Violent crime, particularly armed robbery is not peculiar to Ghana. Like most developing countries, Ghana continues to grapple with the challenge of controlling violent crimes.
However, the fast rising rate in violent crimes being recorded across the country, makes the challenge a severe national security threat.
This week alone a series of armed robberies, which were recorded in Accra and other major cities, left behind casualties. Some of the attacks were brazenly undertaken by young people in broad-day light, wielding sophisticated guns and shooting in indiscriminately.
Most of these young criminals are either without any meaningful and sustainable jobs, or jobless.
Studies show that there is a direct correlation between crime and unemployment.
Ghana’s rising unemployment level has been described by both government and civil society organisations as a national threat and a time bomb.
The unemployment crisis was exposed last January when some 15,000 out of over 84,000 applicants who applied for employment into the Ghana Immigration Service, turned up at the El-Wak Stadium for a recruitment exercise meant to select only 500 applicants.
While many graduate nurses and doctors, among the category of trained professionals without jobs, continue to cry for postings, others continue to queue at the Youth Employment Agency offices and the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies for jobs, amidst demonstrations.
The demand for jobs by political vigilante groups who want the government to honour them with jobs, continue to threaten the national peace.
Apart from the vigilante groups, many other jobless young people voted in the last general election in anticipation of jobs.
Most of the job seekers seem to have become too frustrated that the only available option for them to survive is to engage in crime.
However, in order to defuse the unemployment time bomb, the government has a viable option to dialogue with the jobless youth.
The absence of dialogue, assisted by mediation, has resulted in lack of information about government’s interventions to create jobs, since such information could at least offer some hope to the jobless youth.
There is a need for well-established mediation system to address agitation by youth groups relating to demands for jobs or actions that threaten their existing jobs.
The use of mediation is the only way the government and the jobless youth would appreciate each sides concerns and challenges, so as to fashion out the way forward.
Without mediation, disputes emanating from demands for jobs by vigilante groups, graduate nurses, doctors and teachers among other professionals, as well as untrained youth, will recur.
By Nii Adotey/adrdaily.com