Youth unemployment has been found to be the most common driver of vulnerability to violent extremism and radicalisation in the five Northern Regions of Ghana.
This was made known by a study conducted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The study, which adopted a mixed method approach for data collection including a survey of close to 1,400 respondents, assessed specific vulnerabilities of individuals, groups, and communities to being radicalised towards eventual violent extremism.
The report calls for targeted interventions to address the persisting socio-economic challenges and development gap that has generated a sense of exclusion, marginalisation, and anger among the largely unemployed youth.
In a Citi News interview on the findings of the report, Security Analyst Adib Saani said there are more driving factors to the development and called for a holistic approach in dealing with the situation.
“For a lot of people, they thought our biggest threat lies in people coming from other parts of the West African sub-region to harm us but I have always contended that in as much as they are concerned about the external, the biggest threats are the internal issues and it is about the human insecurities and
people not having basic necessities of life, food, water, access to sanitation services, access to healthcare, the issue of youth unemployment. I have always said it is a serious essential threat to the security of the state.”
“Just for example, last year according to the World Bank, close to a million Ghanaians were pushed into poverty. Recently also, the Ghana Statistical Service released a report that pointed to quite a large number of young people without education, without jobs doing nothing. So these are serious concerns we need to pay attention to, but they should look closely at the manner in which we have worked at countering violent extremism in Ghana. It’s been geared towards military approach,” he stated.