Advocates say young people make up a growing percentage of the population of every nation and increasing their participation across society is a key.
According to the 2000 Ghana Housing and Population Census, the population of Ghana was 18.9 million with an annual growth rate of 2.7 percent. The youth in Ghana constitute about 33% as a heterogeneous segment of Ghana’s population (National Youth Policy of Ghana, 2010). In this regard, the youth should have a role to play in the decision making process since democratic governance is about numbers. But the realities on the ground have showed that youths are marginal actors in the leadership of the African continent.

The Director of the Institute of Continuing and Distance Education (ICDE) at UG, Professor Yaw Oheneba-Sakyi has stated that: “While Africa has the largest cohort of young people, little effort has gone to harness this asset”. He added: “The slow economic growth and the absence of job opportunities have led to high levels of unemployment among school leavers including university graduates” Again, the Vice-Chancellor of University of Ghana, Professor Ernest Aryeetey has said that: “50% of students who leave universities will not gain employment for about two years after national service and about 20% of that will not find jobs for about three years”.

 

He reiterated: “For twenty years, we have always said that unemployment deserves greater attention in policy and that government policies are also not likely to lead to any major job creation simply because those policies are designed for a free market economy, but here the market is not really free” Columnist Kusi Duncan was heard last year on Ghanaweb blaming the government for causing graduate unemployment in Ghana. However, the out gone Minister of Youth and Sports, Akua Sena Dansuah  thinks that the institutions that have been mandated to train these graduates for the job market have also played a huge role in denying the graduates they train the opportunity to be employed. She added that:  “Many graduates leave school without the requisite skills for the job market, leading to high levels of youth unemployment”. Not long ago Ghana Trades Union Congress called on the Mills led government’s attention to its failure to create more jobs to meet the number of graduates in the country. The Hon Minister for Employment in a response to this call was caught exhibiting the usual attitude of the African politician “the blame game”. He blamed private universities for the high graduate unemployment in the country. NASPA is repeating NUGS: “we are tired of this sordid situation of Government Official-blame-game in our continent”.

 
With support from the World bank, the then President Kuffour in October 2006 launched the National Youth Employment Programme to address the country’s youth unemployment with the aim of empowering Ghanaian youth so they could add positively to the socio-economic and sustainable development of the nation. But sadly this national agenda was operated strictly on political party affiliations. Those were the days we heard on radio stations graduates who claimed to be NDC members denied employment into the NYEP due to their political affiliations. With the assumption of His Excellency, Professor John Evans Atta Mills into office as the president of Ghana, we have witnessed a playback of what was occurring during the erstwhile administration led by the then President John Agyekum Kuffour. We heard on radios and TV stations graduates who have been fired not because they were not performing at their various work places but their crimes were that their parties were no longer in power. The effect of this practice is that, anytime we get new government in power, the graduates’ unemployment will continue to persist since the employed graduates will be sacked because they were employed on partisan basis and eventually become unemployed. NASPA is saying today that we are tired of stakeholders asking for political party cards before they give us employment.

 

The immediate avenue for graduates after National Service was voluntary service, which created opportunity for graduates to prove their competencies to their user agencies. However, the National Service Scheme (NSS) is gradually killing voluntary service by denying graduates the chance and also restricting the voluntary service to classrooms. In 2008/2009, 15,500 NVP were deployed for voluntary service, in 2009/2010 this figure was increased to 21,425. But surprisingly, in 2010/2011 the number of voluntary service came down drastically to 10,000 and currently only 5,000 out of 50,069 graduates who did service last year are restricted to classrooms as voluntary service. Only God knows how many of us doing national service this year will get second chance next year to do voluntary service.
We therefore call on all African leaders to start thinking outside the box as they plan to “Boosting Intra-African Trade”.

 
Long Live Mother Africa! Long Live Mother Africa!! Long Live NASPA!!!
Signed:
OBED OFORI BANGDOME
BRONG AHAFO NASPA PRESIDENT.
0205991820/[email protected]gmail.com

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.