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Unemployment, A Push Factor For Youth Migration - UCC Professor

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A Professor from the Department of Population and Health of University of Cape Coast (UCC), Professor Augustin Tanle says unemployment continues to be the major reason most young Ghanaians migrate to other countries.

He identifies migration among other things as a livelihood strategy that is even encouraged and recommended for young people by their parents in the society.

Professor Tanle’s comments were in contribution to a discussion on a research finding that suggests that about 75 percent of Ghanaians, when given the opportunity, will willingly leave the country to settle in another country for a better life. It also found that 42 percent of Ghanaians plan on moving to another country in the next five years.

He indicates the youth are the dominant variables for migration due to lack of jobs. He was speaking on the Atlantic Wave last Friday.

“The people so desirous to migrate are usually the young people this is because unemployment is usually, higher among the young people than the old people. So it is normal and if these people, in the next five years are still desirous to migrate to other countries, it is expected because we are aware of the level of unemployment in the country. Ghana as it stands now has a negative net migration, that is, there is more outflow than inflow. So the government has to put in more effort.”

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Professor Tanle bemoans social pressures and influences particularly from parents on young people to migrate. He explains some parents perceive migration as a means of redemption from poverty.

“I also put part of the blame on us, the parents. We push our children to migrate because we want them to provide some support for us. Let me put it this way, migration to some household is a livelihood strategy. We are supporting our children to migrate abroad so that remittances from them will relieve the family from poverty and this is not the way to go.”

Professor Tanle proposes more effort is channeled by the state to increase opportunities and make the environment more enabling and attractive to engage the youth in productive ventures. He says, for instance, credit facilities should be made available and easily accessible by young people.

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“Giving the fact that job opportunities are limited, government needs to do more. We have the National Youth and Employment Program but how many of the unemployed youth can it cater for? There are also those who do not have the opportunity to be part of the National Youth Employment Program and will want to start their own business, but what are we doing to help these people because we cannot force everybody into the National Youth Employment Program.

For instance, what are the interest rate in our banks so that some of these young people can get capital to begin something? So, apart from the national youth employment program, government should also look at these outliers and help them so that they can also get something doing.”

Source: ATL FM News