuant to the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2008 (Act 749) the Financial Intelligence Centre has been established within the BoG to provide assistance with the identification of proceeds of unlawful activities, as well as to combat money laundering activities in Ghana. Banks are required under law to apply comprehensive Know Your Customer due diligence on existing and potential clients with respect to financial transactions.

Land Acquisition, Planning & Use

The ownership of land in Ghana is prescribed by the Constitution and related statutes. The legal regime distinguishes between the rights of ownership and use. The 1992 Ghanaian Constitution provides three categories of ownership of land:

  •  Public/Vested Lands: Public lands are all lands that belong to the state and vested lands are lands in which the state takes over the legal incidents of ownership, that is the right to sell, lease, etc, from the customary land owners and holds the said land in trust for the land owning community. The land owners retain the equitable interest in the land. These lands are managed by the Public and Vested Lands Management Division (PVLMD) of the Lands Commission;
  •  Stool/Skin Lands: These are community-held lands vested in a traditional council or community leaders on behalf of and in trust for the subjects of the stool, traditional leaders, in accordance with customary law and usage. Transactions in connection with these lands must receive the approval of the PVLMD to make the grant valid; and
  •  Private and Family/Clan Lands: This refers to lands owned by individuals, families and clans in the community.

Acquisition Of Titles To Land

In Ghana land can be owned by a body corporate which may have acquired its interest either from the PVLMD, a stool or a family. The terms of the transfer of interests in land that exceeds three years must be provided in a contract. It is a constitutional requirement that an interest in land cannot be granted to a non–foreigner in excess of 50 years. The use of land is subject to a number of restrictions, which are as follows:

  •  Compulsory acquisition: Under the Constitution, the state has authority to compulsorily acquire the rights to land for the benefit of society. This interest is often necessary for the social and economic development of the country and thus such an acquisition requires finding the balance between the public need for land on the one hand, as opposed to the provision of land tenure security, and the protection of the private property rights of the individual on the other hand;
  •  Disposition and development of stool lands: Where one acquires stool land its disposition and development must be governed by customary law. The constitution further provides that there shall be no disposition or development unless the Regional Lands Commission of the region in which the land is situated has certified that the disposition or development is consistent with the development plan of the planning authority for the area concerned. Ghanaian law also provides for regulations that mitigate the risks related to land acquisition in the country, and they are as follows:
  •  The purchaser must request for all documentation related to the land in order to obtain appropriate information;
  •  The purchaser must conduct a search at the Lands Commission and Company’s Registry (if the land is owned by a company) to ascertain whether the vendor is the appropriate person to transfer interest in the land;
  •  The purchaser must also conduct a search at the Town and Country Planning Department or the local authority in order to ascertain the suitability of the land for the purpose for which it is being acquired;
  •  The purchaser must visit the land in order to ascertain if there are any physical encumbrances on the specified land; and
  •  The terms for payment must be structured to ensure that the ownership of land is confirmed before any payment is made.

Loan & Security Transactions

Under Ghanaian law movable and immovable property can be used as security for a loan transaction. The use of land as security is reflected by the Mortgages Law, Land Law and Company’s Act, under which the security is created by a company. Movables including receivables, shares and securities may be used as security for transactions by the creation of fixed or floating charges in respect of the identified security. To assess whether a proposed security is free of liens and can be used as security for a transaction, an inquiry must be made about the property at the Companies Registry and the Collateral Registry of the BoG and at the Lands Registry in respect to landed property.

Government Procurement

The Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) was passed as an integral part of Ghana’s public finance management good governance reforms and in order to instil propriety and accountability in public sector financial management and expenditure. The law regulates the procurement of goods, works and services financed in whole or in part from public funds and the disposal of government stores. Additionally, all government agencies, institutions and establishments in which the government has a majority interest are mandated to comply.

The application of the law is, however, subject to two key exceptions. The first exception is the power vested in the minister of finance to direct the use of a different procurement procedure where the minister determines that it is in the national interest to do so. Where the minister makes such a determination the procurement method shall be published in the Gazette. The second exception is in respect to the procurement of goods, works and services financed by loans taken or guaranteed by the state, or aid granted under an international agreement that prescribes the procurement procedures to be employed.

International Transactions

Investment opportunities in Ghana may involve some direct government involvement. Government, therefore, remains a critical party to most foreign investment arrangements in Ghana. The 1992 Constitution provides that “international business or economic transactions to which the government is a party shall, with necessary modification by Parliament, apply to an international business or economic transaction to which the government is a party as it applies to a loan”, that is loan agreements require the approval of Parliament.

One of the pertinent concerns of investors is the nature of the ultimate approval required for the validity and enforceability of such agreements. Increasingly, the concern has become more pervasive since the decision of the Supreme Court of Ghana in the cases of: Attorney General v Balkan Energy Ghana Ltd, Balkan Energy LL and Philip David Elders; Martin Alamisi Amidu v Attorney General, Waterville Holding Ltd and Alfred Agbesi Woyome; and Martin Alamisi v Attorney General, Isofoton S.A and Anane-Agyei Forson. In all the above cases, agreements executed between a private party and government were held to be invalid and unenforceable as they were not approved by Parliament as required by the 1992 Constitution and other laws of Ghana. From the various decisions of the Supreme Court, the following agreements may qualify as international transactions: i. Agreements for business transactions between a resident company (incorporated in Ghana) and the government of Ghana where the shareholders are non-Ghanaian; ii. Agreements for business transactions between a foreign or non-resident company and the government of Ghana; and iii. Project agreements which fall under items (i) and (ii) above for which the funding or loan agreement has been approved by Parliament. With respect to item (ii) listed above, the Supreme Court, in the Balkan case, said issues to be taken into account may include:

  •  Sources of funding originating outside Ghana;
  •  Jurisdiction of the originator of the project is not Ghana;
  •  Jurisdiction of the project sponsor is not Ghana;
  •  Individuals negotiating with the Ghanaian government are foreign nationals;
  •  The place of management of the project company is outside Ghana; and
  •  International arbitration clauses that are included in the agreement. There are a number of exemptions applicable to what may be considered an international transaction. For example, where the agreement is regarded as “minor”, parliamentary approval may be dispensed with. The determination of what is minor will be determined on a case-by-case basis by reference to Attorney General’s opinion.

PPPS & Development

The government has set up the Infrastructure Investment Fund under the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund Act, 2014 (Act 877). The object of the fund is to help achieve national development through the proven financial resources and investment in a diversified portfolio of infrastructure projects. The fund is an independent body corporate with the power to create funds and set up affiliates in any jurisdiction in order to achieve its objective.

The fund seeks to partner with the private sector, which will offer support in financing projects. The private sector’s role includes partnering with the public sector by financing public-private partnerships and special purpose vehicles, among others. Sources of funds will include a percentage of proceeds from value-added tax, the annual budget funding amount, proceeds from the disposal of state-owned investments and various grants. Under the law, the fund is exempt from the payment of taxes for the first five years.

Local Content

The Petroleum (Local Content and Local Participation) Regulations, 2013, LI 2204 has been passed. The focus of local content is on the percentage of locally produced materials, personnel, financing, goods and services rendered in the petroleum industry value chain, which can be measured in monetary terms.

It provides the minimum local content levels for petroleum activities, including: the exploration, development and production of petroleum; acquisition of data; drilling of wells; pipeline transportation; and storage. The law provides the rules to be employed in the procurement of goods and services. Significantly, where the total value of the bid of a qualified indigenous Ghanaian company does not exceed the lowest bid by more than 10%, the law mandates that the contract must be awarded to the indigenous Ghanaian company. Additionally, a non-indigenous Ghanaian company can only participate in a procurement process for the provision of goods and services if it incorporates a local company and provides the goods and services in association with an indigenous company.

An indigenous company is defined under the regulations to mean a locally incorporated company that has at least 51% Ghanaian equity participation and has 80% of its executive and senior management and 100% of its non-managerial positions held by Ghanaian nationals.

Nuclear Energy

The Nuclear Regulatory Authority Act has been passed. The act establishes a Nuclear Regulatory Authority to regulate and manage activities and practices for the peaceful use of nuclear materials and energy, radioactive material or radiation. The Act also provides for the protection of persons and the environment against the harmful effects of radiation-related hazards. The passage of the law is a key step in showcasing Ghana’s commitment to harnessing the potential of nuclear in the country’s energy mix and is expected to generate interest in investment in the production of nuclear energy.

New Operators

The Securities Industry Law is being amended to introduce new operators such as commodity exchanges, credit rating agencies, hedge funds, nominee account operators, private equity funds and venture capital funds, which will be brought under the regulation of the SEC.

You have reached the limit of premium articles you can view for free. 

Choose from the options below to purchase print or digital editions of our Reports. You can also purchase a website subscription giving you unlimited access to all of our Reports online for 12 months.

If you have already purchased this Report or have a website subscription, please login to continue.

The Report: Ghana 2016

Legal Framework chapter from The Report: Ghana 2016

Articles from this chapter

This chapter includes the following articles.
Cover of The Report: Ghana 2016

The Report

This article is from the Legal Framework chapter of The Report: Ghana 2016. Explore other chapters from this report.