Finding jobs for many youth is a major challenge especially in Africa and governments across the continent continue to struggle to create jobs for their unemployed populations.
In Ghana, the topic is a major one after the new government promised to create jobs before winning the last elections.
How to create jobs propelled current president Nana Akufo Addo to the presidency but it appears over year since the new government took over, many youth are still unimpressed by the unemployment situation.
28 year old Nii Lamptey in Accra told Africa Feeds that “Looking for a job is not easy, it’s about whom you know, if you don’t know anybody, you will find it difficult. Even if you know anybody the person will ask you go and come, it’s very tough.”
Matias Abeeba who is 23 is also unimpressed by the difficulties in securing job in Ghana. “Many of the graduates complete school, no work to do, you have to suffer for years to get a common work to do is even very hard. In Ghana work is very hard” Abeeba added.
Ghana’s Labour Force Survey report released in 2017 estimates that more than 1.2 million Ghanaians from 15 years and older are estimated to be unemployed. That represents the total unemployment rate of 11.9 percent. President Akufo Addo told lawmakers during his state of the nation address on Thursday that it has been challenging fixing the unemployment issue which is a major headache for him.
“The subject of job creation has to be at the top of my agenda. The number of young people who cannot find work is staggering and a threat to our national security, I am determined to work to guarantee and secure the future of the young men and women of our country. Every major policy that my government has implemented in the past year has been about the youth,” Nana Addo said.
The Ghanaian president however announced a major program meant to employ one hundred thousand youth in March this year.
“This government has established the nations builders corps, to employ a hundred thousand young persons in 2018 alone to assist in public sector delivery in health, education, agriculture, sanitation, and the revenue collection department of the Ghana revenue authority. And the modules have been designed for each of the designated areas,” he said.
— Nana Akufo-Addo (@NAkufoAddo) February 8, 2018
The program mentioned by the President is still being discussed and the modules developed. So how impressed are those lamenting about lack of jobs with government’s efforts so far?
Matias Abeeba said “Every year they come promising missing they will create a lot of jobs for the youth, but they come into power and do anything. This government promised, he is coming to create jobs for us, for a year and going, no jobs is created, a lot of youth still unemployed so we don’t see any job creation by the government.”
Nii Lamptey also revealed that the president “is doing his job well but I think he should do more. I mean he should establish more jobs in the country to calm down pressure. I think so.”
The Labour Force Survey report carried out by Ghana’s Statistical Service also revealed that 4.2 million people representing 52.5 per cent of the currently employed were engaged in the private informal sector. Business analyst, Ken Monah said fixing the unemployment situation in Ghana has become daunting because the needed attention to the private sector hasn’t been forthcoming.
“You speak to a lot of these startup businesses and entrepreneurs and I think that the right environment have not been created yet. They still do not have the environment that will allow them to be able to expand and make the necessary profit that would get them to employ people. And so for instance access to credit most of them have always complained. They borrow at high interest rate and they actually reel under those ones, because those are challenges,” Monah added.
Monah said entrepreneurs and business owners hold the key to creating jobs for the unemployed and must be taken seriously. The government has said that it recognises these issues and is working at it but the clock is ticking for it to achieve results.