The immediate past president of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nana Dr Appiagyei Dankawoso I, has urged faith-based organisations, especially churches, to establish factories and other businesses to create job opportunities for their members and other youth.
Describing this as a means to complement national efforts to reduce unemployment, the Omanhene kyeame of Asante Juaben Traditional Area in the Ashanti Region said those who could not establish factories could venture into community farming just like the Krito Asafo Mission had done.
Nana Dankawoso I, who is the President-General of the West Africa Nobles Forum (WANF), was speaking on the theme “Solving unemployment crisis in Ghana; The role of faith-based organisations and others” at the 33rd Nobles Forum Dinner Dance /Awards held in Accra on Friday.
The call on faith-based organisations was the first of his 10-point agenda for reducing unemployment shared at the event which saw 20 individuals from diverse backgrounds honoured for showing high moral integrity and their contribution to the socio-economic development of the country.
Nana Dankawoso I said unemployment was one of the greatest challenges confronting the country and despite interventions by successive governments, the unemployment rate stood at 4.53 per cent as of last year and was expected to increase by seven per cent by the end of this year.
He said the fact that government employs only six per cent of the workforce of the country despite the increasing number of graduates created cause for worry as unemployment accounted for all manner of crime.
While commending the government for its efforts including the One-district One –factory policy, he said “the government alone could not address the unemployment challenges. There is therefore the need for us all to put our shoulders to the wheel to solve the problem”
Other recommendations on his list were that universities should venture into business or farming; unemployed graduates should join forces and go into agribusiness; government and financial institutions should support ventures with loans; the government and traditional leaders should release lands to youth for commercial farming while the government should leverage on tourism to create jobs.
He also made a case for the private sector to be supported to create more jobs and urged the government to introduce a “one man, one farm” policy which should be made mandatory for Members of Parliament, to whip up interest in farming.
The Executive Director of the WANF, Dr Dee Otibu-Asare, said the forum established in 2003 with a current membership of 3,000 across the sub-region would not relent in preaching the need for integrity and urged members of the forum to continue to lead upright lives.
Some of the 20 personalities honoured at the event with plaques and citations were Dr Boris Baidoo, Founder and chairman of the Boris B’s Group of Companies ; Kwaku Agyemang-Duah, Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies; and Dr Justice Ofori, Chief Executive Officer of the National Insurance Commission.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR