It is with a sense of call to duty that we, the members of the Association of Graduates in Skills Development-Ghana (AGSD-GH), formerly known as the Unemployed Graduates Association of Ghana (UGAG) wish to unequivocally express our frustration and disappointment in the current NPP government led by the President, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for their slow-paced approach to solving the alarming upsurge in the unemployment situation in the country.
The truth is, we are gradually losing faith in the unemployment intervention programs being championed by this administration, as they seem not to provide any clear panacea to the remediation of the unemployment situation in the country. The point is, government’s strategy to dealing with the problem is not working effectively. We see a government that is eager to find solutions to the unemployment situation in the country but lacks direction and concrete roadmap. In 2018, Mr. Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations stated that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration has created 1,096,404 jobs whiles a survey conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and released in 2017 unveiled an unemployment rate a little higher than 1.2 million persons representing 11.9%. This revelation by the sector Minister misleadingly showed that the government reduced unemployment by 90% in 2017/2018. But this is clearly not the true representation of situation, because things continue to get tougher. The continuous increase in the unemployment numbers is so alarming that, if we do not dare to tackle it with all the seriousness it deserves, it could become a threat to our national security.
Our labour markets suffer high rates of poorly paid and unprotected jobs. The introduction of the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO), Planting for Food and Jobs, 1 District 1 Factory, National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plans (NEIP), Youth in Afforestation, and other interventions have not been able to help resolve the situation because it is implemented without property strategies and exit plans. More of the youth in the country continue to seek unavailable jobs.
AGSD-GH, therefore, calls on the president to desist from short term job interventions with few months to elections, ostensibly to win votes. Government must step up their efforts to creating an enabling environment and creating sustainable jobs to address long-term unemployment.
Finally, we wish to bring to the attention of the president that the youth rallied solidly behind him because we believed in his promises on jobs creation during the 2016 campaign and so, he can’t afford to disappoint us. We also wish to remind him that same as the youth rallied behind him during the 2016 elections, we can rise against him if we feel cheated and unsatisfied.