Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, Chairman of the National Peace Council (NPC), has said the rate of unemployment in the country is “alarming” and a “threat to national security” which requires immediate and lasting solutions.
He appealed to Government to formulate a well-defined national policy on job creation to tackle the increasing rate of unemployment among the youth of the country.
Prof Asante made the call on Wednesday at the opening of a two-day National Security Forum held to deliberate on peace and security issues confronting the nation.
The forum was organised by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in collaboration with Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA) under the auspices of the National Peace Council.
It is the sixth in the series of the annual academic conference by UCC being held under the theme “Ghana’s Peace and Security 60 years on: Successes, challenges and prospects”, to provide the platform for experts, stakeholders and the general public to interrogate, share views and also make recommendations on how to improve security in the country.
Prof Asante said there is the need for a national effort to harness the nation’s peace and stability credentials to attract the needed investments to create jobs.
He called on unemployed youth, especially the graduates, to be innovative and put their skills to use by exploring the advantages the nation’s decades of peaceful atmosphere presented.
“The peace and security of the country is paramount and crucial for the socio-economic well-being of its citizens. Violence and armed conflicts have dire consequences on national development, breeds poverty and violates human rights.” he said
He said the lack of peace, stability and tranquility in many war-ravaged countries has been a drain on their limited financial resources and impeded their development.
Prof Asante urged international development oriented organisations to inculcate security consciousness into their social intervention policies and programmes to help maintain law and order at all times.
He condemned the surge in political ‘gangsterism’ and the myriad of perennial conflicts such as land tenure issues and ethnic considerations.
Dr Kwesi Anning, Head of the Department of Research at the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Centre (KAIPC), lauded stakeholders in conflict resolution and peace building for the strides achieved over the past years in building human capacities to maintain national peace and cohesion.
He said the quest to maintain national peace is a shared responsibility by all Ghanaians and urged Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) not to relent in their efforts but continually engage stakeholders on the need for peace.
Professor Francis Eric Amuquandoh, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, UCC, said Ghana is an oasis of peace in the sub-region and appealed to the public to desist from acts that can dent the international reputation of the country.
He said there is the need for the society to have a re-look at the recent incidence of mob justice, armed robbery and political vigilantism to help bring sanity to the society.