Cultural Norms and Tidbits
Business Actions that are influenced by Culture
Working practices in Ghana
- Punctuality in Ghanaian business culture is not seen as a main priority. The concept of time in Ghana is looked at in a relaxed and flexible way. Especially in the attendance of an event.
- Although Ghanaians have a flexible approach to time, it is necessary to make appointments before doing business in Ghana. These should be scheduled in advance.
- Typical working hours are generally from 8am to 5pm from Monday to Friday with an hour taken for lunch. Stores tend to be open on Saturday too.
- Hierarchy is an important concept in Ghanaian culture. Respect is shown to those with wealth, age, experience and position.
- When visiting Ghana, show respect to older people. ‘Auntie’ and ‘Uncle’ are used by a younger person to refer to an older person in a respectful manner. Always ask your Ghanaian business partners for advice about how to refer to people so as to not cause offense. They will appreciate the interest you show in their culture.
- In Ghanaian business culture, decision-making power typically lies with the most senior person in the company. The most senior person is expected to make decisions but often group consensus must be achieved first.
Working relationships in Ghana
- Ghanaians spend time getting to know their business partners so be sure to allow time for relationship building with your counterparts in Ghana.
- Silence is a common way of responding to a question that can't be answered without causing discomfort or causing a loss of face. Don’t try to fill the silence.