International Youth Day: Unemployment and education are Ghanaian youth’s most important problems

Unemployment

Unemployment and education are the most important problems that young Ghanaians want the government to address, the most recent Afrobarometer survey shows.

In surveys over the past decade, unemployment has consistently ranked No. 1 among the priorities of Ghana’s youth, with education consistently in second or third position.

Job creation and education are also citizens’ top priorities for additional government investment in youth development, and citizens are willing to pay more taxes to support programs to help young people. While citizens’ ranking of priorities for additional investment to help youth is consistent across key socio-demographic groups, urban and educated residents are more likely than their rural and uneducated counterparts to cite job creation and less likely to prioritize education. The priorities of young respondents differ very little from those of their elders.

In Ghana, unemployment and exclusion from democratic processes and decision-making are blamed for leaving youth vulnerable to manipulation by political parties, which engage some of them in political violence. Although successive governments have, over the years, tried to address the youth’s needs through various social intervention programs aimed at skills training and job creation, the challenges persist.