Deputy Finance Minister, John Kumah

The Deputy Minister for Finance has said government’s efforts have resulted in a decline in the country’s unemployment rate.

Mr. John Kumah, interacting with host of PM Express Business Edition, George Wiafe on Thursday, stated that reports from the World Bank and other reputable international bodies peg Ghana’s unemployment rate at 7.2 per cent.

“It is not zero but we got the results. From 15.5 per cent to about 7.2 per cent. Check World Bank or data from wherever you want to check. From 2017 till today, there has been a consistent decline in the unemployment situation in Ghana,” he said.

Despite the success, the Deputy Finance Minister admitted that youth employment still remains a challenge government is working hard to address.

“We still have a high level of youth unemployment in the country,” he said on JoyNews.

Although the canker still persists, Mr Kumah explained that government through several interventions has worked to change the narrative.

“In 2017, it (youth unemployment) used to be 48 per cent. According to the World Bank a lot of young people were looking for jobs. Today, the latest result in 2020 from the World Bank was 12.8 per cent.

“We did NABCO, we took about 100,000 people off the street, we did Planting for Food and Jobs, millions of jobs were created in the private sector. We did National Entrepreneurship and Innovation programme, created about 100, 000 jobs. You had a problem of 48 per cent, so today, if you are talking about 12 per cent youth unemployment in the country, what does it tell you? It tells you that you have reduced the problem but you have not eradicated it.”

Mr Kumah further reiterated government’s commitment to empowering the youth in the private sector, stating that “We will continue to open up the economy and create more economic opportunities for young people. But it is true that unemployment is going down.”

Meanwhile, government says it is ready with a comprehensive programme to create a million job opportunities for the youth in the next two and a half years.

Although many have questioned government’s ability to fulfil this pledge, Mr John Kumah insists that “President Akufo-Addo’s government has the clarity of what it wants to do when it comes to job creation.”

“All the interventions he (President Akufo-Addo) has done show that we are making an impact and doing more,” Mr Kumah added.



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