If there are any lingering doubts that our country has a huge, seemingly unsolvable youth unemployment problem, the overwhelming evidence was the massive turn out of nearly 84000 young men and women desperately vying for 500 vacancies with the Ghana Immigration Service last week.
It was a pathetic spectacle played out across the country as thousands of able-bodied young Ghanaians stampede and knock each other down in what ultimately turned out to be a fruitless attempt at securing the all important forms required to begin the immigration service job application process.
You couldn't help but sympathize profoundly with those young people who had braved the scorching Ghana heat and other elements to stand in long queues for something they knew wasn't within their grasp; my heart bleeds for them.
Our young people are willing and able to work, but that prospect remains elusive. I am very angry, and so should progresssive Ghanaians, and our venom should be directed at Ghanaian authorities, past and present, who promised and continue to promise that the youth unemployment problem was and is on top of their agenda, and that they will attack it precisely and effectively with all the resources they can marshall.
But the stampede and the jostling for the Immigration Service employment forms abundantly and clearly brought two facts to the fore; one, the youth unemployment problem in Ghana is deeply entrenched, and two, Ghanaian authorities are failing our young people.
Turth be told: Ghanaian authorities have been grossly dishonest and untrustworthy. They have misled and misinformed our young people about alleviating their financial and economic plight, and yet to date, nothing concrete has been done.
The hard and brutal reality which Ghanaian authorities do not want to confront is that our country still has a very long way to go in terms of creating jobs and that is largely because they enact policies which do not stimulate the economy even while they continue to increase the national debt burden with dubious financial transactions and the creation of additional ministries with bloated budgets.
One unconscionable and deeply flawed thing authorities have engaged in and which, it must be pointed out, has only worsened our economic plight is their green lighting the establishment of more universities and colleges without careful consideration of its impact on our weak and fragile economy. And, a stagnant economy, as is well known, lacks the resilience and the capacity to absorb new graduates or workers.
Against this background, I would suggest that Ghanaian authorities do a number of radical things besides the usual shout out, the blanket invitation to foreign investors to pour into country and create jobs for our young people.
There should be a moratorium on the creation of universities until our economy is strengthened and able to place any graduate who wants a job in one. Of course, I am not unaware of the importance of universities as centers of research and development, but the harsh reality is that our universities are turning out graduates who cannot find jobs. Unless something drastic is done such as what has been proposed in this commentary, we are going to look at years of youth unemployment in the country, a potential social time bomb if ever there was one.