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Akufo-Addo’s State of the Nation Address Incomplete – Ato Forson

Dr Ato Forson criticized the President for not addressing the unemployment issue facing the country.

The Minority Leader, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, has expressed disappointment with the President’s State of the Nation Address delivered in parliament yesterday [February 27], describing it as being without hope and lacking in solutions to the country’s pressing issues.

President Akufo-Addo, during his latest State of the Nation Address on Tuesday enumerated developments in various sectors including education as well as disclosed plans to start and complete other projects including the Kumasi International Airport. For instance, he indicated the government has proposed four new universities in Mampong (Ashanti Region), Akrodie (Bono Region), Bunso (Eastern Region) and Kintampo (Bono East Region).

Concerning unemployment which is one of the biggest issues facing the country, Nana Akufo-Addo mentioned that his flagship programme, the 1D1F has contributed to the creation of approximately 170,000 jobs within operational companies.

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After the address, Dr. Ato Forson expressed his dissatisfaction mainly focusing on the critical unemployment situation in the country. He emphasized that out of a population of 33 million people, only 11.3 million are employed, including peasant farmers. He criticized the President for not addressing the unemployment issue.

“Mr. Speaker, the unemployment situation in our country is at a critical point. Yet, we did not hear a word from our president on this matter. Out of thirty-three million (33) population, only 11. 3 million are employed. This number includes peasant farmers. Mr. Speaker, the difference between the 33 million and the 11. 3 million is what I call ‘Ninja’, no income, no jobs, no assets. Mr. Speaker, this means that 2 out of every 3 Ghanaians are unemployed,” he said in Parliament.

He also mentioned that the difference between the total population and the employed is significant.

“Mr. Speaker, thirty percent of our youth are jobless and about 4. 5 million employable Ghanaians plus are outside the labour force, Mr. Speaker, this simply means that this number has simply given up on their search for a job because of years of frustration and disappointments,” he added.

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The latest labour statistics report by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) for the third quarter of 2023 indicates that over 1.8 million Ghanaians are currently unemployed, which represents a 14.7% unemployment rate.

The report also highlights a significant disparity between males and females, with women having an almost twice as high unemployment rate as that of men.

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