January 15, 2016
About the author : Edward is one of Africa’s young software entrepreneurs. He is a co-founder of an Internet start-up in Ghana and loves poetry.
High unemployment rates are said to be the most crucial problems facing many developing countries currently. In Ghana, the situation isn’t much different. Many persons graduate from various levels of education with the expectation that they are going to get jobs but this hardly materializes. According to the latest Socio-economic and Governance Survey released by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), the unemployment rate is about 15% which is comparatively on the high side.
For this reason a lot of Ghanaians have called on the government to come up with policies that will solve the problem. Many unemployment groups have petitioned and embarked on demonstrations on this subject yet there is little improvement seen over the years. E-commerce also known as internet business is the exchange of goods and services, or the transfer of finances, over an electronic medium such as the internet. This line of business has the potential to partly solve the unemployment problem in Ghana.
Most companies and government organizations use offline methods of marketing and therefore an introduction of online marketing will create more jobs as many more people will be needed for positions as social media managers, IT specialists, graphic designers and content/photography managers to handle the ever-increasing demands of doing business online and improving visibility which in turn increases profitability. Companies in different industries and sectors have played varying roles in alleviating this problem. A clear example is the online hotel booking powerhouse ,Jovago.com which has over 25,000 employees worldwide and about 50 employees in Ghana already after only 7months of operations.
With traditional offline marketing, more manpower is needed to execute and implement policies and although there are many employees already actively doing this,e-commerce and online marketing gives another dimension where technical expertise is very much needed. Hence many unemployed graduates with related qualifications and technical know-how will easily get employed.
Also, many of the youth who are the vast majority of the unemployed in Ghana mostly have access to the internet for long periods within the day. It is the misuse of this internet service that makes them indulge in fraudulent activities and other vices. Many online businesses can make use of the time and innovation that most of these unemployed individuals possess. Another twist to this subject is the impact that online retail websites and booking portals can have on the rate of unemployment. Most of these e-commerce companies who offer services and sell products need people in the sales/acquisition department to get more clients on board. This job is also mostly done on a part-time basis which allows most individuals who are looking for capital to start their own companies to work, acquire some skills and save some money at the same time while getting ready to establish their own businesses.
E-commerce is changing the world and the ability to greatly reduce the unemployment rate in the country should not be underrated. Extensive research and implementation is needed to make this a reality but the potential can be seen from many million miles.
Credit : Jovago Ghana