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Blame economy for youth joblessness – Ofori-Atta

April 5, 2018, 3:16 p.m.

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has attributed Africa’s debilitating youth unemployment challenges including Ghana’s to the failure of the continent’s economy to drive job creation.

Speaking Thursday at the 5th African Policy Think Tank Summit in Accra, he said there are varied reasons for youth unemployment on the continent but “above all…the problem stems from our economies’ failure to create employment opportunities at a rate to commensurate with the growth in our youth population and in particular with the growth in secondary and tertiary school graduates.”

More than 1.2 million persons from 15 years and older are estimated to be unemployed, representing the total unemployment rate of 11.9%, according to a 2015 Ghana Labour Force Survey Report.

Of this number, about 714,916 are females, representing 57.2 per cent and 535,997 for males representing 42.8%, the survey commissioned by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) stated.

President Akufo-Addo dithered in January this year to give an accurate data of how many jobs his government created since coming to power. The figures, he said should be expected this month [April] as government was in the process of putting together the statistics on the exact number of jobs that have been created by his NPP government.

“We are barely one year in office and so we are in the process of putting the data together. I cannot provide those statistics readily, but I think in the next three months or so we should be able to provide those statistics,” the President told journalists at the Jubilee House during his media encounter.

Addressing the Think Tank Summit organized by the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) in collaboration with IDEG, Mr.Ofori-Atta said cognizance of youth unemployment as a developmental challenge in Ghana, the government has introduced various measure to enhance the employability of the youth.

Job creation, he said is the prism through which the government alternatively views all its policies and programmes as succinctly captured by the theme of the 2018 budget—putting Ghana back to work.

He said consistently of the job creation focus the government has taken measures to “strongly revise growth from 3.7percent Ghana is projected to be the world’s fastest growing economy.”

But, he pointed out “you can’t have growth with very little impact on job creation and that becomes the problem we have to deal with.”