Over the years, anybody ready for the job market, especially the public sector appreciates the term financial clearance, which indicates the number of spaces and sectors given the fiscal support to be accepted on the payroll of government.
Financial clearance has been mystified. This only means we do not have enough revenue to bring people to work for the state. Thus, the government should be assessed based on her ability to raise revenue and utilize same productively.
Recently, at the graduation ceremony of UPSA, the Minister of Finance whose outfit issues financial clearance, explained that the jubilant graduates should not be hoping for employment in the public sector because the spaces are not there and that they should take to entrepreneurship. He further explained that the job of government is to create an enabling environment for them to create and establish themselves.
The statement will generate critical discussions by the youth and other major stakeholders.
Public sector job analysis and fiscal limitations:
The truth is that a proper analysis of the public sector spaces will reveal thousands of spaces in health, education, police service, immigration,agriculture extension services, district and municipal assemblies just to mention a few for Ghanaians. So the public sector is not actually choked, it is rather the inability of the government to raise the required revenue to employ. Jobs that require ten people to do cannot be done effectively by two people. This is why we have widespread productivity deficit. Another serious issue is a well managed economy should be creating continuous economic opportunities for all the levels of the country’s demography.
When we accepted the concept of jobless growth without doing anything about it , how do we expect the economy to give us the jobs? The economy is about livelihood and livelihood is glued to jobs. Speaking away an important product of economic management is a frustrating news to the youth. The reality is over 97% of these graduates remain jobseekers and with the 3% that may involve in entrepreneurial trials 2% May survive over a 5year period and 1% will grow to become giants. Thus , we need to support entrepreneurial success and survival with good access to cheaper fuel, cheaper energy, low and competitive interest rates, reliable marketing architecture, availability of startup funds to support entrepreneurship at the early stages and Investment in business incubators with serious staffing and equipment in well mapped out towns. It is important to recognize that vocational and skills training creates entrepreneurs faster with lasting impact.
It is frustrating to tell over 100,000 new graduates per year to take entrepreneurship as alternative to jobs in the economy. That sounds sweet when reviewing academic literature but this is definitely not an easy path.
Measuring entrepreneurship success:
Government and government officials should not think preaching about entrepreneurship is entrepreneurial activity. There must be concrete investment in the entrepreneurial environment. The investment in creating entrepreneurial activity is very low. Yes there is noise about entrepreneurship but is not the same as supporting entrepreneurial activity. Let us not think the few business development centers in very few towns in the country with some occasional selection of very few youths means anything to measure up what it takes to tell Ghanaians , entrepreneurship entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship!.
There are thousands, if not millions, of young people with ideas without the broad based entrepreneurial support system. Entrepreneurship is about creativity, expansion, identification of opportunities , new products and services and jobs.
How do we measure entrepreneurial success in Ghana by the government? Is it about entrepreneurial activity per GDP, rate of business expansion, employment, number of successful self employment? There must be something to measure.
We need to know the survival rate of new businesses, survival rate of new businesses established by young people if not the call by the Minister will mean we don’t have job for you.
What is the level of entrepreneurship by government? What is the level of innovation by government when it comes to activating the Kommenda sugar factory?
Some estimates show within 10 years Ghana imported more than US$4billion worth of sugar. An innovative government should have ensured critical entrepreneurial activity to provide jobs and produce sugar.
Let the government be entrepreneurial, let the government provide the entrepreneurial environment and let our young ones take advantage of any new investment to help entrepreneurship thrive in Ghana.
We spend billions importing rice to Ghana but our locally produced rice is priced higher than foreign ones. So where is the entrepreneurship?
Supporting some selected businesses in election year with some financial resources with no tangible results to show is not the way to go. Let us take the private sector job alternatives for graduates as a serious project.