Experts urge government to solve youth unemployment through empowerment

Experts on Youth Empowerment on Friday urged the Government to formulate a National Youth Entrepreneurship Policy to enhance entrepreneurship activities among young people for accelerated national development.

They argued that such a policy was cardinal to addressing the numerous impediments that frustrated youth enterprise development efforts and that it would overcome the phenomenal growth in the youth and graduate unemployment rate.

The experts said such policy, which should be multi-sectoral, must therefore aim at the pre-start-up, start-up and post-up phases of the entrepreneurial process and designed to address motivation, opportunity and skills to encourage more young people to start their own businesses.

Mr Emmanuel Dei-Tumi, Chief Executive Officer of Future Leaders Group, addressing participants at a day’s workshop on, “Policy Options For Youth Empowerment”,  in Accra, urged the Government to institute measures for total youth empowerment and transformation in social, economic and political endeavours.

He said that recent dynamics between youth unemployment and youth population growth was beginning to show gloomy signals for the future which must be of major concern to all well meaning and loving citizens.

“A country without entrepreneurs, particularly young entrepreneurs, is treading on dangerous grounds and new things must be created to satisfy the booming markets, the rising population and the changing times,” he added.

The workshop organised by Institute of Continuing and Distance Education of University of Ghana,  is a follow-up to the recommendations made at the 62nd Annual New Year School and Conference held earlier this year, to push for strong national policies to empower the youth.

Mr Dei-Tumi pinpointed the inherent weaknesses in the country’s educational institutions as a disincentive to youth enterprise development, arguing that the current educational system, although to some extent taught entrepreneurship, did not promote youth entrepreneurship development.

He asked that the educational curriculum be reviewed to include comprehensive entrepreneurial education in all disciplines and the establishment of a Youth Research Centre and an Entrepreneurship Fund to provide start-up capital which had been the major headache of most young entrepreneurs.

The high lending rates in Ghana often aggravated the already appalling situation of unavailability of credit facilities for potential entrepreneurs who were passionately seeking to start their own businesses, therefore grooming young entrepreneurs would be a demonstration of major commitment towards poverty alleviation in the country.

He said lessons must be learnt from the political cacophonies that transpired in countries like Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, as well as the looting spree in London in recent past as a result of youth unemployment situations.

Professor Kenneth Agyemang-Attafuah, a Criminologist and Director of William Ofori-Atta Institute of Leadership and Governance, Central University Campus, cited the rising phenomena of youth unemployment, brain drain and juvenile crime and youth agitations in Ghana in recent times as manifestations of a distasteful youth development profile.

He said the Youths had always offered their societies and governments two options which were either the creation or destruction of the economies.

“However, with the right investments they could be the driving force towards development in the world,” Prof. Agyemang-Attafuah added.

He indicated that armed robbery, drug abuse, cyber crime, prostitution, violence and arrogance were the pictures that were imprinted in the minds of adults when the word “Youth” is mentioned in Ghana, a notion which was unacceptable and must be changed to bring about positive national development through them.

Assessing efficacy of the three basic youth development programmes in Ghana, which include National Service Scheme, National Youth Authority and the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), he said they must be made more attractive and appealing to the youth.

He noted that NYEP lacked the legislative backing to run effectively and suggested the establishment of a solid legal framework which would ensure services of qualified and committed professionals as managers of the various programmes and further insulate them from political manipulations to ensure consistency in running various youth programmes.

Prof. Agyemang-Attaffuah called for the building of synergies between various programmes to ensure that challenges became opportunities to make them effective.

Mr Abuga Pele, National Coordinator of NYEP, however, was indifferent about the formulation of new youth empowerment policies, but called for holistic support to ensure effective implementation of existing programmes.

Prof. Yaw Oheneba- Sakyi, Director of ICDE, thanked the various speakers for their contribution towards youth development in the country and expressed the hope that  the Government would take urgent action towards the implementation of a Youth Employment Policy to address the numerous youth challenges in the country.

Source: GNA

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.