Each day, many Ghanaians struggle for visa to leave the country for greener pastures; others also resort to illegal means in crossing to neighbouring countries even if it will cost their life. The majority of youth who leave the country possess some form of skills that Ghana can tap into to make the country better.
However these youth are left to their faith to travel as there are limited avenues for employment in the country. On weekdays, majority of Ghanaians not less than five hundred queue at the US, German and Switzerland Embassy for visa and interview to enable them travel.
An Afrobarometer survey in 2017 revealed that four in 10 Ghanaians have considered emigrating in search of more favourable economic prospects. According to the survey “close to one-third (28%) of Ghanaians say they have been considering emigrating “a lot” or “somewhat”, close to one-third (28%) are thinking of emigrating next year or two even though they are yet to start preparations”.
Despite the insignificant figure that are considering to leave the country it must prompt many including stakeholders and government to find a favourable condition under which Ghanaian youth can be gainfully employed.
From the Afrobarometer survey it was revealed that the people who had thoughts of emigrating were between the ages of 18-55 and had the intention to emigrate to find work because of economic hardship.
Quoting a part of an article from the Ghana News Agency, the president Akofo-Addo at a joint press conference with visiting Maltese President, Mrs Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, at the Flagstaff House in Accra, disclosed that “government, apart from leveraging on Ghana’s relations with its European allies to find the solutions to minimise the impact of the phenomenon, is pushing to invest in the creation of sustainable livelihood in order to create opportunities that would decrease the cause for migration”. But after the meeting what have we seen? What has changed?
According to an article posted on Citifm online in May 2015, Ghana has the highest emigration rate for skilled emigrants.
It was also evidenced that about 33.8 per cent of emigrants from Ghana living in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries poses medium skills with 27.6 per cent estimated by the European Union to have high skills.
On several occasions, some youths who are employed in Ghana largely have to demonstrate or embark on strike actions just to get their demands met aside the meagre salary they receive. This circumstance can never be described as a good working condition. Nurses and teachers are not left out of this conversation.
Have we forgotten that we fought our way out of the hands of the colonial masters to be on own, to foster development. So now what is wrong? Is it a matter of misplaced priority? Till when are we going to sit and watch our skilled labour who can help develop the nation emigrate to use their skills to the detriment of their beloved country. It is about time we reconsider massive means of employing our graduates beyond Nations Builders Corps (NABCO), it is about time we value our employed human resources and reward them deservedly. Dormant factories must be revived to employ youths.
Travelling outside Ghana is not a crime but allowing the country’s skilled labour force to be anxiously queuing, eyeing and struggling for visas because of a job overseas with better conditions of service must bring all hands on deck in tackling emigration. We must not sleep and forget that “the black man is capable of managing his own affairs” Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
Written by: Mariam Akofa Baah