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Opinions of Thursday, 7 November 2013

Columnist: Bress-Biney, Desmond

The president has failed the youth

The Unemployed Graduates Association of Ghana (UGAG) is highly disappointed in His Excellency John Dramani Mahama for his failure to fulfil promises he made to the youth of this country. As such the president, in our opinion, cannot be considered as an action-oriented person.

The president at the 68th session of the United Nations (UN) in September this year stated that his government intends to bring youth unemployment to an end. He further stated that “what Ghana has done to address the issue of youth unemployment is create the Youth Jobs and Enterprise Development Fund, a program that will provide young people with entrepreneurial skills and access to the funds needed to establish businesses or expand existing ones, thereby creating new employment opportunities.”

It is almost a year since the president promised to set up the Youth Jobs and Enterprise Development Fund, but nothing has been done so far. Further checks and feedback from graduates have revealed that there is actually no evidence of any such jobs or funds to enable them set up their own enterprises. As it stands now, graduates in this country have been abandoned to a sad fate amidst recommendations that they should focus on entrepreneurship. The truth however is that, the government has failed to create an enabling environment for entrepreneurship.

It is quite obvious that the president‘s commitment to the Ghanaian youth and his readiness to accelerate the development of the youth cannot be trusted. Experts in Governance including Professor Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, Director of Legon Centre for International Affairs have warned that the growing unemployment rate among the Ghanaian youth is likely to become a serious national security threat which can become a major catalyst for civil unrest in the country. The president must therefore sit up in his quest to solve the problem. Steps must be taken to make agriculture, technology and infrastructure a key priority. Agriculture, technology and infrastructure are the future of this country and all must begin to have a positive look at them.

Corruption accounts for loss of resources enough to create 300,000 jobs in Ghana. Corruption determines who gets a job leaving the rest who can’t afford to find their means of survival. Fighting corruption does not end at forming committees but ensuring that people who engage in such acts are brought to book and dealt with.