As the largest city in Ghana and the country's capital, Accra is home to thousands of expats, and the community continues to grow each year. Living in Ghana means expats have access to beautiful beaches, daily markets, and private and public education systems that both use the English language.
In 2013, an estimated 2.29 million lived in Accra and the Greater Accra Region, with the average household size being 3.8. The nature of housing tends to vary across the city, and there are many private complexes available to both locals and expats alike. The properties available to members of the expatriate community include apartments and villas with pools. Approximately 83% of those who live in the Greater Accra Region live in an urban area.
The Accra Metropolitan Assembly is the local political organization that is responsible for ensuring the city is safe and sanitary, that there are schools available, and that there are markets, transportation systems, and healthcare facilities on offer.
Depending on the time of year they choose to relocate, expatriates moving to Accra may have a bit of a shock when it comes to the climate. On average, temperatures across the city are high. Those who enjoy consistently high temperatures and lots of sunshine can look forward to the June to September period, which sees averages of 28 to 30 degrees Celsius and around 150 hours of sunshine each month. Water temperatures tend to remain high throughout the year. However, it is worth noting that riptides are particularly strong at some points of Accra's coastline, which means those who are not strong swimmers may wish to stick to swimming pools.
The highest rainfall tends to occur in May and June. When this is combined with high temperatures, the climate in Accra becomes quite humid. The driest month is January and the wettest is June.
Expats relocating to Accra may wish to consider their accommodation options before making other arrangements. There is a large selection of properties across the city, with many offering excellent value for money. Both prime and underdeveloped areas exist, and redevelopment is constantly occurring across the city. Many expats choose to live in the airport residential area, East Legon, Spintex, or Osu. Prices in the area tend to vary, with some of the more prestigious properties costing upwards of 3,000 USD per month. It is worth noting that most expats rent rather than buy in Accra, as the complex property laws mean the closest they can get to buying is to lease a property for 50 years.
Individuals who want to avoid the high rental prices attached to expat areas may wish to look at Kwabenya, Haatso and Achimota, which feature a mixture of expats and locals. Rental arrangements are more likely to be informal than formal. Individuals looking for a property may want to start with local classifieds and newspaper ads. As real estate agents in the city are expensive, expats should consider using them as a last resort only.