Executive Director of the Centre for Democratic Development-Ghana(CDD-Ghana) Professor H. Kwasi Prempeh has observed Ghana needs to develop its human resources in order to achieve the much-talked about Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.
Prof. Prempeh is of the view that the realization of the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda will remain a mirage if attention is not placed on enhancing the human resource capacity, especially creating in jobs for the youth.
In a CDD-Ghana breakfast meeting on youth unemployment, Prof. Prempeh noted youth unemployment must be looked at more keenly.
He specifically noted that the much-touted ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda cannot be achieved and sustained if attention is not paid to job creation and the conscious investment in the country’s human resource base.
“Skills building and job creation must be encouraged, innovations and entrepreneurial ideas must be supported,” he said.
Other speakers at the meeting agreed Ghana will be able to stem the tide of youth unemployment if the government reviews its job creation and entrepreneurship policies.
Organized on the theme ‘Creating Jobs & Entrepreneurs for a Self-reliant Ghana’, the event triggered a deeper conversation on how government and other stakeholders can harness the potential of the youth, while taking a critical look at the various ongoing youth entrepreneurship initiatives to solve the unemployment problem in the country.
Professor Prempeh believes it is critical for the youth to have a stake in the economy because the dangers associated with their inability to have access to employment opportunities cannot be ignored.
The US Ambassador to Ghana, Stephanie S. Sullivan, also reiterated that no country can thrive unless the youth is made a priority and are given the tools and support they need to create their future.
Dr. Kristen Lord, the Chief Executive Officer of IREX, indicated that although there is no silver bullet solution to youth employment, Ghana, like many African countries, already has the structures to help manage the problem effectively.
“The good news is that most of the ingredients of success are already here. It’s not about creating some whole new huge strategy but it’s about better using the ingredients that are already originally available here,” she said.
She, therefore, encouraged the managers of the country’s educational system to introduce critical thinking and the development of soft skills into the educational curriculum to help shape the minds and abilities of students.
Statistics show that as at 2018, the unemployment rate in Ghana was 6.7% for people aged 15 years and above – translating into about 2 million Ghanaians without jobs, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Again, the Afrobarometer’s survey findings also show that unemployment is the most important problem that Ghanaians want government to address and that among the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, SDG8 focused on promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all, is the highest priority for Ghanaians.
The Afrobarometer data show that four in 10 Ghanaians have considered emigrating and that more than half (53%) of those who have considered emigrating want to do so to find work.
It is therefore not surprising that citizens of all ages consistently rate their government’s poor on job creation.