You’ve got a neat idea for an electronics project and you’re considering electronic components to bring your idea to life. For beginners, hobbyists and students in Ghana finding parts can prove daunting. In this post I’ll show you some ways of sourcing electronic components in Ghana.
Electronics Shops In Kumasi
Most of the electronics shops are in a building at the Acheamfour bus station in Kejetia. The building surrounds the bus station and the shops are on the second floor. Now, one great thing about these shops is that they are situated very close to each other. This makes it very easy to move from shop to shop looking for parts. Creating a list will prove useful during shopping. Also, you may have to be a little bit familiar with some of the jargon used by these electronics vendors. Some vendors may refer to a potentiometer as just “variable” or a ganged variable capacitor as “gange”.
A few years ago buying an Arduino or GSM module meant making plenty calls and waiting for weeks
You can always use your smartphone to show vendors pictures of what you’re looking for.
You can find the acheamfour station by following the map below.
Electronics Shops in Accra
Close to the Makola market is Zongo Lane, an eight minute walk away. Now unlike Kumasi, the shops are not located in the same building. The good news is that the shops are still close to each other. Vendors are usually helpful and will direct you to another shop if they’re out of stock. You can find Zongo Lane by following the map below.
Online Electronics Shops
There are a few online electronics distributors who are making our lives easier. A few years ago buying an Arduino or GSM module meant making plenty calls and waiting for weeks. These online shops cater well to students, hobbyists and startups who frequently purchase modules and microcontrollers. Well, today you can visit these online shops to purchase parts and get them delivered to your door. Here are the ones I know of:
Apart from the shops above, I also recommend MikroElektronika. MikroElektronika ships its products to Ghana for a reasonable fee. You can also purchase electronic components from Aliexpress.
Making Use Of MakerSpaces In Ghana
If you ever need to use some expensive tools on your project, check out the makerspaces listed below. These makerspaces have tools like laser cutters and 3D printers. You can also get access to multimeters, development boards, generic electronic components and maybe oscilloscopes.
A Few Tips
Of all these tips, the most important is being part of a local electronics community
Some of the vendors have “alternative” books where you can find different parts with similar specifications. Alternative books can prove useful especially when shopping for transistors. It’s very helpful to know your capacitor codes as vendors might not be aware of the capacitance values. This wiki provides useful examples.
A capacitor with the following text on its body: 105K 330V has a capacitance of 10 × 105 pF = 1 µF (K = ±10%) with a working voltage of 330 V
In case you don’t have access to online shopping you can purchase a piece of broken equipment and look for components. The equipment you purchase must contain the devices you need. I purchased some old TV tuners in search of an RF synthesizer: the TSA5511. Although these TV tuners were old, they still contained functioning parts. Of all these tips, the most important is being part of a local electronics community. I’m part of a Whatsapp group of makers where people share ideas and expertise. Sometimes people in the community meet each other to exchange components.
I hope you found this article useful. You can share your experiences and any other cool shops in the comments. You should consider joining or creating a local electronics community if you’re not part of one.