President Akufo-Addo wants African leaders to address the growing youth unemployment situation in Africa as it threatens the stability of the continent.
According to him, urgent attention is required to tackle the situation which has become a security threat on the continent.
Speaking at the opening of the 9th AU High-Level Retreat on the promotion of Peace, Security and Stability in Accra, President Akufo Addo said much more effort is required to bridge the yawning unemployment gap.
“We must create opportunities and jobs for our youth or risk to become instruments of instability or targets of recruitment by terrorists. We have to provide them with access to education, transform the structures of our economies from raw material from producing to export economies to value-added and industrialized economies which will provide opportunities, jobs and hope for our young people to live dignified and productive lives.”
Unemployment, a bubbling volcano
Nana Addo also mentioned that the continent will be able to develop massively if steps are taken to provide decent jobs for its youthful population.
“We are required to pay urgent attention to the bubbling volcano; that is the army of the young unemployed. The World Bank tells us that in 40 African countries, over 50 percent of the population is under the age of 20. Indeed, the minimum age on the continent is stated to be 19 years and five months. That is a lot of young energy that can be mobilized for the development of the continent.”
48% Ghanaian youth jobless – World Bank
In 2016, the World Bank in a report on jobs in Ghana revealed that about 48 percent of the youth in the country, who are between 15-24 years do not have jobs.
The report dubbed the “Landscape of Jobs in Ghana,” explored the opportunities for youth inclusion in Ghana’s labour market.
“In Ghana, youth are less likely than adults to be working: in 2012, about 52% of people aged 15-24 were employed (compared to about 90% for the 25-64 population), a third were in school, 14% were inactive and 4% were unemployed actively looking for job.
It recommended that the government must work towards equipping the youth with relevant skills through the educational system.