Ghana has a lot to benefit from its current state of unemployment, former President of the Association of Ghana Industries, Dr Tony Oteng-Gyasi, has stated.
He stressed that the thousands being unemployed, due to the nation’s rapid population growth, should not be seen as a disadvantage or a setback provided certain priorities are put in place.
In his opinion, industrialization is one of the key ways to cater for the country’s growing population.
Citing China and India as an example, Dr Oteng-Gyasi noted that their over one billion population does not necessarily affect the progress of these countries.
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“There is no way a huge national population can be an albatross in a challenge if you know what to do with it. China has 1.2, 1.3 billion people, India has 1.1 billion people. Is it a challenge for them? And we have 30 million people and we think it is a challenge and we don’t know what to do.”
He further averred that, rather than seeing the country’s population as a detriment, “the very people you see as challenge also constitutes the market to whom you will sell goods. That is where things like manufacturing comes in.”
Also endorsing the “buy Made in Ghana campaign”, he again established that Ghanaians should reduce importations but instead indulge in locally manufactured products.
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“You cannot have people in your country and yet you make everything you use and sell in your country from outside your shores for whatever reason. You should to make as much in your country as possible. And you cannot make that much in your country especially a country of our size and our stage of development if your primary consideration as a nation is that if we make it locally would it be more expensive than if we import it. It will not work because at the stage of our development, there is nothing you cannot start to make in Ghana today which somebody somewhere will not be prepared to sell to you cheaper than how you can make it yourself.” He reiterated.
Youth employment as a menace
According to a Labour Force Survey Report, more than 1.2 million persons from 15 years and older are estimated to be unemployed, representing the total unemployment rate of 11.9% in the country.
Per the report, Ghana’s unemployment situation poses danger to its GDP growth with factors like increasing growth in the country’s population, been labelled as a cause.