A former Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of Accra, Nat Nunoo-Amarteifio, has urged the government to pay critical attention to solving unemployment in the country, particularly in the Greater Accra Region.
The architectural historian, who served as MCE from 1994 to 1998, said adopting an approach to urgent tackling of the menace, which has led to many youth being on the streets of Accra with its attendant social challenges urgently, would avert any unforeseen calamity.
In an interview with the Ghanaian Times, he noted that, “The problem of Accra, contrary to what many think is sanitation, is the young people crowding into our streets with no prospects of a job, and they are the danger to the stability of the city.”
According to Mr Nunoo-Amarteifio, the unemployment syndrome in the capital had resulted in more robbery incidents, social dislocation, increased urban population, drug and substance abuse, and teenage pregnancy.
He said, however, that solving the unemployment canker was not the duty of only the government and so urged the private sector to involve themselves in creating jobs for the youth in the capital and the country as a whole.
“If there is anything to be done, the government and the private sector have to develop policies that will give employment to these young people and take them away from the problems of drugs, guns and the rest of it,” he said.
Mr Nunoo-Amarteifio mentioned that the unemployment pattern also affected national development “because you cannot plan when the situation is out of your control”.
Speaking on electoral violence, he stated that there was the need for intensified public education on the need to safeguard the peace being enjoyed in the country, before, during, and after the December 7 polls.
“The only solution in curtailing this situation is education, because you cannot arrest the whole world, so, you have to put a lot of effort in educating the citizenry on peaceful elections,” he said.
While, admitting that there is always political interference in dealing with issues which characterised elections in the country, the former MCE of Accra said the government should tactfully tackle such issues when they arose.
In a related development, the 7th Round of the Ghana Living Standard Survey (GLSS7, 2019) has reported that the Greater Accra Region recorded the highest unemployment rate of 11.8 percent.
Meanwhile, the 2019 GLSS7 has also noted that youth unemployment rate has declined from 16.9 per cent as reported in the GLSS6, 2015 to 12.6 per cent, with a general reduction in the unemployment rate from 11.9 per cent to 8.4 per cent.