As we know, Ghana has a long way to go when it comes to development. The country is facing a plethora of problems, many of which have contributed to our country’s stunted growth. And as most Ghanaians know, unemployment is a major problem we face.
According to the 2015 socio-economic and governance survey, a higher percentage of females (26.7%) than males ranked unemployment as the most important problem. In 2018, the World Bank published its report on jobs in Ghana, noting that about 48% of the youth in the country between 15-24 years do not have jobs.
There are more than 81 universities in Ghana, both private and public, and a large number of the students graduating each year do not know where they are going to earn income. Many of these young graduates apply for jobs at various companies and organizations and are painful rejected.
According to Mr. Owusu Kagya, an official of Ghana Statistical Service, those people with tertiary education have the lowest unemployment rate in the country. Out of frustration and despair, some of these young people may resort to unscrupulous means of raising money for themselves and their families. This can lead to an increase in the crime rate in the country. This statement is backed up by Glover, C., (2013) in his book, Crime and Inequality, where he argues that unemployment and material deprivation lead one to engage in crime.
To tackle this problem, I believe we can first introduce young people to entrepreneurship. While the government plays some role in the employment of people, it is very unwise for us as young people to solely rely on them for that. We need to be introduced to entrepreneurship at a very early stage, preferably starting from the senior high school.
Young people need to learn to be creative and innovative, we need to be quick-witted, and to create our own businesses. It is great if we aspire to become great doctors and lawyers, and important in the corporate world, but we also need to have a back-up plan, a second option. Otherwise, what then happens when we graduate university and our degrees do not help us get jobs?
An entrepreneurship course needs to be introduced in all universities to enlighten students on how to become business-oriented. Very few universities offer this as a compulsory course for students. Students could be taught how to turn their hobbies, likes and interests into profitable businesses. In this way, they’ll know that when they leave school and are unable to secure jobs, they can set up their own businesses and employ themselves.
Another issue is that graduates fresh out of school may not have the resources to set up their businesses and provide invest in them. Our government will need to step in at that point, offering grants to aid those start-ups. With this, I believe that the rate of unemployment can be greatly reduced in the country, if not even eradicated.