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Wealth, Technology, Employment and Optimism of Middle Class Ghana

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Kwame is 32 years old. He has been self-employed since leaving school at 16. Kwame is generally optimistic about the future and he expects his personal financial position to improve for at least the next five years. A keen traveler, he hopes to spend more on holidays abroad, to America and Europe. – STANDARD CHARTERED AND GLOBESCAN SCAN STUDY (PARAPHRASED).

The above character is a typical middle-income consumer in Ghana, according to a recent study by standard chartered bank, in partnership with research consultancy Globescan.

The study offers insight into the aspirations of the middle class consumer in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. 1000 middle class consumers were considered and classed as “Affluent” or “Emerging affluent”, based on accessing household belongings and activities such as access to internet.

Last week we explored Kenya, and now we take on Ghana. Based on the research, about 10% Ghanaian are considered Affluent and 35% as Emerging Affluent. We have done a summary of the study and taken a step further to explain “why?” and its socioeconomic implications.

THE EDUCATION TO EMPLOYMENT TRANSITION

                      EDUCATION                    EMPLOYMENT
NO SCHOOLING 1% SELF EMPLOYED 42%
PRIMARY SCHOOL COMPLETION 9% PUBLIC SECTOR 14%
HIGH SCHOOL COMPLETION 56% LOCAL COMPANIES 8%
UNIVERSITY COMPLETION 23% FAMILY OWNED BUSINESS 5%
POSTGRADUATES 1% INTERNATIONAL FIRMS 2%
  • Our Findings: We observed that as at 2012, 31% of the total budget went to education. Though education is valued by Ghanaian, but it has been downplayed by her government. The education for all global monitoring, reported that Ghana has increased the share of the education budget earmarked for tertiary education, but the shares for both primary and secondary education, on the other hand, is being squeezed in budgets. Furthermore, almost a fifth of 15-24 year old (17%) never completed primary school and almost a third of 15-19 year old have less than a lower secondary education, coupled with the limited spaces in tertiary institutions. Owing to the state of poor education, these young people lack the skills they need to find decent work. Therefore, self-employment (42%), as evident in the study are engaged in the informal sector but economically unproductive. The Ghanaian government noted in 2012 that, though Ghana’s population is about 24 million. It is sad that only 1.5 million out of a projected 6.0 million gainfully employed are paying direct tax through the Self-Employment Income Tax Revenue Enhancing Project.
  1.  FUTURE ECONOMIC EXPECTATIONS – Ghana is currently an import dependent economy, whose main imports are vegetables, fruit juice, rice and sugar, despite being a country of fertile land, five degrees above the equator in the sunshine, with lots of rain. The study revealed that despite their recent personal economic situation improving only moderately, Ghanaian future outlook happens to be the most optimistic in the study compared to Kenya and Nigeria
    • OUR FINDINGS –   We found this so, and in a statement by a Ghanaian,”Though there are ethnic, customs, and traditional differences, we Ghanaians have this feeling that it shall be well even in our dying bed. So whatever it is, good or bad, our economy is, it will be fixed in the next few years”.
  2. THE WEALTH NOTION AND FUTURE SPENDING – Following the study, results reveal that, the amount saved by middle class Ghanaians is key to feeling wealthier. 93% plan to make improvements to their housing conditions, 89% plan to buy the latest technology goods, 89% would donate more to charities, while 80% would spend more on clothing and accessories.
  3. USE OF TECHNOLOGY – The study shows, 43% use technology for social networking, 29% to keep up with news and current affairs, 31% on studying/education, 3% on shopping, 3% on online banking and 11% on others.

I reserve my analysis on the economic implication of these, after we have explored for Nigeria. Make it a date with us next time. Keep soaring!

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CRO – Project Change Initiative A 21st Century Leadership, Organizational and Economic Development Strategist For comments, please visit Obele Jesuite on facebook, on twitter, gospel_obele@yahoo.com. For email: or contact 08130070991.

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  1. Pingback: Wealth, Technology, Employment and Optim | The Spectacles Magazine

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