Non-Farm Enterprises and the Rural Youth Employment Challenge in Ghana

Volume 48 Number 3
Published: May 23, 2017

Non-farm enterprises have generally been perceived as a silver bullet solution for rural unemployment. This article therefore provides some insights on their potential to resolve the youth unemployment challenge in rural Ghana. Non-farm enterprises in Ghana are heterogeneous in nature based on type of enterprise, range of activities and productivity. Evidence suggests that motivations for operating these enterprises are mixed. Some households operate them as a coping mechanism to deal with household or agricultural shocks, while others may also be operated as business entities with the potential to grow sustainably and offer employment to young people. In order to harness the full potential of non-farm enterprises to address the rural youth employment challenge, it is imperative for policymakers in Ghana to identify specific sub-sectors that lend themselves to growth and have the capacity to offer sustainable employment avenues, and to critically interrogate and examine the primary reason of their establishment.


  • Coping
  • Policy
  • Non-farm enterprise
  • Rural
  • Unemployment.
From Issue: Vol. 48 No. 3 (2017) | Africa’s Youth Employment Challenge: New Perspectives