Business News of 2014-06-12

Ghana needs 7 million jobs by 2030 - World Bank

Ghana needs to create between six and seven million new jobs by 2030 to be able to absorb the people who enter the world of work, which is set to increase for the next couple of decades, the World Bank Ghana Country Office has said.

According to the Country Director, Mr Yusupha Crookes, based on the 2010 Population and Housing Census, the proportion of Ghana’s population in the working class has increased and will continue to increase in the coming years.

According to the 2010 Population and Housing Census, the working age population (15-59 years), which used to be around 50 per cent since the 1960s, now constitutes 55 per cent of the population.

At the same time, fertility has been declining from more than six children per woman in 1971 to four children in 2008 and these combine with other demographic indicators to suggest that there will be an increasing proportion of the population in the working ages in the coming years.

Mr Crookes said Ghana would face a fundamental growth challenge and that was envisaged and factored into the bank’s Country Partnership Strategy approved barely two years ago.

“One major challenge for Ghana is how to foster increased levels of productivity and investments in the non-oil (non-mineral) sectors where higher and sustained growth will serve to generate jobs beyond the relatively few ones that the petroleum sector or the mining sector can create,” he said.

Speaking at a stakeholder’s forum on manufacturing competitiveness in Accra, the World Bank country director added that jobs to be created at the non-minerals sectors where the impact would be broader in terms of reducing poverty and enhancing shared prosperity in the country.

He stressed the need to increase productivity, lower firms’ operational costs and move from a resource-intensive growth to enhance the business environment for firms and strengthen the platform for investments in manufacturing.

Ghana’s economic performance

According to the country director, Ghana had been doing quite well on the World Bank’s rankings on doing business, although its position had slipped.

“Rankings that we do of countries around the world on doing business show that Ghana outperforms, though its position has slipped a little,” he said.

The Director in charge of Manufacturing at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr Kofi Affresah Nuhu, said policies were being put in place to address challenges in the manufacturing sector.

He hinted that the Industrial Sector Support Programme had earmarked some sectors in the economy which would be supported to harness economic growth.