Gov’t’s payroll is full, go into entrepreneurship – Ofori-Atta tells job-seeking graduates
Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta is convinced the surest way to solve Ghana’s unemployment crisis is for the youth to become entrepreneurs.
The sector minister who was speaking at the 2021 University of Professional Studies -Accra (UPSA) graduation ceremony said venturing into entrepreneurship will help reduce the over-reliance on the public sector, and also reduce the burden on government’s payroll.
“Most people look for jobs from government or state institutions, but the payroll is full because we are spending 60% of our revenue on remunerating some 650,000 people. That is not sustainable.
“You have the skills set to be able to do what you have to do. Our responsibility as a government is to create the environment and the macro stability, currency stability and ensure that you have access to the relevant skills and financing,” he indicated.
Mr Ofori Atta believes education is the ladder to social mobility as well as economic and social prosperity, offering beneficiaries the opportunity to help society.
According to him, it is important for the graduates to acknowledge the privilege of accessing four years of tertiary education and do their best to impact society through the transformation and renewal of their minds.
He also mentioned that the government is structuring its budget to focus on how to support the youth to create their own job. He said this is being done through initiatives such as the Ghana CARES programme.
“The question then really is, has UPSA trained you to be entrepreneurs, and/or where is the financing coming from. But you do, in you, are the skills set to be able to do what you have to do. Our responsibility as government is to create the environment and the macro stability, currency stability and ensure that you have access to the relevant skills and financing.
“This budget that we are going to be doing is going to really focus on the youth and we will have a programme here, looking at the youth, demands and how we can structure, in the next two or three years, the Ghana Obaatanpa Programme to ensure that you become your own bosses and you become entrepreneurs.
“So there is a new world out there, it is not a factory that employs ten people, but individuals like you who employ two or three of four five people to create that energy for our country to transform,” he added.
Ghana Cares programme
The Ghana CARES (Obaatanpa) programme is an unprecedented, bold and audacious GHȻ100 billion post COVID programme to stabilize, revitalize and transform Ghana’s economy to create jobs and prosperity for Ghanaians over a three-year period.
It is sequenced in two phases: a Stabilization Phase that is running from July to the end of the year (2020); and a medium-term Revitalization Phase from 2021-2023.
The first phase of the programme builds on the actions already taken by Government under the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme, including stabilization of the economy, ensuring food security, support businesses and workers, strengthening the health system and passage of legislations to facilitate quick economic recovery.
The second phase aimed at revitalizing and transforming the economy from 2021-2023 will focus on supporting commercial farming and attracting educated youth into agriculture, building Ghana’s light manufacturing sector, developing engineering/ machine tools and ICT/digital economy, developing Ghana’s housing and construction industry, reviewing and optimising the implementation of government flagships and key programmes among others.