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Ghanaians Cry for Decent Jobs ― Afrobarometer Survey Reveals

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Since it took over the administration of the State in 2017, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) claim to have created over one million jobs in the bid to address the teething unemployment situation in the country.

Despite these efforts, a New Afrobarometer report has revealed Ghanaians are not satisfied with the efforts and are demanding from government, more decent jobs.

In the survey which sought citizens priorities and assessments of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) three years into its implementation, it surfaced that SDG 8, “Decent work and economic growth,” was prioritised as a critical problem for government at 62%― an area where government is perceived to perform poorly.

This report came with mixed reactions from participants at the formal presentation of the report held in Accra, on Monday.

While some supported the findings of the report, others said it did not echo the efforts of government, questioning the methodology used in the survey.

But for Co-chair for the Civil Society Organisation for SDGs, George Osei-Bimpeh, the report is a true reflection of government’s performance in the area of decent jobs.

He argues that government may not have failed in addressing the unemployment situation but definitely has some pitfalls in providing sustainable jobs for the people.

“If you are talking about economic growth or economic development, it doesn’t take those ad hoc and knee jerk initiatives to bring about a structural transformation in the economy so that you will create the enabling environment for the private sector to flourish to create decent jobs,” he said.

“Many of the jobs we are creating are not sustainable, they are mainly meant to put body and soul together,” he added.

For the country to have sustainable jobs and sustainable economic growth, Mr. Osei-Bimpeh said the onus does not lie on government alone.

He believes citizens must be active enough to push government to invest in more profitable ventures that would create decent and sustainable jobs.

According to him, Citizens must owe allegiance to the state rather than to political parties.

“If we are unable to shift our allegiance form the political parties to the state and to look at things with a critical lens and to say that what politicians are doing are not in favour of the country, then we will not stop what they are doing and that will affect the delivery on the SDGs,” he said.

Ghana scores high

Despite the backlashes recorded, Ghana seemed to have scored high in SDG performance compared to 33 other countries that took part in the survey.

The Afrobarometer said Ghana scored the highest mark of 68% with its efforts to meet the SDG priorities of its citizens.

The respondents mentioned education (80%) and reliability of electricity supply (71%) among others as areas that the Ghana government is performing well in.

Other areas where citizens perceived government had fallen short were SGD 9― Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure at 39% and SDG 4―Quality Education at 33%.

As low as 22% of respondents from Ghana believed government was not performing in areas of Peace justice and strong institutions while 19% said Ghana’s Health sector is failing.

Way forward

The report according to Centre for Democratic Development (CDD)―a partner in the Afrobarometer survey, is to carve a pathway for government to know the exact areas to invest in the bid to meet the SDGs by 2030.

As Co-Chair of the UN Eminent Group of SDG Advocates, His Excellency, President Nana Akufo-Addo is keen on ensuring that Ghana leads the way in achieving Agenda 2030 through developing policies that promote sustainability.

Afrobarometer

It is a pan-African, non-partisan survey research project that measures citizen attitudes on democracy and governance, the economy, civil society, and other topics.

Its aim is to give the public a voice in policy making by providing high-quality public opinion data to policymakers, policy advocates, civil society organizations, academics, news media, donors and investors, and ordinary Africans.

Interested readers may access the full report at www.afrobarometer.org

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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