Mr.Emmanuel F. Mantey, Executive Director of the Security and Conflict Management Bureau – Africa (SCMBA), has urged the government to put in place the needed infrastructure to encourage the citizens to venture into entrepreneurship.
According to Mr. Mantey, the government has the responsibility to incentivize people to enter into entrepreneurship, one of which include the provision of adequate infrastructure, because entrepreneurship is one of the surest ways of addressing the unemployment situation in the country. He pointed out that a lot of people remain unemployed and “government’s payroll is full and cannot absorb the huge numbers out there in search of jobs”.
“It is the responsibility of government to provide adequate infrastructure such as adequate roads, communication infrastructure as well as licensing and certification to support entrepreneurship”.
Another major step, he said, is the provision of entrepreneurship funds, including venture capitals, to incentivize people to venture into the private sector by establishing their own businesses.
Need to free local financial sector
Mr. Mantey also urged the government to free the local financial sector by not competing with the private sector in terms of borrowing so that businesses will spring up to cater for the unemployed.
“If government continues to crowd the private sector, the economy will not expand to contain the rising number of people in need of jobs. Living standards will decline and per capita will also fall. Individual households will then suffer and the net effect is the most vulnerable will be affected especially, women who are primary persons taking care of the home in Ghana”.Mr. Mantey
Mr. Mantey stressed that “government must create the market for businesses to flourish in order to create the thousands of jobs needed yearly”.
Security threats of unemployment
The SCMBA Executive Director highlighted that the high rate of unemployment is a real security threat to the country and as such, efforts must be made to respond adequately to save the country from this emerging threat.
According to him, unemployment is a driver of several crimes, including armed robbery, human trafficking, drug trafficking, prostitution, and cybercrime. He indicated that the phenomenon has a direct linkage with these security issues emanating from the social and economic pathways of insecurity.
Again, with the threat of terrorism in the Horns of Africa, high unemployment rate increases the vulnerability of these people to be recruited into terrorist groups such as Al Shabab, ALQIM and ISIS operating within the region, Mr. Mantey averred.
“The inability of government to employ these huge numbers, the failure of the private sector to offer the opportunities for these persons and the non-existence of funds for entrepreneurship places Ghana on time bomb of which, if an urgent action is not taken will explode”.Mr. Mantey
Still on policies to address the unemployment situation, Mr. Mantey stated that the state must empower people to venture into sectors such as agriculture, real estate, education, security, transportation, health, engineering, manufacturing, information communication technology, and commerce, as entrepreneurs “for the good of the country”.
Mr. Mantey emphasized that one reality of a trigger of insecurity is rising unemployment. Therefore, “responses to this problem must come from policies that seek to improve social and economic lives of the people. This must be of a major concern to policy makers, government and development partners”.
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