GhanaSat-1, which was developed by students at All Nations University in Koforidua, was sent into orbit from the International Space Centre.
Cheers erupted as 400 people, including the engineers, gathered in the southern Ghanaian city to watch live pictures of the launch. The first signal was received shortly afterwards.
It is the culmination of a two-year project, costing $50,000 (£40,000).
It received support from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
The satellite will be used to monitor Ghana’s coastline for mapping purposes, and to build capacity in space science and technology.
Project coordinator Dr Richard Damoah said it marked a new beginning for the country.
“It has opened the door for us to do a lot of activities from space,” he told the BBC.
He said it would “also help us train the upcoming generation on how to apply satellites in different activities around our region.
“For instance, [monitoring] illegal mining is one of the things we are looking to accomplish.”