Ghana’s unemployment burden started rising under Mahama’s govt - Dr. Duffuor fires

A former Minister of Finance, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor has disclosed that Ghana’s current unemployment situation started its worsening state during the administration of John Dramani Mahama.

Dr Kwabena Duffuor

He said the late Professor John Evans Atta-Mills’ administration managed to keep it stable before John Mahama officially took over in 2012.

Speaking at a public lecture in Accra, Dr. Duffuor lauded the initiatives he took as Finance Minister to tackle unemployment.

“High and rising inflation increases the cost of living at a fast pace, thereby eroding people’s real incomes and savings. By fueling wage pressures and raising the cost of other production inputs, it also increases the cost of doing business.”

“Furthermore, rising inflation forces up interest and lending rates, since savers—whose surplus funds are lent to borrowers—naturally demand a higher reward for deferring consumption to the future. Higher lending rates then lead to the cancellation of otherwise viable investments, with negative effects on economic growth and employment generation.”

“Historically, Ghana has experienced these effects of inflation in their most destructive forms, as the country’s post-independence economic history is marked by many episodes of runaway inflation, including prolonged periods of hyperinflation in the 1970s and 80s.”

“Because Ghana relies heavily on imports to meet its consumption needs, a rapidly depreciating exchange rate is a major source of inflation. In addition, given the country’s rapid build-up of foreign debt, which accounts for about half of total public debt, a sharply weakening exchange rate significantly increases the size of the foreign debt and the cost of servicing it in domestic currency terms.”

“In fact, research conducted by the Institute for Fiscal Studies has shown that exchange rate depreciation is a significant driver of Ghana’s public debt dynamics, as it accounted for almost 30% of the growth of public debt between 2006 and 2019.”

Dr. Duffuor also said Ghana’s labor market shows an urgent need for decent high-quality jobs for the growing population in the country.

He, therefore, called for the training and an educational system that should be geared towards making the trainees innovative, critical thinkers and technologically adaptable.

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