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Ghana falls on the United Nations list of the poor countries. It is among the undeveloped countries decades after gaining its independence. As Ghana tries to develop and meet the economic development goals of 2020 and to provide the citizens with proper living conditions, it faces many economic and social issues…
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THE CURRENT ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL ISSUES FACING GHANA of Affiliation Ghana falls on the United Nations list of the poor countries.It is among the undeveloped countries decades after gaining its independence. As Ghana tries to develop and meet the economic development goals of 2020 and to provide the citizens with proper living conditions, it faces many economic and social issues.
Of the major economic problems is mass unemployment. Ghana is experiencing a gradual rate of urbanisation. However, with its increasing population the employment opportunities create does not match the jobs created (Hart, 2011). In this problem, the youth who form the about a quarter of the population is the most affected. It is approximated that only about 12 percent of the youth can secure formal employment with the rest being unemployed or in the informal sector (Hart, 2011). Even though the government has employed several strategies to curb this, including national youth employment programmes and many others, this has not been adequate to address this problem.
Secondly, there are high levels of illiteracy. Just like many developing countries, the people of Ghana have limited access to higher education. This further hinders their chances of securing reasonable employment (Kuada, 2013). For the few who enrol to the higher education, they receive little to middle educational levels(Tiger & García, 2014). Besides the education, a system of Ghana is characterised by low technological and scientific application level. In the industrial technology sophistication, Ghana is still among the bottom countries(Hart, 2011). The education system needs to address the need to adopt science and technology curriculum. Currently, the power knowledge drives the economy rather than mere physical education. Therefore, for educational sustainability there need to be an investment in technological advancement
Similarly, there is a decline of agriculture. The majority of rural people of Ghana depend on agriculture(Braimoh, 2013). However, the many challenges affecting this sector has caused its decline. First, the international prices of crops like cocoa and coffee are on the decline (Lyon, 2011). Thus, people are discouraged on the farming due to high production costs. Secondary, there is a lack of access to knowledge and resources. People do not obtain adequate funds subsidiaries to buy proper machinery and expand on their farming (Kuada, 2013). Besides, there are agricultural related problems. These include encroachment of the desert and over farming. For instance in the north, there is encroachment of the desert with unfavourable weather condition like unpredictable rainfall causing crop failure (Doss, 2012). Finally, there is increased the prevalence of the cash crop farming over the food crop farming (Lyon, 2011). In this country where farming is the backbone of the economy especially in the rural area, it causes famine.
Besides, Ghana experiences gender disparities. These arise amid the elevated levels of education differences and poverty. Whereas the female form about 50.5% of the total population, they attain lower rates of literacy and high levels of poverty (Doss, 2012). More than 50 percent of these women live below the poverty line. These are attributable to the gender roles where women are mainly performing home duties with limited access to the productive resources (Doss, 2012). Compared to the males the females have little access to capital and income generating resources that are substantially contributing to their woes. The massive household workload prevents them from escaping poverty. These factors have led to the deprivation of the females causing the elevated child hunger and infant mortality (Kuada, 2013). Healthwise, the women, experience twice as high levels of HIV infection as compared to the males(Kuada, 2013).
Finally, there is the issue of migration. This is both internal and external migration. In Ghana, people move from the rural areas to the urban areas to search for employment and education. The limited resources of the rural area make people move for better opportunities in towns (Tiger & García, 2014). This has two significant adverse effects both on the economy and to the social aspect of the country. On one hand in the rural area, these people abandon agriculture one of the principal contributor to the gross domestic income. This leads to low food production and self-sustenance in terms of agricultural produce (Kuada, 2013). On the other hand, migration of people to urban areas causes pressures in the urban areas. This translate to the inability of the urban residences unable to t accommodates these numbers thus resulting in cheaper settlement homes called slums (Hong, 2014). Besides not all people, get the employment thus high urban unemployment. Crime and prostitution stem as means to earn a living for these people (Hart, 2011). Besides, being among the leaders in the western economy and its history of political stability, Ghana becomes a choice of illegal immigrants (Hart, 2011). These pose competition for the little available resources and employment opportunities. The majority of these people work as a cheap source of unskilled labour, denying the Ghanaians a chance for employment.
Indeed, these social and economic challenges threaten the growing economy of the Ghana. Despite the effort of the government and the stakeholders to solve this problem they persist. It will take the effort of the nation as a whole to overcome all of these problems
Braimoh, A. K. (2013). Agricultural land-use change during economic reforms in Ghana. Land Use Policy, 26(3), 763–771.
Doss, C. R. (2012). Men’s crops? Womens crops? The gender patterns of cropping in Ghana. World Development, 30(11), 1987–2000.
Hart, K. (2011). Informal Income Opportunities and Urban Employment in Ghana. The Journal of Modern African Studies.
Hong, R. (2014). Effect of economic inequality on chronic childhood undernutrition in Ghana. Public Health Nutrition, 10(4), 371–378.
Kuada, J. (2013). Gender, Social Networks, and Entrepreneurship in Ghana. Journal of African Business.
Lyon, F. (2011). Trust, networks and norms: The creation of social capital in agricultural economies in Ghana. World Development, 28(4), 663–681.
Tiger, J., & García, J. I. R. (2014). Ghana Living Standards Survey Report of the Fifth Round ( Glss 5 ). Experimental Parasitology, 113(Glss 5), 1–146. Read More
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