The World Bank has urged Ghana to accelerate its economic transformation by creating more decent jobs for its growing young population to meet the challenge of rapid unemployment in the country.
The Bank noted that although the country has over the past two decades become a rising star in Africa, nearly doubling its gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and halving poverty rates, the challenges of unemployment remain a drag. major to economic growth.
By 2040, the country’s population (currently 30.8 million) is expected to reach 45 million, including 58 percent of the population under 30.
This implies that around 10 million Ghanaians would enter the labor market by 2040.
The seventh round of the Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS7) also noted that the country’s unemployment rate for the population aged 15-35 has reached 12.6 percent.
In addition, over 70 percent of current jobs are in the informal sector of the economy while over 65 percent of formal jobs are classified as “vulnerable jobs”. [an employment, often characterised by inadequate earnings, low productivity and difficult conditions of work]. ”
Due to this situation, the Bank, through its report âGhana Rising: Accelerating Economic Transformation and Job Creationâ, proposed a path for Ghana to accelerate economic growth through digital technologies and high-quality services. added value to stimulate the creation of more and better jobs. .
He said the country needed to rapidly increase its foreign direct investment (FDI – which stood at US $ 874.01 million in the first half of 2021), its service exports and its access to physical and digital infrastructure.
The report also recommended that âGhana build on its potential in agribusiness and light manufacturing, as well as its export-oriented high productivity service sectors, including IT services. ”
He urged the country to focus on driving sectoral, spatial and technological transformations by creating an environment conducive to growth by ensuring that the macroeconomic framework and the financial sector support growth.
The report also recommended investing in measures that would reduce exposure to climate risks in agriculture, improve infrastructure resilience and resilience to natural disasters, prepare social safety nets and plan pathways towards decarbonization.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of the launch of the report, David Elmaleh, senior economist at the World Bank in Ghana, said there was a need to improve access and cost of finance for women. companies.
Mr Elmaleh, one of the principal researchers of the Ghana Rising project, added that the government should strive to reduce the budget deficit without harming economic recovery and increase revenue mobilization, including through the environmental taxation.
Mr. Pierre Laporte, Country Director of the World Bank, added that it was important for the government to provide the right conditions for the private sector to access finance.
He also said there was a need for macroeconomic stability, as this would not only help lower interest rates, but also give economic players and investors the confidence they need to thrive.
Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, said the government is committed to tackling high youth unemployment by enabling the private sector to become a key driver of job creation.
Interventions include the implementation of the GHC 100 billion Ghana CARES Mitigation and Revitalization of Business Support (Ghana CARES) program in Ghana and the GHC 10 billion YouStart entrepreneurship campaign.
He said the establishment of the Development Bank of Ghana (DBG) would also provide a strong and well capitalized institution to ensure private sector access to medium and long term credit to grow and employ more people.
Mr. Ofori-Atta congratulated the World Bank on the report and recommendations and called on it to support the YouStart initiative and other priority government programs to transform the economy and create jobs.