Unemployment partly to blame for youth violence – Baah Boateng

Senior research fellow at the African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET), Dr. William Baah-Boateng, is calling on government to urgently address rising unemployment especially among the youth in order to mitigate acts of violence among vigilante youth groups in the country.

Political parties have been criticized for their failure to disband vigilante groups who are mostly associated with them.

Three of these groups, Kandahar boys, Bolga Bulldogs and Azorka boys, have often meted out violence before, during and after elections.

But Dr. William Baah-Boateng believes calculated steps by government to address unemployment will help in curbing the menace.

“Unemployment is not just a social problem, it is a security issue. It can lead to conflict if you don’t put measures in place. You are talking about somebody who is not working and somebody asks you, ‘I’m going to give you this gun; I’m going to give you this amount of money.’ He looks at the two- if the person is not morally upright, he will pick it up. But if the person is working, you cannot go and convince him.”

He also noted that, the emergence of such groups can directly be linked to the nation’s current situation where many of the youth are unemployed, thus making them vulnerable to manipulations and called on political parties to play their part.

“In this gathering, political parties are key. This is because whether you like it or not, one of these political parties will form the next government and they are supposed to implement whatever suggestions the gathering will come up with, because the devil finds work for the idle hand.”

Dr. William Baah-Boateng was speaking at a National Dialogue on Youth Employment Challenges in Ghana, which was dubbed ‘What do the policy makers and politicians have to say?’

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By: Esther Knox /citifmonline.com/Ghana

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