The President of the Sunyani Youth Development Association (SYDA), Mr. Atta Akoto, has urged the youth to consider agriculture and agribusiness as avenues that can offer sustainable employment and improve the economy.
He said majority of the youth did not see the agricultural sector as an area for a sustainable and lucrative career opportunity saying “there are huge opportunities in the agriculture sector that can absorb thousands of the unemployed youth”.
Mr. Akoto was speaking to the Daily Graphic on the sidelines of the Sunyani Digital Jobs Fair organised by GrassRoots Hub and Ghana Tech Lab in Sunyani last Friday to build the capacity of young people on how to acquire decent jobs.
He explained that engaging of the youth in agriculture would increase food production for the local market and export to bring in more foreign exchange earnings to support the development of the country.
The Sunyani Digital Jobs Fair is a recruiting career fair which creates an avenue for employers to explain current job openings to potential employees.
It also seeks to offer a common platform for entrepreneurs, students, startups, investors, companies and business owners to exhibit their products to attract attention.
The job fair was sponsored by MasterCard Foundation, World Bank Africa and the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation.
The fair, which was organised on the theme: “Building Resilient Creatives for the Job Market”, brought together participants from the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), Sunyani Technical University (STU), Catholic University College of Ghana (CUCG) and some unemployed youth.
The participants were taken through interview practice, personal branding and curriculum vitae writing, among others.
Mr. Akoto admonished the youth to find innovative ways of creating and doing business to secure decent jobs and reduce unemployment in the country.
He explained that the government alone could not create jobs for all the thousands of people who graduated from tertiary institutions, and expressed the need for them to create their own jobs.
Mr. Akoto, however, bemoaned the failure of the government to invest in job creation, and suggested that state agencies and enterprises should be resourced to work and pay themselves.
That, according to him, would motivate them to expand their operations to employ more people to increase revenue.
The Manager of the Sunyani GrassRoots Hub, Ms. Diana Kwaaba Cudjoe, explained that the GrassRoot Hub was an eco-entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development Goals innovative lab.
She said seeking employment in recent times had become a herculean task for the teeming youth, and explained that unemployment was growing rapidly in the country due to multifaceted reasons.
She attributed the situation to lack of skills and jobs, and blamed the educational curriculum currently rolled out in the country's educational system which focused on theory at the expense of practicals.
Ms. Cudjoe said it was in the light of this that the GrassRoots Hub decided to engage business owners, entrepreneurs, youth groups and investors over the years to address the situation.
She said the fair was designed to recognise the role of the youth in society by putting up activities such as CV and Resume writing, personal branding and interview skills to enhance the employability of job seekers.