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Regional News of Sunday, 27 June 2021

Source: GNA

ActionAid alarmed over youth unemployment

Yakubu Akuka addressing the gathering Yakubu Akuka addressing the gathering

ActionAid Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), has expressed concern about the rate of unemployment among the youth in Ghana, which affects their ability to realise their full potentials for better lives.

The NGO, through its Upper East Regional Programmes Officer, Yakubu Akuka, said “ActionAid Ghana is very much concerned about young people enjoying their rights and getting opportunities to develop their potential to live better and meaningful lives.”

The Programmes Officer noted that ActionAid was committed to empowering the youth with knowledge and skills that were relevant to improving their living standards.

Mr Akuka was speaking at a Regional youth forum in Bolgatanga on the theme: “Providing employment opportunities for young people in Ghana: The role of government,” organized by ActionAid with support from the Medicor Foundation in Liechtenstein, Mr Akuka said youth unemployment was one of the development challenges that ActionAid was working with stakeholders to address.

“We all know the unemployment situation in this country. There are millions of young people with high qualifications looking for jobs but are not finding any.

“The little said about those without such qualifications, the better. This is unacceptable and we would like to see the youth having access to decent work, which is a human right,” Mr Akuka said.

He said unemployment had several negative effects on the lives of the youth and their families and the high incidents of illegal activities such as armed robbery, illegal mining, and fraud among others could be attributed to lack of jobs.

He said some youth in search of jobs migrate to urban cities where they face all kinds of challenges, which worsen their situation.

He called on the government to ensure that youth-targeted policy interventions such as the Youth Employment Programme, Nation Builders Corp among others were streamlined to benefit the most deprived youth and those with disabilities living in rural communities.

Mr Akuka said as part of ActionAid’s contribution addressing the issue of unemployment, it rolled out a youth empowerment initiative in 2019 under a project titled “Providing Employment Opportunities for Young people in Ghana (PEOY).”

He said the project aimed to equip 500 young people between the ages of 18 to 35 years in four Districts in the Upper East, Northern and Ahafo Regions with technical and vocational skills to establish and operate their businesses.

The Programmes Officer said the project was implemented in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region, where 132 beneficiaries were selected from five communities namely Awaradone, Baare, Dapore, Gbeogo and Wakii.

“The beneficiaries had the opportunity to choose one from seven livelihood skill areas including smock textile weaving, catering, tile laying, basketry, leather works, soap making, mobile phone repairs and satellite installation, which were facilitated by the Namalteng Integrated Vocational Training Institute under the supervision of NVTI.”

He said the beneficiaries were tested after the training by the NVTI and provided with start-up equipment and materials such as weaving machines and threads, tools for tiling, satellite installation and mobile phone repairs among others for the job market.

Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister, in a speech read on his behalf, also expressed concern about the issue of youth unemployment in the country and said the situation compelled the government to initiate the NABCO to provide jobs for the teeming unemployed youth in the country.