In recent times, Ghana has been hailed across the World for maintaining a consistent economic growth over the past three and half decades and as recent reports tip Ghana for the fastest growing economy, investors are bound to consider the country as a hot spot for business.
Observers say this recent development is being fuelled by the cocoa industry and oil boom which is good. However, a section of the public believe that in spite of all this growth, the structure of the Ghanaian economy has not transformed in the desirable manner as the country’s teeming youth are saddled with unemployment.
The World Bank in its report on jobs in Ghana indicated that about 48 percent of the youth who are between 15-24 years are unemployed. In another research, the Labour Force Survey 2015 revealed that the general unemployment rate is about 12 percent and the youth unemployment rate is about 26 percent.
This according to Dr Kwabena Nyarko Otoo, Director of Labour Research and Policy Institute of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) does not augur well for the growth of the country as this means the youth unemployment rate is twice the general unemployment rate.
“The problem is that Ghana’s economy is not creating jobs. When you look at the data you will have about 3 quarters of Ghanaians, 15 years and older either have basic education or no education,” he said on the side line of the Organised Labour forum on Ghana’s economy.
He highlighted the unemployment case further with the fact that it is quite easier for Ghanaians who migrate to Germany with little or no education to find jobs even with the obvious language barrier.
“It is also worth noting that our brothers and sisters who manage to migrate to Germany don’t speak German and some of them don’t even speak English but still manage to find employment there. What it means is that the German economy is creating enough jobs.”
“The differences between Germany and Ghana is that Germany produces and exports. We don’t produce but import so if you are importing what it means is that you are actually exporting jobs,” he lamented.
To remedy this situation, he advocated for the One District, One factory initiative to be strengthened, a bumped up manufacturing industry that could propel exportation to the West African subregion.
In his presentation on the state of the economy, brushing through the 1990’s to present, he indicated that Ghana’s manufacturing industry which used to be vibrant has collapsed as result of poor monetary policy and over reliance on imported goods.
He made these known at the Organised Labour forum on the economy, organised by the Trade Union Congress with the support of Friedrich Ebert Stifung (FES) This year, the focused on the economy.
The forum further aimed at educating Organised Labour members on macroeconomic indicators and their implications for the welfare of labour to enhance members’ understanding of the workings of the economy and how to contribute meaningfully to economic debate.
Pamela Ofori-Boateng/Business World