Franklin Owusu-Karikari, CEO of Africa Collegiate Entrepreneurs (ACE).
A staggering number of 250,000 people including 68,000 fresh graduates from tertiary institutions seek employment in Ghana every year, out of which only 5,000 people, representing two percent of the total number, are employed by the formal sector.
The remaining 98 percent who are left unemployed have their hopes of a prosperous future dashed after several years of studies in school.
Franklin Owusu-Karikari, CEO Africa Collegiate Entrepreneurs (ACE) who disclosed the disheartening statistics lamented that the unemployment problem in Ghana was gradually getting out of hand so the government should sit up.
He was of the opinion that the best way of overcoming the unemployment quandary which had resulted in the formation of ‘Graduate Unemployment Association,’ would be government’s support to grow the private sector.
Mr. Owusu-Karikari observed that Ghana had for a long time paid lip service to the ever increasing unemployment problem in the country, charging government and other stakeholders involved to buck up.
He was speaking during the press launch of the ‘Emerging Entrepreneurs Forum 2015’ which would see would convene experts at the Christian Service University College in Kumasi on June 4, this year, to offer ideas to solve the unemployment problem.
Mr. Owusu-Karikari said the education system of the country, which is outmoded, is a contributory factor to the unemployment problem since students are not taught to be self-employed after leaving school.
He disclosed that 90 percent of jobs which are started in Ghana wind up within the first year and this problem Mr Owusu-Karikari attributed to high tax regime, lack of mentoring and lack of financial resources to expand the businesses.
He fingered also the erratic power supply problem known as ‘dumsor,’ loans secured for starting the business, the bureaucracy in registering business and lack of research about the business as other factors that lead to the collapse of the businesses in their first year.
He said his group is currently holding discussions with most tertiary institutions in the country to set up incubation centers to train students in entrepreneurial skills to enable them set up their own businesses after graduating.
Mr. Owusu-Karikari commended the government for coming out with the Youth Enterprise Support Fund to support young entrepreneurs but he, however, charged journalists to monitor the programme to ensure that the fund is not distributed on partisan lines.
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