The Chairman of the National Peace Council (NPC), the Most Rev. Professor Emmanuel Asante, has identified the large unemployment rate in the country as a potential source for religious extremism that can lead to terrorism.
He said the high rate of unemployment makes, particularly, the youth susceptible to influence from these radical groups and that they could be easily recruited and brainwashed to carry out terrorist acts.
“Our young people are vulnerable, they have no jobs so when people come and they promise all sorts of things, they follow,” Most Rev. Asante said.
He, therefore, challenged the state to create the enabling environment for the private sector to create jobs and employ these high unemployed youth to keep them busy.
Most Rev, Prof, Asante said this last Tuesday at the 11th Annual Interfaith Symposium organised by the Akrofi-Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission and Culture Centre for Christian-Muslim Engagement in Africa (CCMEA) and the Department of Religious Studies of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
The symposium was on the theme: “The Rise in regional threat of terrorism and religious extremism: implications for security and interreligious engagement in Ghana,” and was attended by security personnel, religious leaders and academia.
In the opinion of the Chairman of the Peace Council, it was time religious groups stopped focusing on their parochial interests and put their resources together “to help the government in terms of creation of jobs and for the government also to create an enabling environment for such people to be able to create jobs.”
He said religion was already providing jobs for the people and cited the examples of drivers for religious leaders, administrators, “but we can do more,” and asked “if the government would create the enabling environment for us to do that?”