Concepts, Research, Policy
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Edited by Sylvia Chant
Chapter 32: Poverty and Old Age in Sub-Saharan Africa: Examining the Impacts of Gender with Particular Reference to Ghana
32 Poverty in old age in sub-Saharan Africa: examining the impacts of gender with particular reference to Ghana Isabella Aboderin Debates on ageing and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa In recent years an intensifying debate has focused on the impacts and policy challenges of population ageing in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Although SSA’s populations will remain the youngest in the world in terms of the share taken by persons aged 60 and over,1 their absolute number will rise sharply from 42.6 million in 2010 to 160 million by 2050 – a more rapid increase than in any other major world region or any other age-group. Moreover, and contrary to common misconceptions, older persons in SSA can on average expect to live many years beyond 60. According to the latest United Nations Population Division (UNPD) estimates, life expectancy at that age (15 years for men and 17 years for women) is not substantially lower than in other world regions. The discourse on the implications of ageing in SSA is being driven by a number of dedicated non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and United Nations (UN) agencies (specifically HelpAge International [HAI], the United Nations Fund for Population Activities [UNFPA] and the World Health Organisation [WHO]), and a small corpus of African researchers. It is buttressed by, and takes as reference points, two recently forged international policy frameworks. These are the 2002 UN Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA) and the 2003 African Union Policy Framework and Plan of Action on Ageing (AU-Plan) (see Aboderin...
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