One of the most pressing problems for Ghana is certainly unemployment. The World Bank (2016) reports that 48% of youths in Ghana are unemployed. The official government definition of this part of the population includes those of 18 to 35 years of age — about a quarter of the population.
The growing rate of urbanization without the creation of an adequate or proportional number of jobs, coupled with the relatively high growth rate of the population, has caused unemployment to be extremely high. Young people are worse off, with some estimates suggesting that only as little as two percent are able to find employment. The rest are left to engage in [small-scale] activities in the informal sector to make ends meet. The government has, however, undertaken a number of countermeasures, most notably the National Youth Employment Program spearheaded by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, in order to see to the alleviation of this pressing issue, yet to no avail!
Addressing the Challenge of Unemployment
The primary responsibility for addressing these challenges rests with Africans. To address youth employment, the following actions must be taken:
- Promote entrepreneurship among the youth: How would you develop any country when the dream of the majority of its youth and elite is not entrepreneurship, innovation, education and self-sufficiency, but the dream to have a job with a humanitarian organization or to get their project financed by some International aid Agency or proxy. The youth should be informed on the prestige of being an employer rather than an employee. They should be encouraged to seize every opportunity to use the skills and tools acquired through education and training to start their own business. This will help them create employment for themselves and others.
- Support for the private sector: Every government must understand that the private sector is the engine of the growth for the economy. It usually employs more people than the government does. Therefore it is imperative for the government to create friendly policies for the private sector to grow [which will in turn] create more jobs for the youth.
- Ghanaian business people have to create the industries that will generate the jobs workers need. Teachers have to provide the education that children need to be economically productive and politically effective.
- Parents must give their children the love, security, and discipline they need to grow into responsible and courageous adults.
About The Author
Aurelia Evame Bissabah
Aurelia is a Social Worker, who has focused on Rural Development issues in her country. In her duty as a youth activist she advocates for improving the condition of women in Ghana. She is especially concerned with changing the status of women by eliminating bad social norms and tackling the violence and discrimination they are victims of.