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Feature Article of Thursday, 24 January 2013

Columnist: Adjetey, Emmanuel

Woes of the unemployed youth

No matter whom we are, where we reside, how good or bad we might feel we are certainly faced with situations that may in one way or the other induce us to act in different ways. One of such state of affairs confronting the good people of Ghana especially the youth is the inadequate job opportunities or half decent jobs to put them in a position to embrace the future with hope and much certainty.

In recent times, unemployment has really compelled most of the teeming youth of this dear nation into illegal mining popularly known as “galamsey”. Galamsey is now one of the get-rich-quick jobs most youth are crazily indulged in. The youth cannot be blame for this illicit mining but rather the blame ought to be on our leaders/authorities of this nation. This is because; the authorities or any government promise tons of jobs opportunities when yearning for their political and societal powers in the country. But, whatever they promise our youth rather becomes the worst opposite. As a result of the high unemployment level in this country some youth are highly impelled into this illegal mining. Galamsey, though, is very dangerous when undertaking but the youth in these mining communities have no other alternative than to strive in this illicit “business”. And eventually, these youth who are the very pillars of this noble country in the future end up being buried in pits because they have been neglected. Besides, the negative effects of the galamsey are several folds but these youth must endeavour it to survive. This illegal mining adversely deprives the nation of land for agriculture. Honestly speaking, I strongly believe this is something our previous government failed to address and this new government is also failing to working towards that. Again, the root cause of most respiratory infections is as a result of this mining which has affected most of our youth in these mining communities in the country.

Moreover, the unemployment which I termed as “national canker” also drives most of our youth from some remote villages to the well dense cities. It is obvious and one needs not to be researcher before one can affirm that most youth migrate internally to the big cities all in the name of trying to find some greener pastures. Observably, one can unarguably attest to this fact thus the number of youth that travel from some deprived places to the big cities to work as truck pushers and some as “kaya-yei” as popularly called in our common parlance. Consequently, the high cost of living and high accommodations fees in these cities eventually leave our youth sleeping on tables outside and some on floors infront of people’s stalls. In addition, the intense unemployment level in the country also propels some of our youth to migrate unlawfully to some other foreign countries. Most of our able-bodied youth stow away secretly to some Western countries to offer themselves as cheap labours and as well to get menial jobs solely to make livelihood. As a result, of this dangerous expedition these youth embark on some eventually pass away on deserts and others get drown in the deep seas owing to the high rate of unemployment in our country.

What actually happens with the numerous campaign promises of investing in our youth? Do we really know the problems associated with unemployment and its implications in the country? We need to understand that the tomorrow’s well-being of Ghana depends greatly our youth and most of them are able-bodied but with no skills and so joblessness, frustration hopelessness and with the fear of wasting their economic life sometimes cling to other social vices such as armed robbery, prostitution just to mention a few.

The fear of unemployment and its capacity has made it possible for these spiritual churches in the country always repleted with our young men and women soliciting for divine intervention to make life much worth living for them in the country. Is it that the government doesn’t realize the productive man-hours that our youth do waste? This joblessness and the lack of job opportunities turning most of our youth into the devil’s apprentice and especially some of the ladies are finally being duped by these unscrupulous men of God.

In conclusion, the government should know that one area of national life that is haltering growth of this country is the poor state of our physical infrastructure. It is an area of potential job creation for the youth. The government can improve our infrastructure through labour intensive youth programmes like the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) which I believe has lost its value but can again be strengthen to create more jobs for our youth. Much preference must be paid to improving energy and water supply, irrigation systems as well as road networks in the rural areas to create more jobs for the youth which would at least reduce the migration thus both internally and externally.

Special social benefit programmes like building of community centres, rural schools, health centres can also be initiated to help create jobs for the unemployed youth. Vocational training, effective attachment programmes, entrepreneurship could be intensified as part of our educational curriculum to prepare the youth for jobs. Many efforts must be made for intensive work programmes whilst improving the business environment to accelerate economic growth. The private sector must be encouraged to support the existing induction programme in addition to apprenticeship programme, by government giving incentives and soft loans to private and public corporate organisations that are business ready to employ the youth.

Besides, good governance which includes greater level of transparency is a prerequisite for attracting investors into the country. Anti-corruption campaign of the government must move from its rhetoric and hypocritical stage to more serious business of the current administration. Thus far, we need to improve upon our business environment by modernizing the way we deal in business but rather not to the detriment of our youth, investing in infrastructure and public work, involving the private sector to support vocational training and internship programmes and stop politicking everything of our national life, work harder in the interest of the nation by creating more job opportunities to give hope and decent living to our teeming unemployed youth.

The Writer is a Student-Journalist at the Ghana Institute of Journalism.

Writer’s email:adjeteyemmanuel@gmail.com

To read more of my articles visit www.adjeteyemmanuel.blogspot.com**

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