Problems in Ghana and Their Solutions: Ghana is a unique African country blessed with numerous Natural Resources including but not limited to: Silver, Rubber, Limestone, Timber, Gold, Bauxite, and Manganese. The Country is notably one of the most peaceful states inn Africa and it attractively has an incredible ethic diversity and constant electricity.
However, it is not without it’s flaws as the country has some problems which has hindered it’s progress over the years from being one of the best African States. In this Article I shall examine some of these problems that have been affecting Ghana and proffer practicable solutions which can help the country navigate it’s way over these problems and progressively move forward.
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Major Problems in Ghana Today
Some of the key problems in Ghana are:
1. Youth Unemployment: Youth Unemployment has been a common issue over the past decade in Ghana. Youth Unemployment basically refers to the number of the labour between the ages of 17 – 30 years who are available for employment and seeking employment, but are without Work.
The current rate of Youth Unemployment is 14% of the youth population in Ghana, while 50% of this population suffer from underemployment. Underemployment means the situation in the labour market wherein a person is employed for a shorter period at a lesser capacity or job description which doesn’t reflect the skillset of the person. For example, if a Lawyer like me is working at a primary school, that’s a case of underemployment.
This issue of Youth unemployment and underemployment has married Ghana over the years and this has led to the creation of the Youth Employment Agency established under the Youth Employment Act 2015 designed to empower youths in Ghana and support them with skill training and internship module which will give them employed. However, this agency has not gone enough to ameliorate the fast growing youth unemployment rate in Ghana.
2. Corruption: Corruption stems from the Management of Public funds, lack of accountability on the part of Government, Fraudulent conducts such as Bribery, embezzlement of public funds, and nepotism.
Sadly, Corruption exists in all organs of Government in Ghana and Ghana ranks as the 10th most corrupt country in Africa as published by Transparency International in their latest Corruption perception index ranking.
3. Illiteracy: Another persistent problem existing in Ghana is the problem of Illiteracy. Illiteracy literally means sheer ignorance. The inability to read, understand and Write.
According to reports by Statista and UNESCO, the Adult Literacy rate in Ghana is just 76%; a figure which has risen largely due to the educational reforms in Ghana, but this has not done enough to totally eradicate the illiteracy rate in Ghana as the adult illiteracy level at the state sits pretty above 20%.
4. Poverty: The Social issue of unemployment, corruption and illiteracy has skyrocketed the poverty rate in Ghana. Hence, making it a challenging issue in the state.
According to Statista, over 3.4 Million people in Ghana love in extreme poverty, majority of which are people living at Rural areas; another issue which has led to Rural – Urban migration another rising problem in the state.
5. Lack of Access to Education: The Education sector in Ghana has been short of it’s desired standard due to the unconducive learning environment, poor educational infrastructure, shortage of trained teachers, inadequate teaching and learning materials especially at the Rural areas in Ghana.
This lack of access to Education particularly at the Rural areas in Ghana improves the level of illiteracy as well hinders the personal development of a person thereby limiting opportunities available to them. Thus, resulting in Poverty.
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6. Marginalization: Another Social problem which has existed over the years in Ghana is the issue of the Marginalization and exclusion of people living with disabilities. These people are widely excluded from the work and academic environment as there is no disability friendly infrastructure for students living with disability in Ghana. Moreso, at the Work place, equal opportunities are not accorded to people living with disabilities.
This Problem of marginalization of people living with disability has led to the introduction of Persons with disability Act 2004 and Ratification of the UN Convention oh the rights of people with disabilities 2012. However, these Laws and more has done little in cushioning the effect of social exclusion and marginalization of people living with disability in Ghana.
Solutions to the Problems in Ghana
It is one thing to identify a Problem and another to solve the identified problem to prevent it from being continued as a Problem. So as we have identified some of the key problems which has been persistent at Ghana over the years, let’s look at some of the possible ways which can be implemented by the Ghanaian Government in solving these problems. Some of these possible ways and solutions to these problems are:
1. Improving the Standard of Education: The Government should improve the standard of Education by providing infrastructures, building quality schools, staffing with qualified teachers, and conducive learning environment. Private individuals investment in the Educational sector is also encouraged as this will lead to the availability of more quality schools, and when there is a great standard of education, graduates will have an easier access to job and will acquire the necessary skillset which could help them survive alone by starting their own business brand.
2. Organizing Skill Acquisition Program: While Education may not be enough to equip youths with the necessary skillset to survive in the Economy, constantly organizing a Skill Acquisition Program for youths is more than encouraged. The Government should organize Technical and Vocational training, apprenticeship program, and embark on financial support to start up’s.
A Technical and Vocational training will equip youths with the necessary skillset in their desired Vocation and area which they wish to focus on. An Apprenticeship program will give youths the room to learn a Trade or Vocation from established business owners in that vocation and Financial support to Start up’s will help youths who have already established skills and have started their brand to sustain, develop, and expand their business to a great degree of profitability.
Implementing these will definitely empower the youths thereby curbing the problem of Youth Unemployment and reducing the Poverty rate in Ghana. Additionally, the Council of Technical and Vocational Training (COTVET), Ministry of Manpower, Youth and employment, and the Youth Employment Agency should do more in fulfilling it’s role.
3. Improving access to Education: The Government has major role in curbing the issue of Illiteracy and Poverty in the Country, and this can be fulfilled by improving the access of every citizen to Education through developing educational infrastructures, providing free compulsory basic education in Rural areas, providing free reading materials and Library in these schools.
If the Government can improve the standard of Education in Country and improve the access to Education to all and sundry particularly citizens in living in Rural areas and the ones living with disabilities, it will definitely curb the issue of marginalization of citizens in Ghana, provide equal opportunity to all, reduce illiteracy, solve the issue of Rural-Urban migration and equip the students with the knowledge and skillset to curb the fast rising issue of Poverty.
4. Promoting Transparency: Corruption has been a problem which has grown deep into the roots of all institutions in Ghana and it is definitely not easy to cut this root just like that, but one way that will help to gradually end the issue of Corruption is through the promotion of transparency by the Government officials by being accountable to the Citizens.
Additionally, there should be reforms of Public Administration by improving financial management in the state and giving the citizens access to information about the Government activities and how public funds have been utilized.
5. Ensuring Strict enforcement of Law: Laws are made to enforce Peace and Order in a State, and the only way that law achieves it’s end product is through it’s enforcement. Thus, there should be strict enforcement of Law by the Law enforcement agencies in the state.
Prosecution of erring public officers caught in corrupt practices and the reduction of Monopoly of power of office holders in Ghana will definitely help reduce the ever increasing Corruption rate in the State.
6. Reinforcing Political and Social Institutions: Lastly, the Government strictly reinforcing all the Political and Social Institutions in the State will help improve the access of it’s citizens to opportunities, clean water, Sanitation, Infrastructure in rural areas and creating job opportunities which shall thereby contribute to ameliorating the issue of Poverty and Marginalization in the State.
Implementing these aforementioned solutions will definitely go a long way in curbing the basic problems currently facing Ghana.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.