It is not for nothing that our forebears coined the expression: “Home sweet home”, which has stayed with us till date.
The expression drums home the fact that no matter the opportunities that exist elsewhere, nothing compares to one being in his or her own home or country.
Ghanaians have, by their nature, been known to be people who love adventure and so it will not be far from the truth to say that Ghanaians can be found in every part of the world.
If it were just for pleasure, the travels of Ghanaian youth to other countries would not cause any worries. The truth is that many youth have wandered off across the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea just to get to Europe in search of greener pastures.
These adventurous young people employ the most unorthodox means to travel to Europe because of the erroneous impression they have that everything that glitters in the Diaspora is gold. Even when they face the stark truth on arriving at their destinations, some of them still maintain the hard-line stance that difficult economic conditions in those foreign countries are better than conditions in Ghana and elsewhere on the African continent.
While we believe that the youth are better off in their own country where they enjoy certain goodies, such as emotional attachment, peace, serenity, and a communal society where everyone sees another as a relation, we believe they are not entirely to blame for leaving the shores of the country to ‘fight’ for their future.
Ghana is endowed with many resources which are shared unevenly because our leaders, much too often, think of themselves and do not put in place sustainable plans that will inure to the benefit of the youth and unborn generations.
This attitude has, to a large extent, resulted in a greater chunk of the populace living in abject poverty and the youth who want to escape such a fate see a trip to Europe, by whichever means, as the best route for escape.
This situation, the Daily Graphic believes, is what made President John Dramani Mahama call on Africa to create job opportunities to stop its young people from risking their lives to travel to other continents in search of opportunities when he addressed journalists in Paris after a meeting between four African leaders and the French President, Mr Francois Hollande, in France last Tuesday.
It is our view that President Mahama hit the nail on the head when he said Africans migrated to seek opportunities, adding: “If we create growth poles in Africa that bring opportunities, the youth will have no reason to migrate to other continents to look for opportunities.”
Of course, anyone who has travelled to Europe and America will agree that it is a tough world out there and no youth would dare go there at all costs if conditions in the country were conducive for economic growth and did not spell a bleak future for them here.
There is no place like home and we urge all our leaders — political and civil — to dream up and implement youth-minded projects and programmes to prevent our youth from choosing to slave away their strength in foreign countries and contribute to the growth of those economies, instead of staying at home to hone their skills, make a living and make this country a truly prosperous one.