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Opinions of Thursday, 9 October 2014

Columnist: Abdulai, Alhaji Alhasan

Travelling to Libya, now a bad venture indeed

By Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai

Where are the youth including graduates of our secondary schools and tertiary institutions who are out there looking for means of livelihood? Most of them are facing difficulties to gain access to employment because there always few vacancies for them to occupy in government and private firms. Because a chunk of them don’t have the skills to establish their own businesses, they may be opting to travel out to other nations including Libya. 

There is a category of youth being coscientized (even when they have opportunities in Ghana) to seek greener pastures in Europe, the United States and Libya. Time was when Libya was a preferred destination for ‘money making’ in the eighties and 90s under slain former leader of the country col. Muammah Gaddaffi. However it is no longer a peaceful place with good living where people made money in hard currencies easily. 

The stories told to our youth by some people who were once in that country are no longer true today. Its economy has crumbled due to long and unending war between factions that emergend when Colonel Gaddafi was deposed. As such it is not advisable for Ghanaian youth to venture travelling to Libya to seek employment and other means of earning income. 

This is an open secret. Many well meaning people are constantly urging Ghanaians to remain home to help themselves and the nation. One such person is Mr. George Kumi, a former Ambassador to Libya, who hit the nail right in the head in an interview with the Ghana News Agency. He appealed to people who are eager to seek job opportunities in the North African country to think again. His desire is for them to stay at home.

He said the war-ravaged country was in serious economic downturn with many migrants, including some Ghanaians have got stranded after losing out in their pursuit for employment and other sources of income. They have now been forced to seek international assistance to return home. The international community has responded to their calls. On a daily basis many migrants to Libya are flown home to Ghana and other countries on board various aircraft. It is important for us to take seriously the advice given by Mr. Kumi. He knows so much because as a person who served the nation under the Kufuor’s administration he might have a firsthand experience about the problems encountered by migrant

Mr. Kumi told the world through the GNA that “though Ghana’s economic situation is yet to pick up, other developed countries are going through similar economic crunches and urged the teeming unemployed youth to acquire skills at home”. Indeed it is not right to use their life savings or monies borrowed from relatives and friends to go on the fruitless ventures in the North African countries. Yes it is not prudent for them to go on a wild goose chase just because they have been told of the ‘sweet life’ in Libya. It is not also proper for the youth to embark of the difficult journeys by road through the Sahara desert with some venturing through the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. 

He suggested that the youth could easily be in a position to fend for themselves at home when they acquire skills in the nation’s technical and vocational centers. It is true as he said that technical and vocational education in the country seems to be underperforming. The government and other stakeholders in education must therefore endeavor to pick it up by attaching importance to technical and vocational education in the country.

I doff my hat for MR Kumi, who after serving in Libya and later became Ghana’s High Commissioner to Nigeria had a lot to say to safeguard the interest of the youth in the country. He said finally and I agree with him that, Ghana could produce the needed human resource base for accelerated national development if enough resources were channeled into technical and vocational institutions.

Executive Director


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