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The Ghanaian Adaptations to Unemployment

The Ghanaian Adaptations to Unemployment

 Unemployment, be it structural, seasonal, frictional or cyclical is a condition in which individuals of working age and keenly looking for work remain unhired. Industrialization and bureaucratization due to division of labour, specialization and the invention of money marked man’s dependence on paid jobs. However, it was the Great depression of the 1930s that caused the attainment of full employment to be projected to the top spot of national policy goals the world over.


Though, unemployment has been on ascendency in recent times worldwide, the ever increasing levels of it in Ghana is due to the interplay of economic, social, political and external factors. Generally, employment data is hard to come by in Ghana due to its implications on the usage of resources, the productivity of the economy, politics and social behaviour of the affected.

It was therefore not surprising when the Minister of employment and social welfare openly admitted that Ghana at best has fragmented employment statistics. This obviously makes a ridicule of policy makers’ claim for creating jobs for sustained economic growth. The essence of this piece is not to apportion blame but to bring to light the rational adaptation of the Ghanaian to the rising unemployment levels in the country in recent times. These adaptabilities include:


Sakawa: in a nation where at best, a weak linkage exists between educational attainment and decent employment, one is left with few options to survive. The implication is it is now difficult to convince one to stay in school for a decent job in life. Additionally, in a globalized world the Ghanaian is motivated to lay hold on his share of the trillions of cash roaming relentlessly.  The bitter truth is man rationally will reach out to the world for survival anytime he is confronted with limited avenues to earn descent living within his national frontiers. The adaptation is even more justified when society cares less about how one makes wealth. Crime whatever form it assumes must be condemned but this piece position is before we embark on such an act we should as well be mindful that with low education and few employment avenues, the youth of Ghana will surely take advantage of the global village the world has become via sakawa for survival and recognition.


The Foot soldier syndrome: with democracy in to stay in Ghana, we should as well accepts that “one is deemed fair for offering bad goods for survival than to remain unemployed with good products but of no price tags”. The legality of foot soldiers in Ghanaian politics is obviously a paradox. On one side it signifies freedom of speech and association but on the extreme it a response to unemployment for survival. The recent revolts of foot soldiers in some parts of the country echoes the definition of a political party as group of persons with same ideology that seek power via the ballot box so to maximize the benefits of power. As a matter of fact when party followers are unemployed the tendency to engage in rent-seeking behaviour natural gets intensified.


Obvious Graduation: Statistics indicate that most past executives of Student Representative Council (SRC) of the varying public universities are now actively involved in national politics. In as much as this paper accepts that leadership skills are developed as we aged, it also wants to put across that politics whether imaginary or real has become one short route to survival and stardom in Ghana. If this feeble assertion is proved true then it is an affirmation of the theorem that we can hardly change anything unless in places of control and influence. The billion dollar question then is, are all these bright past student leaders’ authentically in politics as their natural calling or some are in as a smart adaption to unemployment? As we strive to untie the puzzle of why most past SRC executives are now actively involved in politics, we should as well be guided that life is about aligning intelligently.


Men of God saga: hitherto society never questioned the motive of anyone who took up the cross to propagate God’s message. However, the unspeakable behaviour of some men of God in recent times should reveal to us that certain Ghanaians have resorted to hiding behind the gospel to make ends meet.  Visibly this description fits those with low educational levels, but what of the many in high places now veering into the business of spreading the gospel?  While this is welcoming, the reality is spreading the gospel has surely become an avenue for some to extend their livelihood as they age. This may be true because as the compulsory pensionable age in Ghana is 60, that for the clergy is 70years. The hidden fact is certainly some currently see it as a social security net following the breakdown of the extended family system and lack of social welfare programmes for the aged in the country.


Atypical behaviours of homosexuality, street hawking, illegal mining and infiltration of Okada in the country: Poverty makes us vulnerable and exposes us to exploitation in our quest to live at all cost. Though, psychologists’ class homosexuality as abnormal behaviour, this paper links the coming into prominence of homosexuality in recent times to unemployment. The truth is the few bad nuts with money now pry on the vulnerable majority via homosexuality. Can we also ask why rational Ghanaians would risk their lives in pits for minerals or on the streets of urban centres and/or riding Okada if the prime aim is not survival?


Ghanaians often condemn events without digging deep for causes of these happenings. Thus, let us see those caught up in these traps as resourceful Ghanaians responding rationally to unemployment without caring a dime about societal norms. The obvious remedy is to devise a concise employment plan to consolidate the gains made over the years.









Philip Nyarko Asiamah (SoWazzy Consult)

News Source : Philip Nyarko Asiamah (SoWazzy Consult)
Last updated at : 27 June,2012
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