Older persons to soon out-number youths in Africa, UN predicts
NEWS DIGEST–Mr Edo Manhendra, Special Initiatives Associate and Economic Affairs Officer, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, African Region, has said that the growth of older persons in Africa are projected to triple between 2015 and 2050.
He said this at the maiden edition of Africa Regional Stakeholders Conference on ageing on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to him, in 2015 all African countries have the median age of their total population below ages 27, especially within Eastern Africa, middle as well as Western Africa.
He added that despite Africa’s relatively young population, there are lots of global trends which ageing was part of it and Africa is not immuned to the global trend of population ageing.
Manhendra noted that due to declining trend in total dependency ratio, old age was expected to grow significantly especially between 2030 and 2050, and the young persons were more dependent to older persons. He further said that significant achievement of better health, strong gender dimension and poverty in older age were more in women than men.
He therefore said that management of ageing through big data analysis would help in older persons’ inclusion in the economy.
Similarly, Amal Abou Rafeh, Chief, Programme on Ageing Unit, United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs (UNDEA), said that older persons deserved a safety net, saying that the risk of falling into poverty was higher.
Rafeh also said that widows, women and men that had no children would fall into poverty and burden. She however said that with the rise in the ageing population there is need for call of action for new narrative on ageing that needed to be addressed such as health care provision and pensions.
She further said that there would be many opportunities that a healthy, secure, socially and economically active ageing population could bring to the society.
She also noted that the change would require engagement with broad range of stakeholders, volunteer groups, academia and local communities for the ageing population. (NAN)