A youth group, Dynamic Youth Movement of Ghana, has asked the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his government to up their game in turning the country’s economy around for the betterment of its youth.
The group said it has observed that there are issues affecting the economic wellbeing of the people, including education, job creation, corruption and general insecurity, which it said if not addressed, could “threaten the peace in the country.
It claimed that the economic conditions of the people keep deteriorating, indicating in the last eight months transport fares have gone up just as petroleum prices have, prices of food items have also shot up to the extend that even one piece of tomato now sells at GHC1.
“Electricity bills are still the same, Bank of Ghana says interest rates have reduced but cost of borrowing is still high at commercial rate of between 28 to 32 per cent and the private sector is suffering”.
The group said this at a news conference Tuesday to commemorate International Youth Day.
“We the Youth of Ghana have a voice. The voice, just like two edged sword, will commend where necessary and reprimand where mandatory. We are the future leaders, however our tomorrow is today,” Convener Edward Tuttor said.
He said it was unfortunate that in the face of unemployment in the country, those already in employment are being sacked from the public sector while trained nurses are begging to be employed.
On the educational front, the group expressed disappointment over the recent fee increment by tertiary institutions, which it said “is making parents go crazy”
The group said it was not happy about the slashing of the number of people to be admitted into the various public and private nursing training schools.
“Is Government implying it is reducing nursing trainee admissions because there is no money to pay nursing trainee allowances? Why didn’t the President reduce the number of 110 Ministers to save the public purse too?
It said the salary of one minister for a year can pay the allowances of over 300 nursing trainees, adding that the hearts of the Youth of Ghana are bleeding with pain and disappointment.
Read the full statement below
A Paper Delivered to the Ghanaian Press, in Commemoration of the United Nations, International Youth Day, 12th August, 2017 at the International Press Centre, Accra.
DYMOG is a non-partisan civil Society Organization that primarily seeks to champion the course of the Ghanaian Youth. Since our inception in February 2017, we have been committed to representing the voice of the Youth in the Governance issues of our beloved country. Fellow Ghanaians, as at Tuesday 8th August, 2017, the population of Ghana was estimated at 28,714,100-according to the United Nations Population Division. It’s important to note that almost 30% of our population fall within the Youth Bracket (15 to 35 years) as established by the Ghana Youth Policy (2010).
Ladies and Gentlemen, to be very factual, we are talking over eight (8) million Ghanaians between the ages of 15 and 35 years. A significant number of our population interests DYMOG stands for.
As we commemorate the International Youth Day, we should all ask,
- What is the economical and emotional disposition of the Ghanaian Youth?
- Are the aspirations of the Ghanaian Youth being fulfilled?
- What conscious opportunities are available to the Youth?
- Does Government have good intentions for the Ghanaian Youth?
- What are the possible consequences when the Youth are hopelessly hopeless?
These are but few of the many questions lingering on the minds of the Ghanaian Youth. We elect leadership with the unflinching hope that our dreams and aspirations will be met. However, the basic tenets of Democracy don’t require citizens to fold their arms and watch Government perform a drama. We also have a role to play. But what if Government doesn’t create opportunities for the Youth to contribute to Nation building?
We the Youth of Ghana have a voice. The voice, just like two edged sword, will commend where necessary and reprimand where mandatory. We are the future leaders, however our tomorrow is today.
DYMOG is grateful to the United Nations for choosing a theme that resonates with the Ghanaian Youth- “Youth Building Peace”.
“A Nations Youth are the Trustees of Posterity”—Benjamin Disreali
This paper will address how the Governance of our Nation in terms of Economy, Job Creation, Education, Corruption and Security influence the ability of the Youth to contribute to Peace building in the context of current happenings in our beloved Ghana.
We the Youth have a nonnegotiable mandate to advocate for competent and pragmatic Leadership that is beneficial to the Ghanaian Youth. This is constitutional. This godly charge is crucial vis-a-vis the wellbeing of the current generation and the inheritance of future generations.
Fellow Ghanaians, the point must be made that it is almost impossible to entreat the youth to contribute to peace building when conditions in the country do not give the Youth simple peace of mind. DYMOG believes, if little drops of water can make a mighty ocean, conversely, little drops of fire can create hell as well.
There are numerous issues transpiring in Ghana at the moment which we believe are flashes of fire, that if not quenched can threaten the peace and tranquility we are enjoying as a Nation.
These issues we categorize into:
- Economic well-being
- Job Creation
- General Security
- ECONOMIC WELL BEING
Fellow Ghanaians, it’s an incontrovertible truth that, it is the Youth that suffer the most as a result of poor economic leadership all over the world. For this reason, we shall always lead the charge to always demand for leadership that produces the panacea to our economic woes we face as citizens. DYMOG admits it is barely eight (8) months the Akufo Addo led Government has been in charge of our Economy, but we the Youth are feeling deteriorating economic hardship. In barely eight months:
- Transport fares have been increased
- Gas, Petrol and Diesel prices have been increased
- Basic food items like tomatoes cost 1ghc for just one. Prices of provisions such as sugar, soap, toothpaste among others keep increasing
- Electricity Bills are still the same
- Bank of Ghana says interest rates have reduced but cost of Borrowing is still high at Commercial Banks (between 28% to 32%) and the private sector is suffering.
- The Cedi ratio against the Dollar which Ghanaians are hopeful will match up against the Dollar sadly is fast depreciating at 4.5ghc at interbank rate
- Importers of goods are still crying over high import duties.
These are but few of the occurrences that are making Ghana a ‘hell’ for the Ghanaian Youth. The Economic situation is so bad such that shamefully, most youth today are still dependent on their parents despite completing school with certificates.
The slim section of the Ghanaian Youth who are employed can barely save since cost of goods and services are taking all their income-hand to mouth syndrome.
This situation has created an embarrassing situation where the Youth are struggling to start life and be financially independent as compared to our counterparts in other countries.
Fellow Ghanaians, in May 2016, the World Bank released a report on a project dubbed “Landscape of Jobs in Ghana”. The report revealed that 48% of Ghanaian Youth are unemployed. Truth be told, Youth unemployment has been an albatross around the neck of developing countries like Ghana. Our President, then candidate Nana Akuffo Addo and running mate Dr. Bawumia did give colossal hope to us the Youth.
The Youth of Ghana remember the words of candidate Nana Akufo Addo on 22nd June, 2016 at Suame Magazine (Ashanti Region)-“God has not placed us on this rich land to be poor. Ghana is not a poor Country. The money is here in abundance. It is just a matter of priority”. They assured us the Youth, jobs will be created. But today, there is no glimpse of hope. Unemployment has mercilessly engulfed the vast majority of the Youth. The Ghanaian Youth are wallowing in the deep valleys of utmost despair. Pain and suffering is our song.
Barely eight (8) months in Government, the Akufo Addo led Government, has not created any visible job for us but sadly, the following are happening:
- Already employed youth are being sacked from the public Sector and replaced with Party folks. For instance National Service Secretariat 2016 Recruits.
- Trained Health professionals like Nurses who have been trained with state resources today, are begging to be employed but Government says there is no job. President Nana Akuffo Addo promised to employ all these Nurses when voted but today his Government has painfully neglected them. Inhumanely, the bonding contract between Government and Nursing Trainees has been repealed and will take effect 2017/2018 academic year. Do we have too many nurses such that we don’t need more?
- The private sector evidently with all their lamentations, are unable to employ the Youth especially graduates.
- The final straw that broke the back of the camel is the recent bombshell by the Senior Minister Hon. Yaw Osafo Marfo at the 2017 Ghana Economic Forum – “Today under the IMF Program, the Public Sector is full and we need to create employment. The Sector is full and indeed it is full. Perhaps we even need to lay some off”. The hope of the Ghanaian Youth has been raised so high and mercilessly crushed barely eight (8) months. So now where do we go? Has Government lost steam in creating jobs? This is a big statement.
Government has high hopes of creating jobs through One district One factory Policy, but there are no signals of emerging factories. Until that what do we do? It is highly melancholic the Nation is blessed with many agile Youth who are willing to help build the Nation but our Government has no clue of utilizing millions of rich human resources to build our Nation.
Finally on unemployment, is Government aware that unemployment is a threat to National Security? Youthful unemployment has been one of the primary causes of political unrest in other Nations. Please, our peace is important, but Government shouldn’t push the Youth to that point.
Fellow Ghanaians, we are aware of the fact that, Education is what builds a Nation. On this premise, a threat to Education is a threat to our progress and development as a Nation.
Today, Education has become so painful for students and parents especially at the Senior High and Tertiary level.
The magnitude of suffering parents are going through to see their children through school cannot be over emphasized! The Youth of this Nation can resonate with hardship faced in the education sector.
Free SHS Education
Free SHS is good and we welcome it but unfortunately, as we speak it has not been clearly defined. There are existing issues affecting the quality of Free Senior High School Education. For instance, pupil to sitting space ratio, pupil to text books ratio, teacher to student’s ratio among others. Available records at the Ghana Education Service reveals. Furthermore, the cost of free SHS program isn’t being made clear. At least in Uganda, cost of Free SHS is $82 per student. In Ghana, what is the cost of free SHS per student? Albeit the fact that this policy is ill timed, it is also a recipe for disaster for secondary education as sustainability will become a crises soon. Our President, in an exclusive interview granted to GTV and Citi Fm few months ago said, “We don’t need to get all the money before we start, let us start as we go along we will get the money”. Clearly this is doom looming!
University School Fees
There are many challenges bedeviling the Tertiary student. However, one of the big challenges is high cost of school fees. Recently, Public Universities have announced astronomical school fees. These cutthroat fees are making parents go crazy. In these times when milk and honey isn’t flowing, how will parents manage to pay? Students who fend for themselves, how are they going to pay for their fees? The Youth of this country are being burdened by our Government.
Nursing Trainee Admission Slash
Principled leadership is largely missing in this Akufo Addo led administration. Why do our leaders keep making promises they know they cannot keep? Nursing Trainees were told ‘Nursing Training Allowances’ were going to be restored fully and access to nursing Trainee Institutions was never going to be affected negatively. Today, Nursing Trainees admissions are being slashed in both private and public Institutions. Last year, 7335 students were admitted but this year the number has been reduced to 5737. In all, we are talking about 1600 admission losses. These are some of the schools affected; Pentecost University can now admit only 35 instead of 96 students, Ntotrotroso College of Nursing has admission reduced from 235 to only 82 students, Keta Nursing and Midwifery College reduced from 137 to 77 students, Cape Coast Training College is also to reduce admission from 229 to 91 students inter alia. It must be stated that this policy is an explicit demonstration of gross insensitivity to the welfare of the Youth.
Is Government implying it is reducing Nursing Trainee admissions because there is no money to pay Nursing Trainee Allowances? The Youth of this Nation humbly ask the President, why didn’t the President reduce the number of 110 Ministers to save the public purse too? Because mathematically speaking, the Salary of one Minister for a year can pay the allowances of over 300 Nursing Trainees. The hearts of the Youth of Ghana are bleeding with pain and disappointment.
Teacher Trainees Allowance
Fellow Ghanaians, we all remember the assurances that were given to Teacher Trainees by then candidate Nana Akufo Addo. Sadly, the Teacher Trainees allowances have not been replaced. Instead, the Student Loan Trust Fund Scheme is being forced down the Throat of students such that if you don’t register with the SLTF, you cannot undertake your academic registration. The Youth of this Nation feel disappointed.
Fellow Ghanaians, one of the major reasons that have made citizens kick out regimes is perceived or proven allegations of corruption. Ghanaians were very unhappy and accepted the message of then Candidate Akuffo Addo to fight corruption and protect the public purse. The explosive exuberance of the President against corruption seems to plummet as he is now the man in charge.
Quite sadly, under the tutelage of His Excellency Nana Akuffo Addo the perception of stinking corruption is on the rise with no single action being taken.
We can all resonate with the following in barely eight months of Leadership:
- The issuing of a controversial $2.25 Billion Bond, which is currently under investigation
- The outrageous spending during Ghana at 60 celebrations for instance spending GHC 5 Million on just 6th March,2017 parade.
- The infamous BOST scandal involving BOST MD Mr. Fred Obeng selling 5 Million Liters of contaminated oil to Movinpinna Company and Zup Oil. This transaction took place under bizarre circumstances which needed a Presidential inquiry. But till date nothing despite the call by Civil Society like IMANI and Occupy Ghana! We thank STRANEK for taking this serious matter to High court.
The economy is bad. Ghanaians are suffering. There seems to be no glimpse of hope in the horizon. But what do we see? Our public officials who promised to protect the public purse are rather draining it without mercy. The Youth of our Nation are peeved as our dreams and aspirations are being smashed like eggs right before our eyes.
American musician Kurt Cobain once said–“The Duty of Youth is to challenge Corruption”. DYMOG uses this platform to assure Ghanaians that we are going to take the fight against corruption seriously. We shall expose and demand accountability from our leaders irrespective of who is in involved.
The peace of mind and safety of Ghanaians cannot be traded with all the gold in the world. Our peace and security is absolutely priceless.
Aside economic hardship, unemployment and corruption, we citizens face intermittent break down of law and order. Our security officials are not even safe. Members of Invisible Forces can now publicly threaten to cause mayhem and sadly our security agencies can do nothing about it although there is video evidence to that effect. Just last week, a man heinously shot a mechanic because of disagreement over parking space. We the Youth don’t feel safe.
Fellow Ghanaians, even though we welcome Operation Vanguard in the fight against Galamsey, DYMOG officially wants to caution Government that, it should be done with caution because this can degenerate into bigger mayhem which will lead to loss of lives and topple community development. So far about 8 people have died in the Task Force operation so far, expensive machinery are being burnt among others. Government should be tactical about this.
- Government should realize that its leadership by far is a breach of the 1992 Constitution. Article 1. Clause 1.
- Government should organize a “National Governance and Policy Forum” and take ideas from other Political Parties, Civil Society and Citizens. This will help Government is solving the challenges that befall us.
Fellow Ghanaians, once again we appreciate the theme of the United Nations for this year’s International Youth Celebration—“Youth Building Peace”. Essentially and commonsensically, the Youth have a big role to play in securing the Peace and sanctity of our dear Nation. That notwithstanding, the Government of the day also has roles to play and secure the essential pillars of peace. These pillars of peace are established and championed by the Institute for Economics and Peace, a non-partisan Global Think Thank based in New York and Sydney.
Fellow Ghanaians, the proverb that the highest form of happiness is Peace should be our guiding principle in this discussion. The harmless question we should all be asking is, are we the Ghanaian Youth happy?
The ease of doing business in Ghana is increasingly becoming cumbersome and we all should be worrisome. Getting jobs in Ghana is not getting any easier. Fixing three square meals a day for one self and family is as hard as stone.
The avalanche of crime and disasters in the past 7 months has robbed Ghanaians of their peace of mind and tranquility.
Ghanaians are increasingly becoming aware of the deception by politicians and their double standards when in opposition and when in Government.
Fellow Ghanaians, DYMOG isn’t saying all challenges Ghanaians are facing started from the Akufo Addo led government, however it must be stated that President Akufo Addo and Dr. Bawumia raised too high, the hope of the Ghanaian Youth. They promised to make life easy for us, but sadly, the problems of unemployment are on the rise, life is getting harder and corruption is still happening in Government.
DYMOG on behalf of the Ghanaian Youth is appealing to the President, His Excellency Nana Akufo and Dr. Bawumia to up their game and turn the Ghanaian economy around.
The Youth of Ghana still has gargantuan hope in them and we avail ourselves to support in building our Nation.