Beneficial ownership transparency in Ghana

  • Publication date: 17 October 2023
  • Authors: Samuel Bekoe, Opening Extractives

Executive summary

Beneficial ownership (BO) disclosure is a critical element of anti-corruption and transparency efforts aimed at preventing money laundering, tax evasion and other illicit activities. It refers to the requirement for individuals who ultimately own or control a legal entity, such as a company or trust, to be identified and disclosed. This report provides a general overview of the implementation of BO disclosure in Ghana, including the legal framework, progress made, challenges faced and key stakeholders involved.

Ghana has taken steps to implement BO disclosure requirements as part of its governance and anti-corruption agenda. BO implementation has undergone multiple phases, including: advocacy; enactment of legislation; development of systems; and actual collection and processing of BO data. In 2020, the country was recognised for making meaningful progress in implementing BO requirements under the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Standard. However, there remain significant challenges to BO implementation in Ghana, particularly when compared to internationally recommended practices. Based on the Open Ownership Principles for effective beneficial ownership disclosure (OO Principles) and the EITI Standard Requirement 2.5 on BO disclosure, this report presents an independent evaluation of the current BO regime in Ghana based on a detailed analysis of ongoing and planned BO reforms. To offer relevant context and enhance this report’s usability, an analysis of Ghana’s progress on BO reforms for each OO Principle is provided, along with practical recommendations for how to enhance BO implementation over the next two years.

Legal framework: Ghana has established legal requirements for BO disclosure through various laws and regulations. The Companies Act, 2019 (Act 992) and the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act, 2016 (Act 919) are among the key statutes that require the disclosure of BO information. These laws mandate companies operating in Ghana, including those in the extractive industries, to disclose information about their beneficial owners to the Office of the Registrar of Companies (ORC).

Key progress made: Ghana has made progress in the implementation of BO disclosure. In 2020, Ghana established a BO project team within the ORC to oversee the general implementation of BO disclosure, following the enactment of BO provisions under the Companies Act. In addition, Ghana has developed a beneficial ownership transparency (BOT) central register, [1] which serves as a repository for BO information. Ultimately, the portal is intended to enhance transparency and enable stakeholders to access and verify the BO information of companies in the country. Furthermore, Ghana has developed BO forms and internal procedures, as well as implementing BO capacity-building programmes to assist with BO disclosure implementation.

This scoping report examines the state of play of BO reforms in Ghana. It aims to identify specific gaps in BO implementation and make context-specific recommendations on how Ghana can advance its BO reforms. The findings of the scoping report are not only useful for providing a clear picture of Ghana’s BOT journey, but they will also enable Open Ownership (OO), as technical partner in the Opening Extractives (OE) programme, and other development partners and local stakeholders to understand the priority areas where technical guidance is most needed. The OE team will also provide tailored technical support throughout the implementation of the OE programme. The recommendations summarised below are based on the OE team’s understanding of the context, political landscape and engagements with key stakeholders.


[1] BO information can be accessed upon the payment of a fee (GHC 25) on

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