The youth turned out massively on the streets to vote for the NPP government in 2016. They helped offer President Nana Akufo-Addo a highly historical voting percentage for his job-creation campaign promise. Nana Addo’s government now finds itself under huge pressure to reciprocate the effort of the masses by offering the desperate youth jobs.
President Nana Akufo-Addo’s government promised to fix an economy that went through a two-year badly-challenged period. The optimism of getting the economy back on the path of growth and job-creation seems to be justified.
However, with youth unemployment at record high levels, Accra recently witnessed a very long queue as thousands converged at El Wak Stadium and others parts of the country in search of a job enlistment in the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS). Figures released showed that over 84,000 applied for jobs available for only 500 people.
The depressing vision of seeing the youth stand under the harsh harmattan conditions brought about panic and rancour. You could tell the youth’s desperate attempt to grab one of the positions in the service. The harsh situation was a sobering reminder that there is an unknown unemployment rate other than the official figures we know of.
A generation of young people are getting trapped in unemployment. There is a huge danger in this for our dear nation, but our leaders for some time now have been careless about the negative consequences and impacts this may have on society.
Unless the country’s economy turns out stronger than expected, many of the school leavers who cannot get a job will be more frustrated over fresh graduates adding to their numbers each year. It is a serious social problem the country is potentially facing, since involvement in fraud/theft and professional prostitution becomes an inevitable option.
Something horrible may come up one day because of this unemployment canker. Something is going very wrong for a whole generation who are increasingly getting frustrated by the system – and beginning to hate our nation and leaders for not putting up smooth future programmes for them.
You can imagine how each of the applicants who went to queue up in the sun for the immigration jobs nervously sprang out of bed with hopelessness. How do you see a future with thousands of people chasing a few job placements?
Fortunately, government is aware of the need to offer and create jobs. It is trying as much as possible to steer a new direction for the country; however, the more educated youth are demanding real jobs rather than some unsustainable and unproven jobs.
In reality, government needs time and better policies to create jobs, since it is common practice that when unemployment is high government has to step in and pave the way for job-creation. But this cannot come about in one day: it needs time.
Fixing an economy is not only the responsibility of government. It is why the current government has to find means to invest in scientific models which provide jobs and also empowers the private sector to absorb the unemployed masses.
But, for now, there is also no sign that the Ghanaian economy – still barely emerging from the last round of challenges – is about to generate the kind of employment necessary to give these hopeless youths the kind of jobs they desire to achieve life fulfillment.
The youths’ desperation was clearly displayed and written on their faces at the Ghana Immigration Service screening exercise. They were desperate youth looking for jobs in a desperate economy!