Dr. Kofi Amoah, an Economist and Businessman has admonished the government to deal with the mass unemployment in the country. According to him, the youth are anxious because of joblessness, which he believes form the genesis of the recent #Fixthecountry campaign.
“Right now, deal with the circumstances of joblessness, the circumstances of people not having opportunities to be able to live properly. Because hardships can create health issues for individuals. How will the nation go forward when you have a lot of people unemployed? The private sector in Ghana is not going to absorb all these people”.
Moreover, Dr. Amoah indicated that mass youth unemployment should be a worry to all. He specified that the repercussions of the menace on individuals and society as a whole are huge. According to him, unemployment poses a threat to the security of the Ghanaian society.
“I’m worried, you should be worried, we must all be worried. If you put politics aside, any Ghanaian citizen ought to be concern about the welfare of his neighbor. Because it’s a collective journey. How do citizens get welfare? Citizens get welfare by having a job. I have said publicly somewhere that in the rich countries, jobs are their gods. They worship their jobs because it is through the jobs that they can buy a house, clothes for their children and pay school fees. The jobs become the umbilical cord between the citizens and the society”.
The Need to stimulate the economy
Meanwhile, he pointed out that the government ought to stimulate the economy more to enhance a strong post-COVID recovery. He further indicated that the government should concentrate on stimulating the economy rather than tackling inflation.
“I’m a Keynesian Economist. So, I believe in stimulating an economy. I’m not sure how much money can be pumped into an economy like Ghana to call it stimulus. If somebody is pumping in trillions of dollars, their economy is bigger than ours. And you pumped in 1 billion, it’s better than nothing but really, can it go far? In this part of the world, we worry a lot about inflation. Therefore, sometimes we can stimulate, but then, we are worried about inflation”.
Moreover, Dr. Amoah pointed out that the government should focus more on the welfare of the citizens. He noted that the main aim of government policy is that “it must trickle down to affect the livelihood of the individuals in the society”.
“Because food, shelter, clothing are necessities of life. So, the things that make human beings happy, those are the issues that matter. We are talking about the welfare of the people”.
Private sector as engine of growth
Over the years, the government has described the private sector as the engine of growth. As to whether the sector can drive the growth of the economy, Dr. Amoah stated that no country has started its development through the private sector. Nevertheless, he indicated that the private sector is important because of its efficiency. But he lamented that we live “in a society where the private sector itself is troubled, it doesn’t have credit, so expansion is difficult”.
“We have been singing this song, that the private sector is the engine of growth for a very long time. I think the song is tired. We have to start looking at what other classmates of Ghana did to get to where they are today. How did they migrate from nowhere to somewhere? Some of these countries that started with us are the highest per capita earners in the world. I think we need to put a halt to that song and begin to sing a different song.
“And the different song that I’m going to propose is the same song that Malaysia sang. The same song that the US sang, the same the UK, Germany…focus on the resources that God gave you”.
According to him, making good use of natural resources will help create mass employment and expand production.
“That can feed into your factories, that can be exported and create the wealth for your people. And then you begin to get into other areas to give you more strength. Then you can educate your people better”.
Interest in the whole economy
Also, he called on all Ghanaians to exhibit the spirit of good neighborliness and eschew selfishness and greed to move the country forward. According to Dr. Amoah, Ghanaian businesses should be concerned about the general performance of the economy.
“But is that enough for the whole economy? I’m not a selfish person and I’m not thinking about only my company’s growth. The potential of my big growth is a factor of the growth of the larger environment that I’m operating in. So, if more people are hired then the purchasing power within the society is higher and therefore my products can be sold. But if you have a lot of people unemployed, then the purchasing power available to chase my goods and services is also limited. So, as a business person, I’m just as interested in the whole economy rising as I’m interested in my company doing well”.