Unemployment rate, Lithium deal: The false claims in Kwame Bediako’s recent interview

The founder and leader of the New Force Movement, Nana Kwame Bediako popularly known as Cheddar or Freedom Jacob Caesar, has embarked on a “16 Regional Tour” to engage primarily the youth.

He has completed tours in northern Ghana and has also covered some parts of the middle-belt regions including Bono East, Ahafo, and Western North regions. The Ashanti region was the last place he toured.

During his tour in Kumasi on March 18, 2024, the businessman and presidential aspirant granted a 31-minute interview on Abusua FM. The interview focused on his ambitions and plans to address the country’s challenges and was live-streamed on both Facebook and YouTube, during which he made several claims.

Fact-Check Ghana has verified two of the claims made by Nana Kwame Bediako during the interview and presents the verdicts and explanations below.

Claim 1: Let us create our own mobile phones and our own laptops. A child of school going age can own a free laptop. “Our Lithium have been given to the Chinese, that is what we use to manufacture them” (timestamp 15:40 to 15:48)

Verdict: False


In October 2023, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources signed the lithium mining lease agreement with Barari DV Ghana Limited, a subsidiary of Atlantic Lithium Limited, to mine the Ewoyaa lithium concession for 15 years.

Atlantic Lithium Limited is an Australia-based mining company established in 2007 with its headquarters in Sydney, New Wales in Australia.

The lease incorporates payment of royalty, state and Ghanaian participation, as well as the necessity to add value to the lithium extracted in the country.

According to geological surveys, there are presence of lithium deposits in other parts of the country, including Cape Coast, Kumasi, Sunyani, Bole and Wa. Despite this potential, active mining operations have yet to commence in these areas.

Currently, the Ewoyaa lithium project located in the Mfatseman Municipal of the Central Region is the sole operational site therefore it is contrary to the claim.

Claim 2: The leaders of this country do not think about the youth. “If they do, there wouldn’t be 8 to 9 million unemployed young graduates.” (timestamp 17:13 to 17:22)

Verdict: False


In February 2024, the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) released the Annual Household Income and Expenditure Survey (AHIES) for the third quarter of 2023.

According to the GSS, AHIES is designed to present employment statistics to support policy formulation and planning, in line with the national development agendas concerning the labour force in the country.

The GSS started releasing this survey in 2022 with its most recent survey being for the third quarter of 2023.

On page 14 of the survey, there are data with regards to the number of unemployed youth from 15 to 35 years, Fact-Check Ghana identified that in the first quarter of 2023, there were 1,396,905 unemployed youths, followed by 1,389,404 in the second quarter. Subsequently, in the third quarter of the same year, there were 1,336,677 jobless youths.

Screengrab from the Annual Household Income and Expenditure Survey (AHIES)

These findings are contrary to the presidential aspirant’s claim that there exists 8 to 9 million young graduates who are jobless. The data also indicates that the third quarter has marginally reduced as compared to the preceding two quarters in 2023.

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