Lola Masha, Regional Manager, North and West Africa
Lola Masha, Regional Manager, North and West Africa of Bolt

Navigating Ghana's rising unemployment: The gig economy as a lifeline for youth

As we celebrate Labor Day, Ghanaians are faced with a sobering reality: the country's unemployment rate continues to climb, impacting even the most qualified professionals.


According to the Ghana Statistical Service, Ghana's unemployment rate stood at 13.4% in 2021, reflecting a concerning trend for young graduates who are finding it increasingly difficult to secure suitable employment opportunities. This alarming situation has compelled many to seek alternative means of earning a livelihood.

In recent years, the gig economy has emerged as a beacon of hope, particularly among university students and recent graduates. The digital revolution has played a pivotal role in this transformation, enabling students to utilize digital platforms as a source of generating income. 

This entrepreneurial spirit doesn't end with graduation. Many graduates, facing a challenging job market, continue to engage in gig work as they wait for full-time employment opportunities. This trend reflects a broader shift in the labor market, where side gigs have become a lifeline for those striving to make ends meet. The gig economy has proven to be a flexible and accessible way for young Ghanaians to supplement their income, particularly as the cost of living continues to rise.

A key player in Ghana's gig economy is Bolt, the ride-hailing app that has gained significant traction in the country. Bolt has not only revolutionized transportation in Ghana but also provided employment opportunities for thousands of drivers. The platform's flexibility allows drivers to work on their terms, choosing their hours and supplementing their income from other sources. In a nation where traditional employment opportunities are limited, Bolt has become an essential source of income for many Ghanaians, contributing to the resilience of the gig economy.

As we celebrate Labor Day, it's crucial to recognize the resilience and adaptability of Ghana's youth. While the gig economy offers a temporary solution to the unemployment crisis, it's essential for policymakers to address the root causes of rising unemployment and create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive. This way, Ghana can move toward a more sustainable and inclusive labor market that provides ample opportunities for its talented youth.

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