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“Programme offers hope for future jobs”
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“Programme offers hope for future jobs”

A programme that gives graduates experience in the public service sector is not without critics, but Richmond Setrana, 26, a Correspondent from Tema in Ghana, argues it is a positive step to counter unemployment.

The menace of unemployment that has been looming in the West African country of Ghana appears to have met its Waterloo with the advent of the Nation Builders’ Corps (NABCO) initiative, which is the answer of the President of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo to the cries and pleas of young unemployed graduates in the country.

In a ceremony that launched the programme on 1st May, 2018, the President declared that the programme is supposed to be a temporary solution to unemployment. An estimated 100,000 young people are expected to benefit from the programme, with a maximum involvement of three years and a flat non-taxed remuneration.

I believe this is a step in the right direction in giving fresh university graduates some job experience, skill acquisition and exposure that will prove vital to them when they finally land their dream jobs. As the saying goes, “Rome was not built in a day”, hence  the youth need to understand the importance of building capacity, gaining knowledge and acquiring skills before thinking about landing jobs that pay them six figures. I say this because even though the initiative of the President has been widely accepted by the general public, it has also not gone without criticisms. A very notable one is the fact that critics assert that the remuneration the programme offers is below what a university graduate should receive. There is also question around the fact that if the government can absorb 100,000 graduates, should it not be able to also pay them well.

However genuine these concerns may be, it does not nullify the fact this is an opportunity for youth to serve their country and contribute to its development. It provides the youth the platform for nation building whiles looking out for better opportunities. After all, one can serve for only a maximum of three years.

I believe the private sector also has a pivotal role to play in the development of the nation and to help curb the menace of unemployment as the government attempts to cushion a significant number of people. The overall success of the country will demand that all hands are on deck in fighting for a common cause.

This is an initiative that in my opinion if adopted by other countries will go a long way to curb unemployment and the other social problems that come with it. Violent extremism, terrorism and agitation often come about because the unemployed youth feel they are being cheated out of what is rightly due them. This initiative, then, is an opportunity for African countries to implement in order to significantly kill two birds with one stone: they can significantly reduce the rate of unemployment and nip radicalism in the bud. The onus, then, does not lie only on the government agencies and the private sector to make the lives of citizens better, but the citizens also have a responsibility to undertake in bettering their own lives. John F. Kennedy told Americans during his inaugural speech, which addressed the role of the United States in the Cold War, “ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”

I believe that change and progress is inevitable, but the rate at which development should take place should be a matter of great concern to everybody. We may need to make some great sacrifices today and take some drastic measures in order to reap a better tomorrow. On this note, I entreat my fellow youth to think beyond themselves and rather think about future generations and how we may provide innovative and sustainable solutions to today’s problems.

There is a Greek proverb which says “a society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit under.” This is the time for the youth to prove that we have learnt from the mistakes of those before us. Let us join hands in working together to create hope for the future, hope for posterity and hope for Africa!

photo credit: woodleywonderworks No more employee suggestions via photopin (license)
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About me: I am a vibrant Pan-African. I engage in activities that develop young Africans in sharpening their skills and equipping them with relevant knowledge that will help them compete effectively on the global stage.

I am Chief Protocol Officer at ImpactiNation, a non-profit organisation that seeks to bridge the gap between the youth and their dream fulfillment by providing them with mentorship and leadership skill enhancement tools that will make them stand out among their contemporaries.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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