The Japanese have a saying that sits right at the very core of their technological and economic advancement, “Bad thinking, bad product”.
As long as the thinking of the leadership of a country or organisation is faulty, very little can be said of the result of the product.
Clearly, we have continually shot ourselves in the foot by either poor thinking or outsourcing our thinking caps for others to do our job for us.
Unfortunately for us, push has come to shove and we have allowed the raging bull into our China shop, and except we find the courage to unlearn the past, we are in for a balloon ride.
According to the Statistics, the Ghanaian youth aged between 15 and 24 are either unemployed or under employed.
Frightening as these figures are, we still have a defective thinking in government that rather than create jobs, it is creating more chaos as demonstrated by the economic figures dished out every year. There is no gainsaying that we are not only faced with a national problem but a regional and continental one, if not global.
By 2035, Africa will have more people entering the work age than the entire world combined. As such, the International Monetary Fund, IMF, has argued that Africa including Ghana will need to create 18 million decent jobs yearly from now until 2035 to bridge the gap.
More pertinently, by 2050, a country like Nigeria will be the third most populous nation on earth just behind China and India and over 60% of that projection will be in their work age. The question is who is thinking ahead and putting policies in place to deal with the ‘Elephant’ in the room.
The Asians, Europeans and even the Americans are rethinking their educational curriculum with a strong emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) because they realise that future jobs are dependent on people who hold strong skills in these areas.
They understand that to advance their economy, they must create the next great innovative technology and not just consume them. But, back home, we continue to scale our unquenchable appetite for consumption. Nobody is thinking about massively reskilling our people with the capabilities in the construction and repair of basic modern infrastructure.
We no longer have skilled plumbers, skilled electricians or carpenters, little wonder the Chinese and Indians profit from our folly.
We are still struggling to create jobs with pay packets that can hardly get people to their bus stop how much more their homes and have totally failed to unleash the creative and entrepreneurial prowess of our people.
Apple has 246 billion dollars in cash. Walmart had a revenue of 482 billion dollars in 2015 alone. Even if we produced and sold 2.2 million barrels of oil per day at the best rate, we could never accumulate such revenues as these giant companies each started by brilliant entrepreneurs whose governments have set up regulatory and policy frameworks that allowed them thrive.
Our leaders can either choose to look in the mirror and take full responsibility or look out of the window or continue with the blame game. As we have argued all year long, our problem isn’t just corruption, it is mental. We are led by a group of people who can’t see beyond their nose.