Chefs Shortage and Youth Unemployment in Ghana: The “Chef from the Street” Approach

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Ghana’s hospitality and tourism industry has been growing at a fast rate. This is evident with the springing up of hotels and restaurants across the country. Hospitality businesses across Ghana have been untouched by the difficulties of finding the right staff, and nowhere are these problems more visible than in kitchens up and down the country. The chef shortage is a fundamental challenge for many hospitality businesses and is the highest profile symptom of the broader people-related challenges facing the tourism sector.

Some businesses are reported to have scaled down growth plans due to the shortage. Others are struggling to operate effectively without sufficient numbers of chefs. The chef shortage also risks spiraling into an increasingly vicious circle – unfilled chef vacancies mean that existing chefs are working longer hours, which is further fuelling labour turnover. Moreover, this is not just a Ghana issue and can be found across Africa.

It is often seen as a problem of insufficient supply to meet a growing demand, but the reality is more complex and is largely a symptom of the wider HR-related challenges that many hospitality operators are grappling with. On the other hand is youth unemployment and poor vocational training. Youth are Africa’s greatest asset. Africa’s population is 1.2 billion and is projected to more than double by 2050, when it will comprise one-fourth of the world’s population. Africa will remain the world’s youngest region, with the median age of the population under 25 years old. If properly harnessed, this growing working age population could drive Africa’s economic transformation.

However, the majority of youth do not have stable economic opportunities. Of the 420 million youth aged 15 to 35 in Africa today, the majority are unemployed, discouraged, or only vulnerably employed. Youth face roughly double the unemployment rate of adults, with significant variation across African countries.

Unemployment Rate in Ghana increased to 2.40 percent in 2017 from 2.30 percent in 2016.

Youth unemployment and the chef shortage can be effectively tackled, building on a wide range of existing best practices such as modern practical culinary training, improved remuneration for chefs and many others.

One of such approach is the “Chef from the Street” initiative, which focuses on discovering  youth with passion for cooking, provide real time training, mentorship, entrepreneurship and support that ensures they meet the growing demand for chefs within the hospitality industry.

Chef from the Street is an innovative, out of the classroom approach away from the usual theory based vocational training offered across Ghana and Africa. Chef from the Street blends practical industrial culinary training with entrepreneurship and foodstyling skills which involves the needs and opinions of all stakeholders including the final consumer through a multimedia approach.

Chef From the Street is an initiative of Chefs With Purpose and Food for All Africa, it is spearheaded by Ghana’s award winning chef and founder of online chefs hiring platform “”, Chef Elijah Amoo Addo.

The first edition of Chef From the Street will be launched in two parts, a street launch on 20th October,2018 on the Osu Oxford Street and a corporate launch on 3rd November,2018.

For more information on “Chef from the Street” visit: or

Ghana News Online

The primary function of is to gather, process and distribute news about Ghana and Africa to the World. To serve as a News Agency with the mandate to present complete, in-depth objective and impartial information, news, and features rooted in investigative journalism.

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