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IOM Ghana: Mapping and Socio-Economic Profiling of Communities of Return in Ghana (December 2018)

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1. INTRODUCTION

THE GHANAIAN CONTEXT

Ghana is expected to have one of the world’s fastest growing economies with a projected growth of 8.9% for 2018. This figure, however, should not conceal the on-going economic challenges reflected in Ghana’s recent Human Development Index (HDI) rating. Ghana ranks 139 out of 188 countries, a low standing that corresponds with high levels of irregular migration. Increasing youth unemployment is indeed paradoxically present as the drivers of the economy are capital-intensive industries such as oil, mining, and services all driven by direct foreign investments, expert labour force, and have low domestic labour absorption capacities. Meanwhile, large sections of the ‘real’ economy, driven by agriculture, have seen consistent declines due to a lack of modernization. The 15 to 34-year-old age group is also disproportionately barred from better jobs. Their unemployment presents a significant challenge given the bulge in young labour market entrants expected in the next five years: ‘While the economy has grown impressively, it has not been able to absorb the more rapidly expanding labour force, driving high emigration amongst the highly-skilled, and higher unemployment amongst those with no schooling and the youth.’

This can be explained by the weaknesses of the education system. As outlined in the Education Strategic Plan (2018-2030),the system still needs to integrate more practical and skill-oriented education programmes and ensure access to education for all Ghanaians.

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