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Ghana's youth unemployment rate currently stands at 1,140,009

Unemployment has been identified as the foremost problem confronting the majority of Ghanaians today.

Unemployed youth

The youth unemployment rate of Ghana was 19.7%, estimated to be 1,140,009, Andrew Ameckson, a Chief Accountant at the Ministry of Finance has said.

Speaking at an extensive public engagement on the YouStart Programme, he indicated that the YouStart programme was anticipated to create 1 million jobs, out of which 800,000 were expected to be direct jobs to the Ghanaian youth.

He further added that, the YouStart was a national programme and that eligible applicants would be given the opportunity and support to contribute their quota to the development of the country.

He gave some facts and figures on the youth population in the country and stated that the overall youth population in Ghana from 15 to 35 age range was 11.7 million and the youth unemployment rate was 19.7%, estimated to be 1,140,009. The unemployed females were 22.3% estimated to be 605,451 and unemployed males were 17.4% estimated to be 534,558.

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The number of workers who lost their jobs and were seeking work was estimated to be 187,763, the presentation revealed.

He showed that 50% of the Ghanaian Youth estimated to be 5,872,229 were classified as underemployed, he explained, as working below one’s capacity and that was why the YouStart was extremely essential to ensure that there was enough capacity building to get the best of the teeming youth.

On the part of Kofi Ofosu Nkansah, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP), stated that over 100,000 youth look for jobs each year, a condition he described as terrible.

He noted that most of the big industries and Multi-National Agencies today all started as start-up businesses and underwent a transformation over time adding that, there was no better alternative for the youth of the country than to start small start-ups under the YouStart programme.

Ofosu Nkansah said the plan of the government under the programme, was to support all commercially viable innovations from the youth and that, Government had established the right structures and systems under the Ghana CARES programme headed by the Minister for Finance.

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According to him, over $2 billion was spent on food imports and that was one of the reasons the government was keen to harness the youth's potential in areas that could provide an alternative solution to the food imports and build the local economy.

He disclosed that the YouStart Secretariat had received unique ideas and proposals from youth and stakeholder interactions across the regions and emphasized that this information was required for the effective operation of the programme.

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