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Black Market Employment is Reducing the Frustrations of the Ghanaian Youth

The youth of today are the backbone of the future. If this statement is not a fallacy of hasty generalization, then you will side with me that, the future of a country rests in the hands of the current youth. These dynamic and innovative youths are much interested in putting their efforts in activities that could reward them. The youth also have dreams and aspire to achieve more for themselves and for other future generations. However, the inadequate opportunities for these teeming youths to capitalize on have rendered many hopeless and creating their own means of survival.

Educated youths are writing hundreds and thousands of employment vacancy applications. The hunting for jobs starts immediately after graduation of face degree and often during their national services. One could be in the job queue for many years if luck does not smile at you. Others could be lucky to be employed after their national services with good salaries while majority may be underemployed.

An uncountable number of them could not find jobs in their first 3 years after school. Ghana is challenged with 12% unemployment and 50% underemployment rate.

The uneducated have accepted the fact that they would not be employed in white colored jobs and ride in luxury jobs, and are often seen in blue colored jobs. These include carpentry, masonry, painting, fabrication, sports and apprenticeship.

The desires to be rich over night have also intoxicated the youth in Ghana and are ready to engage any actions that could reward their effort with speed.

Majority of the youths in Ghana are self-employed in the fraudulent venture with its street name, “Game Boy”, “Sakawa” or “Yahoo Boy – if you live in Nigeria”. This venture employs a large number the youth in recent times. This has made most of these individuals not be worried about unemployment. Most these individuals in the venture of fraud or cyber crime cannot be said to be legitimately employed.

They should have ordinarily been part of the unemployed youth but because they are able to meet certain physical needs through their illegal ventures, they do not feel the impact of unemployment in the country.

The youths have always stood-up against bad governance as evidence in the Arab spring and National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) in their golden days.

However in recent times, majority of the youths are relaxed in the face of bad governance, corruption, government wastage, bureaucracy and high cost of living. This is so because the “Game Boy” enterprise employs large number of the youths.

Ordinarily, the frustration of youth explodes when graduate unemployment and unemployed illiterates are burdened with so much economic hardship. The dynamics have change because of the “Game Boy” enterprise that has absorbed both the graduate and uneducated youth.

In the event that the “Game Boy” enterprise is non-existing, it would have increased the unemployment rate and frustrations of the youth would be aggressive and might trigger spontaneously uncontrolled criminal activities. It has occupied and made them busy away from robbery and other hardware crimes.

The illegal enterprise has taken many from the streets or poverty and seems to be very lucrative for the unemployed youths.

Another “illegally” promising enterprise that employs the youth is hookup. This is an online prostituting venture where beautiful ladies are contacted for a night. Hookups get their clients on social media including Facebook, WhatsApp, SnapChat and Telegram.

It is employing a certain number of Ghanaian females to sustain their lavishly life style, reducing the frustration of unemployment among the youths and creating networks within networks. This is more like the Uber and Bolt transport service where clients order a ride but with hookup you order sex.

Though prostitution is illegal their actions do not harm taxpayers in anyway and highly invisible.

Other youth also get employment through political connections and serving as errand boy for a “big man” in the political space. This avenue also reduces the frustration of the youths. To this group of youth, they are bent on following political demigods and doing their bidding to win political favors and connections.

These activities also bring income to them and become content with where they find themselves.  They lead corrupt deals because the big wigs do not show their faces sometimes.

It is easy to say that the youth are not angry enough against the leaders of the country due to corruption, unemployment, and plundering of the state, becoming rich through politics and mismanagement of the economy.  This is so because the magnitudes of the frustration facing the youth have been reduced by the black market employment enterprise.

However, the youth that do not engage in such enterprises due to their own convictions and desire to have clean source of income, are those who occasionally demonstrate and protest against bad governance.



Peter Bismark


2021-05-03 18:51:58

Source: ILAPI