Adopt transformational means to tackle unemployment menace – Prof Tagoe

Accra, Professor Michael Ayitey Tagoe, Acting Provost, College of Education, University of Ghana (UG), has called for a national consensus on how to tackle the unemployment menace in the country in a more transformational way.

He said the time was ripe to set the agenda for a national discussion on how to create an enabling environment for the private sector to become the engine of growth for job creation.

Speaking at the on-going 69th Annual New Year School and Conference (ANYSC) in Accra, Prof Tagoe said: “This is the time for us as a nation to be more creative, innovation and entrepreneurial, and to push the frontiers of knowledge and technology to advance our development agenda at a faster pace.

“We need to introduce the spirit of entrepreneurship among our youth early, so that they can grow up thinking about how to create jobs for themselves rather than having the mind-set that they have to look up to government for employment”.

The New Year School, which is being organised by the School of Continuing and Distance Education (SCDE) of the College of Education, UG, is on the theme: Job Creation for Accelerated National Development: The Role of the Private Sector.

The annual event provides a platform for a dispassionate discussion of important issues of national and international concern.

The week-long event, which was officially opened by Vice President Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, is under the auspices of Komos Energy, Vodafone Ghana, Ghana Oil Company Limited (GOIL), Voltic, Daily Graphic, Prudential Bank and the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, UG.

Prof Tagoe, who is also the Dean of the SCDE, noted that the ANYSC had over the years provided a platform for the discussion of topical issues, which were critical to our nation’s growth and development.

He said last year’s School and Conference which was on the theme: “Promoting National Development through Agricultural Modernization: The Role of ICT”, during which the Minister of Food and Agriculture launched the Ministry’s flagship policy “Planting for Food and Jobs”.

He said there is a clear link between last year’s theme and that of this year, as the agricultural sector can generate jobs faster if it is modernised.

He said for jobs to be created for all, the economy must grow and the growth must be sustained to generate sustainable and decent jobs.

The Provost said the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) eight seeks to “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”.

He said in addition, Goal four of the SDGs calls on governments to “substantially increase in the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship”.

He noted that according to the African Union document Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want (2015), economies must be structurally transformed to create shared growth, decent jobs, and economic opportunities for all.

Prof Tagoe said development-oriented policies that support productive activities, must be promoted, with emphasis on entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and the formalisation and growth of micro, small and medium size enterprises that must have access to innovation financial services.

“Unfortunately, the economy of Ghana is not growing fast enough to generate enough jobs for all and therefore the issue of unemployment, especially among the youth has become a major challenge that needs an immediate remedy,” he said.

He said; “It is obvious that the public sector cannot absorb the growing numbers of young people graduating from our universities and there is therefore, the need to rely on the private sector not just as an engine of growth but also for job creation”.

He said; “As a School, we cannot ignore this important national issue and efforts by successive governments to address the challenge of unemployment in the country”.

Prof Tagoe announced that the SCDE would be marking its 70th anniversary in June this year.

He expressed gratitude to all the past Directors and staff of the School for their support and contribution in diverse ways to the growth of the school.

Source: Ghana News Agency


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