MUNTAKA CHASANT
PEOPLE & STORIES
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Rain and Fire

Coming mainly from areas with low literacy rates, thousands of young people — more than 50% of Ghana’s population is under the age of 25 — migrate from rural to urban areas in search of economic opportunities every year. But the unemployment rate in Ghana is higher in urban (13% in 2015) than in rural […]

May 26, 2020

Agbogbloshie, Accra, Ghana. Copyright © Muntaka Chasant

Coming mainly from areas with low literacy rates, thousands of young people — more than 50% of Ghana’s population is under the age of 25 — migrate from rural to urban areas in search of economic opportunities every year. But the unemployment rate in Ghana is higher in urban (13% in 2015) than in rural […]

Coming mainly from areas with low literacy rates, thousands of young people — more than 50% of Ghana’s population is under the age of 25 — migrate from rural to urban areas in search of economic opportunities every year. But the unemployment rate in Ghana is higher in urban (13% in 2015) than in rural areas (10.2%).

The Greater Accra Region had the third-highest unemployment rate in Ghana among persons 15 years and older — after Upper East and Upper West in 2015. For urban areas, Accra ranked the 4th, with more men (15.4%) without jobs.

More than 26% of persons aged 15 – 35 in urban areas in Ghana had no education at all. With no formal education, many of them end up in the informal sector, doing all sorts of hazardous work.

Nearly 600,000 males aged 15 years and older were in informal employment in Greater Accra, the region where Accra, the capital city, is located.

The stats above throw a little light on the situation at Agbogbloshie and why things may not improve any time soon due to the increasing rate at which young people are escaping hunger and poverty in Ghana’s rural hinterlands.

This partly explains why I have taken an interest in the situation of these young men.

For me, their tenacity to live and their will to survive, even in the rain, in Accra’s impoverished urban environment, is worth documenting.

Read more about this problem here:

RELATED: Agbogbloshie, Ghana: Questions & Answers

Young Urban Poor Men Work in The Rain

The photo above: the young men are burning electrical wires to recover copper.

Copper sold for GH₵10.00 (around $1.73) per kilo at Agbogbloshie in May 2020.

The cables are brought in like this:

It had been raining, and the men stood near the fire, with some walking through the thick toxic smoke, to keep warm.


Here’s one that keeps replaying in my head.

It had been raining, and the men stood near the fire, with some walking through the thick toxic smoke, to keep warm.

© 2020 Muntaka Chasant

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