The Founder of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), Dr Kwabena Duffuor has called on government to prioritise the creation of sustainable jobs for the youth in the country.

Delivering a speech on the theme, “Ghanaian Dream: Transforming the Economy through the Creation of Jobs and Opportunities for All,” the former Finance Minister in the late Prof Atta-Mills administration, indicated that the rate of unemployment continues to be a threat to the nation’s security.

As such, people in authority must have a special interest in creating more jobs since employment is a key method to extricate the youth from poverty.

“We mustn’t forget that, behind all these numbers and policies, are real people with real hardship and it is our responsibility as a nation to address. A job is much more than an income, it is a key to dignity, self-reliance, and empowerment.

“A job will allow a person to dream, to plan, to challenge oneself, and to build and support a family who in turn will go on that journey. That is the Ghanaian dream and it should be available to all regardless of his or her background,” he said on Monday.

'A job is much more than an income, it is a key to dignity, self-reliance and empowerment' – Duffuor

Enumerating seven strategies that can be implemented by the government to create more jobs, the former governor of Bank of Ghana mentioned that government must invest in Technical and Vocational Education (TVET).

He stated that a country cannot tackle joblessness without priortising education, thus, Ghana must place vocational and technical training at the center of its education.

Citing countries like the USA, China, and Germany, Dr Duffuor said these nations have developed strong manpower through TVET that is continuously facilitating the growth of their economies.

He also noted that the high cost of lending by the banks makes it difficult for job creation, since entrepreneurs find it difficult to secure loans with lower interest rates.

Ghana being an agricultural economy, Dr. Duffuor stated that the sector is an equally important sector to create jobs and livelihoods, particularly in rural areas of the country.

“Given the importance of the agricultural sector for job creation in the Ghanaian economy, we need comprehensive policy reforms to improve the sector’s contribution to the economy and job creation,” he stated.

He mentioned cassava and its enormous benefits as an example to support his belief that agriculture could create thousands of jobs if the sector is exploited.

With the world combating climate change, the IFS Founder highlighted the Green Economy as a medium to create jobs.

He indicated that afforestation, renewable energy, and recycling are pivotal in the country’s quest to bridge the unemployment deficit.

Dr. Duffuor emphasised that these environmentally-friendly practices will not only generate employment, but go a long way to protect the environment.

“We have come a long way since our independence but not far enough given our ample resources and that is what has to change. The opportunity to rise and achieve should not differ just because you grew up in the North, Ashanti, Volta or South.

“Your right to water, sanitation, schooling, or proper roads should never be a matter of geography or class. What all these things are dependent on is economic growth, stability, and the ability to create sustainable and employment for all sections of the population, especially our many youths who are now finding themselves without any ability to plan their future and journey into adulthood,” he concluded.

The lecture brought together many academics and individuals from across the country who described the speech as informative and inspiring.

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