More agricultural production, a decline in death rate, better medical care, better sanitation, and new/advanced technologies describe a developed nation.
On the other hand, high birth rate, high death rate, inadequate health care system, poor sanitation, and trifling production in agriculture are what describe an underdeveloped nation.
The last time I checked, the age structure of Ghana was triangular which is an indication that the country is still in the pre-industrial/transition stage. That is a typical characteristic of an undeveloped nation.
The shape of the age structure implies that the population from 15 years and below is very dense.
Beyond 45 years, the size of the population keeps narrowing down significantly, which means the country has high birth rates and high death rates even though some scholars might argue that the death rate has declined a little bit but not to any significant extent.
The problem is that currently, there is high youth unemployment rate, about 11.9 per cent (Frimpon, 2019).
According to Gyasi (2019), the youth unemployment rate is alarming and is posing a serious threat to the nation’s security.
In the year 2015, 50 per cent of the youth were unemployed.
The percentage of youth unemployment in the rural areas was found to be significantly higher than those in the urban areas (Frimpong, 2019).
As some experts put it, when you have a high birth rate at some point, you produce “soldiers” who have no work to do and so resort to crimes.
A large school-aged population is followed by a large military-aged population and if there is no work to do, you can imagine what the nation will get into. Issues like galamsey and armed robbery should be fresh in your mind.
Some people are even lured to pseudo militias (including vigilante) where they commit various forms of crime.
Since 1957, there has not been any significant change in the age structure.
Back in the day, the high birth rate could be attributed to the historic need for farm labor, restrictions on women’s right, prohibitions on birth control, and intent to increase survivorship as a result of high infant mortality rate stemming from the poor health care system.
A publication from the World Bank shows the current birth rate in Ghana to be four births per woman which is a drop from 6.7 in the 1960s.
Even though a high birth rate may not be contributing directly to the current unemployment situation, studies show that high birth rates lead to overall increase in population or overpopulation, which calls for an increase in resource consumption, more waste and pollution, conflicts and wars, and refugee crises.
The government would have to spend more on health care, education, and security in general.
There would be economic impact and social disruptions. I am not suggesting one-child policy as was done in China but more education and opportunities for women helps a great deal.
The other time, I asked a colleague if he made any new year resolution. His answer was “bro, I have stopped making new year resolutions because I realise I am not able to follow
through with what I resolve to do.
What about you, did you make any resolutions, and how is that working for you so far?
I am not sure what your answer will be, but I know one thing, 2019 will end at some point for 2020 to start.
I am sure you know where I am going with that. People who would like to represent you have already begun to rear their heads but have you thought about who will indeed serve your interest?
Maybe, that is still not clear in your mind yet, or perhaps you are not even sure what you want.
I am sure I can help you set the ball rolling. Is it more agricultural production?
Is it a better health care system? Is it a good education for your children?
Is it industries that will create employment opportunities, or maybe clean water and constant, uninterrupted power supply to power the industries?
That is not asking for too much. Perhaps, you are just like the colleague I spoke to some time back.
He has the notion that no leader can do anything to change the current situation, which could be erroneous. Do your due diligence pending 2020 elections.
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