Ghana’s economy is said to be recording significant growth regardless of a loss in revenue to the tune of 1bn Ghana cedis.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta disclosed that the loss in revenue was as a result of government’s decision to scrap what it calls ‘nuisance taxes’.
According to him, inflation which was 15.4% dropped to 10.6% which makes the primary balance positive for the first time. He noted that this stride is significant and therefore needs to also reflect in creating more jobs.
Ken Ofori Attah added that youth unemployment is as a result of economic failure to create employment opportunities to commensurate the growth of youth population and therefore several measures have been introduced to enhance the employability.
He said: “Some of the measures we have taken is the removal of nuisance taxes in order to encourage the private sector to grow and create jobs. We have also introduced specific programmes to contribute to job creation in the private sector including the planting for food and jobs and the 1D and 1F.”
The Minister announced that government will soon be launching the Nation Builder’s Corps which is expected to provide some 100,000 jobs to tertiary graduates in order to gain valuable work experience.
He said: “Consistent with the job creation measures, we have taken these measures to strongly revise growth from 3.7 percent in 2016 which was the lowest in two decades, to 8 percent in 2017 and this year Ghana is projected to be the world’s fastest growing economy”.
On short term basis, models such as Teach Ghana, Heal Ghana, Feed Ghana, Clean Ghana, Revenue Ghana will be created for personnel in the teaching, health, agricultural and environmental fields respectively. ‘Revenue Ghana’ is expected to employ some 5000 graduates to help in revenue collection in the country.
Ken Ofori Atta made these statements during the 5th Africa Think Tank Summit held in Accra themed: “Tackling Africa’s Youth Unemployment Challenge: Innovative Solutions from the Think Tanks”.
According to him, evidence shows that youth, aged 15 to 24 are much less likely to be working than adults aged 25 to 65. This, he said, represented 52 percent of slightly more than half of the youth being employed or active in decent jobs as compared with adults, which represents 89 percent.
This, he said, badly reflects the fact that most youth are still in school and at the same time, a larger share of young people are neither educated nor working compared with other adults.
“We can’t grow with very little impact on job creation and that becomes the problem we have to deal with,” he noted.
He revealed that President Akufo Addo has announced free Technical and Vocational/Educational and Training programme to ensure that more youth are being equipped with the skills that will make them succeed in the modern workplace.
Ken Ofori-Atta encouraged the think tanks to hire young researchers and professionals as well as equip and mentor the youth to realise their full potential for employability and self-employment.