The United States of America Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson has bemoaned the lack of jobs for the youth in the country and the rising rate of unemployment.
The World Bank in its latest report on jobs in Ghana revealed that about 48 percent of the youth in the country, who are between the ages of 15-24 do not have jobs.
The report dubbed the “Landscape of Jobs in Ghana, said, “In Ghana, youth are less likely than adults to be working: in 2012, about 52% of people aged 15-24 were employed (compared to about 90% for the 25-64 population), a third were in school, 14% were inactive and 4% were unemployed actively looking for job.
Young women in the same age group are particularly disadvantaged and have much higher inactivity rates that men: 17% of young female are inactive as opposed to 11% of males.” Speaking at the West African Regional Conference of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Ambassador Jackson expressed hope that the government would put in place measures to address the unemployment situation in the next few years.
According to him, small enterprises founded by the youth and the presence of more self-financed NGOs could contribute to addressing the canker.
During his address, Ambassador Jackson said, “I hope that we will see two very concrete things; I hope that we will see much more job creation by small enterprises founded by young people and secondly, I hope we will see the growth of more self-financed African non-governmental organizations.”
The Ambassador noted that a lot our NGOs were restricted by governments because of funding arrangements and shifts from this would enable them connect more with their communities and also advance more innovative discussions geared towards development.
Unemployment high in urban centres
The Ghana Living Standards Survey for the year 2012/2013 estimated that 250,000 young men and women entered the Ghanaian labour market every year with only 2% absorbed in the formal sector whilst the 98% seek employment in the informal sector or remain unemployed.
It added that 98.1% of “Ghana’s working population – 10, 517,394 – are employed; putting unemployment at 1.9%. Among the age groups, the rate of unemployment is highest within the 15 to 24 age cohort (3.2%); males (3.3%), females (3.0%) and urban (7.2%).”