Is Africa, most especially my motherland Ghana, either well-prepared or adequately preparing to embrace the future of work and global trends ravaging us? Can I be bold to say with every bit of optimism that we do have what it takes to withstand every technological disruption gradually evading us, which accompanies the insurgence of the fourth industrial revolution?
Over the course of 2020, the global workforce lost an equivalent of 255 million full-time jobs, an estimated $3.7 trillion in wages, and 4.4% of global GDP, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.
According to Allen Blue, co-founder and vice president of LinkedIn, jobs of tomorrow will be technologically enabled and extremely human-centred. He also reiterated during the 2021 Job reset summit [A Global Jobs Recovery Plan] that we are to expect about 150 million technology-enabled jobs by 2026.
A recent world economic forum report came out saying that artificial intelligence could replace 85million jobs globally by 2025. However, it will also create 97million jobs in the future.
Our current world is invariably undergoing mammoth changes, and any time I sit back to take a sober reflection on it, I do ask myself if the average African and Ghanaian young person is well-informed of exactly what is coming at him.
People do say that Africa is a future frontier. They do say this because Africa is the youngest continent in our world with close to 70% of its 1 billion past population being youth below 25 years, where our population is anticipated to escalate to 2.4 billion by 2050. Interestingly, my motherland Ghana has more than 50% of her population below age 25, a report that came out from the just-ended population census.
Indisputably, we the young ones are the future. We are the hope of the future, yet I do not think that we do have solid systems and structures in place to train these human resources and develop them into human capital as effective tools for the transformation of our African Continent, most especially my motherland Ghana. I am not a prophet of doom, but if you want me to be honest, our future as a country is bleak, full of thick blackness and darkness all over.
The Life Strategist, Ansere Francis of Generation of Thinkers Educational Outreach once said that if you deny men their rightful food, they gobble poison. What I am seeing is that if drastic measures are not taken to create a future where the average young person can desirably live in, we would have our young people turning into something that can never be controlled.
Not far from now, I am seeing the young people gobbling poison since they have by far too long been denied their rightful foods. The average young person of age in Ghana is looking for every way and means possible to survive in these dried-up times. No wonder our young boys have massively resorted to all sorts of unhealthy quick ways to make money at all costs.
How will a nation whose young men, purported to be the pillars upon which the nation is built, have become vagabonds, hooligans, fraudsters, and school dropouts, whose hearts and minds have been captivated by greed and an undying quest to survive at all cost by any means possible, whether good or bad?
What about our young ladies, who are to be the mothers that would spearhead a godly course now having been lied to that their body is all that they have, and that to survive in this “jungle”, they must give what they have in exchange for what they want?
God has blessed us with great minds who can become the solutions to the deepest problems that confront us. I believe with no doubt whatsoever that as a country, we have all that it takes to solve most of our problems ourselves with very little help from foreign lands.
Yet, the sad news you do not want to hear is that these brilliant folks we have over here are either being wasted, and the few who can afford to travel are undoubtedly being brain-drained in foreign lands.
What makes us think that these brilliant folks who eventually find their way to some of the topmost universities and colleges abroad would one day want to come back and give back home? – NEVER!!!
These young folks are desperate to make use of their God-given talents, gifts, and skills to make a better living to at least break the backbone of poverty that has crept its ugly head into their families.
Once again I say it again, that I’m not a prophet of doom, but I am seeing a more dangerous form of slavery coming at us. This time around, our people who have been brain-drained out there are being used to enslave us, and intellectually looting us of all our mineral, natural, and even human resources and leave us redundant, not caring what will become of us.
I do not want to live in a country whose leaders are only ceremonial, but their minds are being controlled and steered by an external force and influence!
I do not want to live in a country that is blessed with every raw material, but cannot process these materials into finished goods to take care of themselves!
I do not want to live in a country whose locally made products are not patronized by the indigenous people because such products can’t be trusted to be of good quality!
I do not want to live in a country that borrows to eat rather than to invest, forgetting that she would have to pay it back with enormous interest a few years later!
Once again, I am afraid to live in a country whose pride is in the fact that their big projects were constructed by foreign companies, and the local people, hired as labourers!
What is more, I do not think that you and I can happily live in a country where bribery and corruption are the close relatives of all and sundry!
My heart bleeds!
My heart bleeds for my motherland!
How is it possible to live in a country where maintenance culture is alien even to the most loyal, patriotic citizens?
Once again I ask, who would want to live in a country where only 10% of graduates who complete tertiary education every year get Jobs in their first year, whereas the 90% left to spoil?
It seems to me that everything is broken and dislocated!
But then, as I sat down in one of my armchairs in my lounge rooms, and kept gazing intently at the fluorescent tube bulb which dangled on the ceiling, and allowed my mind to wander into times ahead, I think I saw hope.
I do think that I saw a Ghana that had been completely transformed into what we all loved to live in. A Ghana that could as a matter-of-fact loan to many nations, and a Ghana where love, truth, and Justice were the close relatives of all and sundry!
But as I was anxious to know the precept that triggered that change, I saw clearly that it all began with a complete overhaul of our EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM!!!
A complete drastic change in our educational system is the only way to begin the transformation of our beloved country.
According to John Locke, education feeds the empty mind, which is the “tabula rasa”. Thus, if we are not happy with the output we are seeing, then we should go back to the input and begin the change right from there.
What exactly can we do to transform our educational system?
Watch out for Episode 2 as I provide what I think is the right way to go about the transformation of our educational system to consequently bring about a total transformation of what seems to be impossible to change!
“I am eternally doomed to be highly optimistic about the transformation of our educational system”- The Coach Finney
For the love of God and Country!!!
Finney Gyan Danso Baffo is the C.V.O of Edukos Consults Africa, Author of the award-winning book, “Wassce Success Blueprint”
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