Does Ghana have the cheapest passport in West Africa?

On November 28, 2023, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration hinted of a likely upward adjustment in the application fees for obtaining a passport in Ghana.

Addressing the press on the operation of the ministry in Accra, the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong, stated that the increase in fees is necessary due to inadequate resources to issue passports in the country.

The Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong, believes Ghana’s passport is the cheapest in the West Africa sub-region // Photo:

According to him, Ghana charges the lowest passport fees compared to other West African countries, therefore it is necessary to increase the fees to compete with the prices in the sub.

“Ghana passport costs $8. The next cheapest is Liberia. It’s $40. The supplier of Liberian passport and Ghana passport is one company. So our passports are heavily subsidized. The money that we are supposed to use to buy the computers and the printers to be able to provide quick service delivery is being used to subsidize the passport that people apply for,” Mr Ampratwum-Sarpong said.

In this explainer, Fact-Check Ghana explores the prices of passports across West Africa. The team checked the official websites of foreign affairs and passport offices of the various countries as well as spoke with journalists in the countries.

The table below shows the cost of acquiring a passport in the other 15 countries within the West African Region.

Country Cost of Passport
Guinea 150$ (5 years validity)

300$ (10 years validity)


Mali $92.5 (Standard)

$185 (Premium)


Sierra Leone $66
Liberia $50 for citizens link
Togo $50. link
Nigeria $11-$24 link


Côte d’Ivoire $66 (40.000F CFA). link
Cape Verde $55 (5,600 escudos)
Burkina Faso $83 (50,000 CFA). link
Benin $50 (30,000F CFA). link
The Gambia $45 (D3,060)
Guinea-Bissau $83 (50,000 CFA)
Niger $60 (35750 F CFA)
Mauritania $76 (3000 Mauritanian Ouguiyas). link
Senegal $33 (20,000F CFA ). link

The table above shows that the cost of a passport ranges between $11 and $300. However, the price of a passport varies in each country based on the number of pages per booklet, the number of years of its validity as well as the turnaround time.

For Nigeria, Fact-Check Ghana found that the prices of passports differ. When we visited the official website of the Nigerian Immigration Service, the prices quoted are as follows:

The 32-page booklet costs $11 for applicants who are 0-17 years and applicants who are 60+. The same 32-page passport costs $18.7 for applicants who are 18-59 years old.

The 64-page book costs $24 for all applicants regardless of their age.

However, when Fact-Check Ghana spoke to some Nigerian journalists who have obtained passports in their countries, they quoted different amounts, slightly higher than the amount quoted on the Nigerian Immigration website.

Usman Aliyu, a journalist with the News Agency of Nigeria, told the team that he paid $49  (N40,000) to obtain his passport.

“In Kwara state, where I did my own, it is N40,000 ($49) for 32 pages. In Edo state, where I am stationed for work, it is N45,000 ($56). It is apparently higher in places like Lagos state and FCT,” he said.

Ghana passport fees

As of 2019, the passport fee for a Standard 32-page booklet was GHS 50 while the fee for a 42-page booklet was GHS 100. Subsequently, in May 2019, the Ministry hinted of an increase in passport application fees arguing that the passport office is recording losses.

In January 2020, parliament approved the new fees for passports. The Standard 32-page booklet was increased from GHS 50 to GHS 100 (about $18) whereas the Standard 43-page booklet was increased from GHS 100 to GHS 150 (about $27.3), based on the exchange rate.

For expedited services, the 32-page booklet was increased from GHS 100 to GHS 150 ($27.3) while the 48-page booklet was increased from GHS 150 to GHS 200 ($36.4).

In 2023, the cost of a passport is unchanged in cedis, however, its cost in dollars has fallen. This is attributed to the depreciation of the cedi.

Still at GHS 100, the standard 32-page booklet now costs $8 while the Standard 48-page booklet costs $12.5.

Still at GHS 150, the expedited 32-page booklet now costs $12.5 while the expedited 48-page booklet now costs $16.7.

With this current price, the ministry believes that the Ghanaian passport is heavily subsidized and the cheapest in West Africa, hence the need to increase its price.

Reason for increase in fees

According to the Deputy Minister, the ministry is unable to capture the biometric data as expected and print the booklets as stipulated in its service agreement due to inadequate resources.

He also stated that the inadequate resources have accounted for the inefficiencies at the passport office.

“On the average we receive 5,00 applications a day. We are able to print 3,000 simply because we don’t have the resources to buy the printers,” Mr Ampratwum-Sarpong stated.

He alluded that these inefficiencies have created room for corruption and middlemen activities in obtaining a passport.

Parliamentary approval

The ministry has also revealed that it is in talks with parliament and its committees to increase the passport fees.

“We will have a formal sitting with parliament and the various committees to see if they can help in that direction to make it possible for us to charge at least the proper fees, so that we will be able to buy the necessary equipment and be able to improve on the turnaround times for passports,” the deputy minister said.

In conclusion, Ghana’s passport is among the cheapest in the subregion and the depreciation of the cedi has further reduced the cost of the passport compared to other countries in West Africa. As to the cost of Ghanaian passports being the cheapest, it partly depends on the value of the currency as it compares with the dollar.

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