The Director of Newspapers at the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), Mr Yaw Boadu Ayeboafo, has underscored the need for the government to address the high unemployment levels in the country.
To do that, he explained that the private sector needed to be empowered to complement the job creation efforts of the government.
“If the government of Ghana does not as a matter of urgency introduce measures to cushion the economy, the country will soon suffer massive job cuts,” he said.
Mr Ayeboafo said this at the Graphic Business-Stanbic Bank meeting in Accra.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) projects that the global unemployment rate is likely to increase from about 197.7 million to 201 million this year.
Mr Ayeboafo said although the projected 2017 high unemployment rate was global, the ILO predicted that Sub-Saharan Africa was one of the three regions that would bear the brunt of the situation this year, explaining that available figures also showed that growth slowed last year.
“When economies grow at such rate, one effect is the weakening of job creation efforts globally as businesses are unable to expand and create more jobs, leading to high levels of unemployment,” he said.
He said Ghana’s unemployment rate became a major election campaign issue last year, which showed the importance the country attached to job creation for its people.
Over 71,000 graduates come out of school every year onto the job market from both private and public tertiary institutions.
Private sector optimism
For his part, the Director in charge of Corporate and Investment Banking of Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited, Mr Kwamina Asomaning, said the bank was happy about the optimism in the private sector.
He said partnering with Graphic Communications Group Limited was an opportunity to contribute their quota to the development of the country.
“We thought that given global economic developments last year and their ramifications on our economy, businesses and the government should work together to diagnose what went wrong and how we can deal with it to insulate the economy from such shocks,” he said.
The breakfast meeting, which is an initiative of the GCGL and the bank, is a series of dialogues that feature selected topics and is aimed at influencing government policies in favour of businesses.
The first of this year’s series brought together players in the private sector, policymakers and people from government to deliberate on how to improve business confidence to support local businesses.
The meeting, which is the first for the year, was on the theme: “Public-Private Dialogue on Stability, Growth and Jobs,” had Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo; a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ernest Aryeetey; the Director of Research, Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), Dr John Kwamena Kwakye; and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Private Enterprise Federation, Nana Osei Bonsu, as speakers.