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17.04.2007 General News

Youth begged to stay home

By Nii Kwaku Osabutey ANNY

A Research Fellow with the Centre for Policy Analysis, Dr. William Ahiadzi is contending that there are enormous opportunities available in the country for the youth to take advantage off.

He is therefore urging the country's youth especially graduates from the tertiary institutions and other professionals to stay home, take advantage of these opportunities, make available their expertise and make the right impact to help build the country.

Dr. Ahiadzi's contention and advice comes weeks after President Kufuor's advice to the youth to stay back and help develop the country, an advice rejected by some youth and gradates. They have argued that there are few opportunities available and the potentials abroad far outweigh those here.

Though there are no immediately available statistics on the number of graduates who leave the country every year, it is agreed that a large number of them including professionals pack out soon after school. This according to some experts is denying the country the full complement of its badly needed human resource, but the truth is also that there are millions without jobs and have spent months and years searching.

For many of the sojourners, the harrowing effects of remaining unemployed, the low wages paid, limited business opportunities and lack of flexible opportunities to upgrade academically leaves them with no other option than to leave.

Dr. Ahiadzi who was one of the speakers at this year's Mentorship Conference organized by Cape Coast based Abusua Foundation, told the dailyEXPRESS that the Growth & Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) II has a lot of openings that the youth can take advantage of.

“For example in private sector competitiveness, you would find a number of programs that are actually supporting entrepreneurship. There are small micro credit schemes within that. There are policies that would support agro processing which in itself is an opportunity for the youth, policies that have to do with long term credit and new areas that the youths can explore and take advantage of,” he disclosed.

Dr. Ahiadzi said opportunities abound in the field of Information Technology and encouraged the youth to consider exploiting it in order to make the necessary socio-economic impact as self employed persons. He noted that government has formulated series of policies geared towards creating the enabling environment for a major revolution in the IT field.

While admitting that employment opportunities in the country are limited, Dr. Ahiadzi still believes that active participation in the decision making process by the youth could be a major attempt at addressing the problems that confront them.

“They are able to fashion out a future for themselves through the series of dialogue they engaged themselves in. The future for them is not all that bleak, but hard work and personal sacrifice could certainly bring about the needed change,” he added.

Others speakers at the forum were Barbara Ghartey of Guaranty Trust Bank and Francis Freeman of the Ministry of Food & Agriculture, Twifo Praso in the Central Region.