Unemployment and education are the most pressing problems for young Ghanaians, according to the most recent Afrobarometer survey.
Its findings released on International Youth Day show that these are the problems young Ghanaians want to be addressed by the state.
The survey asked adults of all ages to cite the most important problems they want the government to address, and, infrastructure and roads were “the most frequently cited priority mentioned by 59% of respondents followed by unemployment (39%) and education (38%).”
But when narrowed down to Ghanaians between the ages of 18 and 35, unemployment and education were their main concerns.
“Young adults are 14 and 5 percentage points, respectively, more likely than seniors to cite unemployment and education as their top priorities.”
Six in 10 Ghanaians said they “somewhat support” or “strongly support” higher taxes to fund programs to help the youth.
In addition, 59 percent of respondents said job creation would be the highest priority if the government could increase its spending to help the youth.
Despite the concern for youth, a majority of Ghanaians “think it is more important to listen to the wisdom of the elders than to the fresh ideas of the young.”
An adjacent Afrobarometer survey noted that the youth are no less interested in politics than their elders.
It noted that only 36 percent of Ghanaians agree with the idea that “in order for our country to do well, we should listen more to fresh ideas from young people.”
Instead, 54 percent say that “we should listen more to the wisdom of our elders,” including 40 percent who “agree very strongly” with this view.
“The need to pay more attention to the youth is a minority view across key sociodemographic groups – even among youth themselves (38%). Men (40%) and respondents with post-secondary education (40%) are somewhat more likely to emphasize listening to youth than are women (32%) and citizens without formal education (30%),” the survey noted.
The youth are, however, less likely than older citizens to have attended a community meeting.
Of the youth surveyed, 43 percent said they had attended a community meeting, 39 percent said they had contacted leaders during the previous 12 months.
Find the full survey here.