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Fall In Cocoa Prices Threaten Jobs
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While Ghana, alongside a number of resource-rich African countries, has benefited from high international demand for commodities to post impressive growth figures, experts are now expressing fears that things can go bad if the bubble bursts.

Already the country is beginning to feel the impact of the dramatic fall in world cocoa prices.

Projected revenues from cocoa exports for 2012 are said to have dropped significantly, shrinking by as much as six per cent in the first quarter despite the country producing increased volumes of the product.

While the 2012 budget was based on a forecast of $3,000 per tonne, current prices are hovering between $2,200 and $2,100 dollars per tonne.

In recent past, contractors and some industries have threatened to lay off workers either because of government's difficulty in paying them or because of the downward slide of the cedi against other currencies.
A number of analysts have, on various occassions, expressed concern that the country’s high rate of economic growth has not translated into employment.

The phenomenon, according to economists, is not unique to Ghana.
The African Economic Outlook (AEO) released on Monday notes that with the number of youths in Africa set to double by 2045, the lack of jobs for young people is “an immense challenge, but [is] also the key to future prosperity.”

The report, produced by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the OECD’s Development Centre, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the UN Development Programme, notes that around 60 per cent of the continent’s unemployed population are aged 15 to 24; and more than half of these, mainly women, have given up on finding work.

“The continent is experiencing jobless growth. That is an unacceptable reality on a continent with such an impressive pool of youth, talent and creativity,” said the AfDB’s chief economist, Mthuli Ncube.

The continent as a whole is forecast to bounce back to growth of 4.5 per cent this year, although with population growth of two per cent, gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is expected to grow by a more modest 2-2.5 per cent.

The report expects economic growth of 4.8 per cent for Africa in 2013, although it warns of the risks posed by economic storm clouds in Europe – which threaten to constrain growth by hitting demand for African exports, reducing tourist numbers and limiting foreign direct investment and overseas aid.

The AEO warns that while young people bring economic opportunities, they “can present a significant threat to social cohesion and political stability if they do not secure decent living conditions.”
To help create more jobs, the report called for the removal of obstacles to informal businesses, which make up much of the economy.
Source: The Finder

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