Top 5 serious social problems in Ghana and their solutions

Top 5 serious social problems in Ghana and their solutions

Is the world on the road to civilization collapse? This question is hard to answer since every society faces different challenges and solves them using the resources and capabilities within its grasp. For instance, the social problems facing residents of the Asia-Pacific region are different from those of the Southern-most part of Africa – the dynamics are different. That is why social problems in Ghana are pretty distinct. So, what are the major social issues in Ghana and what are the possible solutions?

serious social problems in Ghana
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Social problems are expected. It is how one deals with such, creating reliable solutions that matter. Ghana has its fair share of social problems, and if you are updated with the prevalent happenings in the country, you might have an idea of what these problems are and what they mean to everyone.

After all, social problems aren't isolated to a select few but affect society, whether a community, administrative region, or a country. One thing about the current social problems in Ghana is that they form a chain since one leads to the other. So, what social issues in Ghana need addressing and their respective resolve?

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List of social problems in Ghana

There is no doubt that Ghana is one of the most culturally rich nations in Africa, with a fantastic blend of different ethnic groups residing peacefully together.

But these are different times, and the country has moved to another phase whereby it is in a race to be at par with developed nations. However, the current issues in Ghana, which are quite a number, lag this progress. And it is only strategic decision-making and decisive action that will solve the prevalent social problems. So, which are the most dominant currently?

1. Poverty and rural-urban migration

topical issues in ghana
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Poverty and rural-urban migration are major social problems in Ghana and the rest of the continent. This is because the gap between the rich and poor in Ghana is vast. This has been attributed to the high levels of corruption.

The gap has also led to rampant cases of hunger among most Ghanaians. The country’s economic freedom score is 59.2, making Ghana the 101st freest in the 2021 index. Also, Ghana is ranked 47th among Sub-Saharan countries. Even though the score is above average in the region, it is below the world average.

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What does this mean? Ghana has resources, but something must be done to ascertain everyone enjoys such. The resources in the country are being misused to the point that the remaining resources can’t satisfy the rest of Ghana.

Rural areas lack essential services, employment, resources, and education. And this results in the youth moving to urban areas to seek better lives. Unfortunately, this movement puts more pressure on the cities, causing overcrowding and other problems.

It is up to the government to form preventive measures to curb corruption in Ghana. Once corruption has been dealt with, it is up to them to develop policies concerning the equitable distribution of resources to all Ghanaians.

They also need to allocate resources to education sectors to generate skills to help boost the economy's growth.

Also, to curb the rampant rural-urban migration, the government needs to turn around spirals of environmental, social and economic degradation in the rural region. This way, the rural areas will be as vibrant as urban areas, and youth will not have to migrate in large numbers any more as they can live dignified lives with all their needs met.

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2. Youth unemployment

ghana problems
Portrait of a student holding a sign that reads "now what?" on graduation day. Photo: PeopleImages
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Youth unemployment remains one of the biggest Ghana problems. As elsewhere in Africa, where jobless youth are growing fast, it has become common to see many youths loitering around due to lack of employment.

According to a World Bank article, in 2020, Ghana faces 12% youth unemployment and more than 50% underemployment, higher than overall unemployment in Sub-Saharan African nations.

There are also graduates with the relevant skills tarmacking with no hope of finding employment. High cases of unemployment in Ghana causes stagnation in the growth of the economy.

To solve the menace of unemployment, the government needs to finance technical institutions in Ghana. This will provide skills to the youth who will be empowered to start their businesses and stop depending on getting hired. A youth program fund should also be initiated to fund start-ups businesses for the youth.

Also, if the government supports emerging high-productivity sectors like agro-processing, horticulture, and tourism, the youth can get decent job opportunities.

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3. Savannah encroachment and desertification

current issues in ghana
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Savannah encroachment is one of the major topical issues in Ghana. What is happening? Because of heavy logging in the north of Ghana, the savannah region is encroaching on the greener forested areas. There isn't sufficient tree cover, and things are getting worse. Also, poor agricultural practices like monoculture and overploughing are worsening the problem.

And it would be best if you kept in mind that the green areas are the country's food baskets, and the continuation of such poor practices will lead to food insecurity. Moreover, Ghana cannot afford the desertification that is gradually taking shape with the ever-growing population.

So, what is the best solution for such a social problem? One of the most effective is permaculture. It teaches numerous effective, diverse, and improved natural techniques to reforest and reverse degradation. And it is simple to grasp, meaning anyone can learn and carry out without follow-up and using local resources.

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4. Lack of well-defined child welfare practice systems

social issues in ghana
Young girl playing drawing game on a digital tablet, with her grandmother. Photo: Klaus Vedfelt
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It is 2022, and as many would expect, the welfare of children should be a significant priority. Unfortunately, such is lacking in Ghana. Developed countries have well-established mechanisms and systems implemented by social work practitioners to provide protection and support for children.

Even though Ghana has established a system, it works differently from the Western world. As a result, these social workers encounter numerous problems while administering their services in most cases.

First, there appear to be poorly defined child welfare practices as there isn't a clear definition of what constitutes child abuse. And therein lies the biggest problem, making it one of Ghana's most acute social problems.

How can Ghana overcome these challenges? First, it is integral that various stakeholders, including the government, communities and other concerned parties come together to develop measures that will provide developmentally right services to children that require support and protection.

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5. Lack of access to education for sustainability

social problems in Ghana
Three young boys running down the street as they rush to go to school. Photo: BFG Images
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Despite Ghana’s effort to improve access to education, there are still significant challenges preventing many children from getting the education they desire.

It is integral to remember that anyone equipped with the right skills acquired from a well-established learning system can use their skills to create employment and even help themselves. However, a lack of the same means that they cannot help themselves. Lack of knowledge is a lack of power.

Even though Ghana has successfully closed the gender gap in completing school at the primary level, it is still high in secondary school. But the good this is that things have been getting better over the years.

And what is the solution to this social problem in Ghana? The government, of course. By setting up programs that ascertain students transition well from different levels of study to the highest where they earn the right skills, things can change massively.

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It also means setting up schools in all regions, making learning affordable and equipping suitable learning materials.

Which one do you think affects you most among the social problems in Ghana? These social issues affect the country's overall well-being regardless of whether it affects you directly. Therefore, gradually solving these problems is the best way to achieve economic development and make the lives of Ghanaians better.

DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility.

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