Attention on Housing Industry can Solve Unemployment – CEO

The incoming Government has been urged to introduce new and realistic housing policies to address the growing accommodation shortfalls, and open up more employment opportunities for the youth.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Danywise Estate and Construction, Mr Frank Aboagye Danyansah told the Ghana News Agency that the new administration, scheduled to take office on January 7, ought to look at ways of finishing all the 4,900 housing units started during President John Agyekum Kufuor’s era.

He said the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s Government should also complete the 5,000 units that were almost completed by the National Democratic Congress as part of austerity measures to deal with joblessness.

The World Bank, in May last year, reported that about 48 per cent of the youth from 15 to 24 years in Ghana did not have jobs and estimated that the figure would peak in the coming decade, thus raising concerns about the preparedness of managers of the economy to deal with the problem.

But the construction expert said the unemployment challenges could be solved substantially by paying attention to the housing industry – which had a value chain that could engage more than 80,000 unwaged youth.

“I am expecting this new government to come up with new and pragmatic policies to address this huge unemployment problem facing our country. As a country, let us set our priorities right.

“This will help close the worrying housing deficit, and I think the construction industry is the sector to look at,” he said.

The country’s housing shortfall is pegged at 1.7 million units, and expected to climb to two million by 2018.

This implies that government will have to build 190,000 to 200,000 units each year for the next 10 years to bridge the widening gap, Mr Danyansah said.

“To the incoming government, the construction industry deserves better if [the incoming government] is really serious about creating jobs for our teeming young graduates without work,” he said.

Mr Danyansah noted that the active private sector involvement in the Government’s affordable housing project that had been abandoned for sometime now, but this could help bridge the growing housing deficits if Nana Akufo-Addo’s Government should initiate the right polices.

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