Youth Advocacy on Rights and Opportunities (YARO), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has organised a conference on climate change and sustainable employment creation for the youth in the country.

The two-day event, organised in partnership with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), in Tamale, was to sensitize stakeholders and solicit their recommendations for collective action against climate change effects on sustainable employment among the youth.

It was held on the theme; “Mitigating the impact of climate change on sustainable employment creation”, and brought together officials from academia, policy makers, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and NGOs among others, to devise inclusive strategies to tackle climate change and its effects on employment.

Mr Hajei Bennin, Executive Director of YARO, addressing participants, said climate change had direct bearing on sustainable employment creation among the youth in the country, and it was important for stakeholders to make informed decisions to avert the issue.

He said “by 2030, it is estimated that about nine million full-time jobs which is equivalent to 4.8 per cent working hours will be lost due to climate change in West Africa.

“In 1995, 298,000 jobs which is equivalent to 4.41 per cent of working hours were lost in Ghana due to heat stress. Climate change is further estimated to lead to about 1 million jobs in the country with 5.58 per cent loss of working hours equivalence”.

This, he said, called for collective efforts from stakeholders to increase awareness on the threats of climate change to sustainable employment, and develop mechanisms to tackle the problem.

Professor Seidu Al-Hassan, former Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS), making presentation on the topic, “Assessing the climate smartness of Ghana and its link to youth employment”, said the youth should be equipped with skills and knowledge on climate-smart agricultural practices and technologies to increase their interests in the agricultural sector.

“We must build the capacities of the youth in modern agricultural practices, and I am of the view that, if we are able to do that, we increase their interests in venturing into the agricultural sector and increase productivity and job creation among the youth”.

He called on policymakers to formulate climate adaptation policies that would have positive effects on employment creation and sustainable development in the country.

Dr Alhassan Hamdiya, a Lecturer at the Department of Applied Economics at UDS, spoke on the topic, “The economic effects of climate change on agriculture and job creation in Ghana, the Northern Ghana example”, said the youth lacked adequate information on climate change issues and how it could influence their interests in agriculture, and stressed the need for the youth to be given the needed education on the subject matter to imbibe in them, the will to venture into agriculture.

Mr Johann Ivanov, Resident Director and Head of the Economic Policy Competence Centre at FES in Ghana, said it was relevant for stakeholders to hold discussions around climate change and its impacts on employment and how it could be solved to improve on the livelihoods of the youth in the country.

Participants at the conference took turns to discuss pertinent issues that affect climate change and sustainable jobs among the youth and what must be done to mitigate its impacts.

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