James Beard Publication of the Year 2017

How to Get Online in Accra

Getting connected in Accra is relatively easy: you can either buy a charge card and add credit or stop by a café that has wifi.

To buy a charge card, bring your passport and phone to an authorized dealer, such as Airtel or MTN, the two largest. You’ll get a Ghanaian phone number and decide on how much mobile data you’d like to buy. It costs around 10 GHC (about $2.25 USD) to get the charge card with a phone number and 5 GHC (about $1) goes a long way for mobile data. The whole process takes just a few minutes.

After you are on the network, you can add credit by buying a scratch-off card at any number of vendors around Accra. These little cards start at 2 GHC (50 cents) which can last for about a week, depending on how much data you use and how many phone calls you make. I typically spend 5 GHC a week on data charges.

Pro tip:  you can skip using a Ghanaian number by using Whatsapp, which many Ghanaians use as well. That way, the data you use to get online is the only thing you pay for.   

Work space. If you need a place to hunker down and get some online work done, Cafe Kwae near the airport is the spot of choice. With consistently fast wifi and a great food and drink selection, you can easily get lost in a work groove and you won’t be interrupted to feed the beast.  Keep in mind that the food is pricier than what you’d get at a chop shop or a street food vendor. And if you have a taste for local flavor, this is not the spot to find it. On the bright side, if you need the jolt of caffeine to keep you productive, Cafe Kwae has a selection of espresso drinks that is hard to come by anywhere else in the city.

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