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By: Abdoulie Janneh United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa 8 February 2008 46 th Session.

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Presentation on theme: "By: Abdoulie Janneh United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa 8 February 2008 46 th Session."— Presentation transcript:

1 By: Abdoulie Janneh United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa 8 February th Session of the Commission for Social Development

2 Overview of the Presentation Background Major Findings & Achievements Challenges Future Priorities Regional & International Cooperation ECA Role

3 Background Africa is facing the challenge of rapid ageing while it simultaneously strives to achieve economic and social development Though the population is young, older persons aged 60 or more in Africa are growing very rapidly: 31.6 million in million in million in million in million in 2050

4 Background Older persons will grow at annual rate of 3.1 % between 2007 and 2015, and 3.3% between 2015 and 2050; faster than the growth rate of the general population. The population is ageing more rapidly in Northern Africa, where older people as a percentage of the total population are expected to increase from 7% in 2007 to 12% by 2030 and 19.6% in At the country level, population ageing is rapid in Mauritius, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Libya. These are followed by Gabon, Djibouti, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Mauritania, Togo and Senegal.

5 Background In Sub-Saharan Africa population ageing has been impacted by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, poor health conditions and poverty; which affect the quality of life of millions of people including the elderly. Everywhere in the continent the number of older women aged 60 and more exceed older men; primarily because women survive longer than men. The great majority of older persons in Africa live in rural areas where social infrastructure is scanty.

6 Background Rapid growth of older persons implies the need to urgently take action to address older persons issues, particularly in context of inclusive, human-centered and socially sustainable development. Social development requires not only economic growth, but also social justice, social inclusion and social cohesion, as echoed in the Copenhagen Summit in Economic policies must be matched with social development policies and actions for an inclusive development process.

7 Background Recognizing the global call for ageing, Africa has two policy instruments to guide and support actions ate the national and regional levels: - The Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA) African Union Policy Framework and Plan of Action on Ageing. These policy instruments are complementary and they recommend common actions and goals for improving well- being of older people in Africa

8 Findings and Major Achievements National level responses to MIPAA across Africa to date have been uneven, with varying levels of mainstreaming and policy development within countries. African governments generally acknowledge the challenge of population ageing. The Great majority of countries affirmed that ageing is a development challenge, and some of them included ageing in their national social development policies. However, the degree of engagement is influenced by country- specific ageing circumstances, competing priorities for budgetary allocation and the capacity of institutions to respond effectively.

9 Findings and Major Achievements Concerted efforts have been made to formulate and adopt national policies on older persons, and to mainstream and integrate ageing issues in sectoral polices and development programmes. Social protection received more attention, as some countries have introduced or expanded their social security programs However, formal social security coverage is limited to civil servants and formal sector employees. The vast majority of older persons across Africa involved in agriculture and informal sector activities rely on informal social security.

10 Findings and Major Achievements Informal systems of social protection in the form of cash and kind from both family and community sources have suffered a decline in recent decades because of declining extended family system and rapid urbanization. There is general lack of specialist services and personnel to meet the health needs of older people. The special care and health needs of older persons have been compromised by rapid spread of HIV/AIDS in the continent Though the number of older people living with HIV/AIDS is increasing, they remain excluded from routine surveillance programs. Very little prevention, education and treatment services targeted older persons

11 Major Challenges Low level of implementation of the MIPAA and the African Union Framework, and of the appraisal and review of these policy instruments. Low level of understanding and awareness of the link between population ageing and the development agendas is low. There is need for advocacy to promote political will and support for ageing and development. The major challenge for the social security programs is to scale up the coverage and to address the issue of social exclusion.

12 Major Challenges Most of the countries need to improve their health systems, and to reorient health care and personnel towards meeting the needs of rapidly increasing numbers of older persons Lack of data, information and policy research in most of the countries. Evidence-based research is needed to guide the formulation of policy and justify bids for budgetary allocation Lack of participatory dialogue and decision-making processes involving all stakeholders, including older people, to improve the relevance of policies and plans

13 Major Challenges Inadequate cooperation and coordination between public and private sectors and civil society organisations to strengthen and scale-up effective interventions. Capacity limitations and constraints to in the public institutions and civil sector organizations to implement plans effectively

14 Future Priorities Scale up regional and country review and appraisal of the MIPAA and African Union Policy framework. National governments to support the implementation of policies and plans on ageing by allocating specific budgets for older peoples concerns Governments to introduce mechanisms for all key stakeholders including older people, the full range of civil society organisations and the private sector, to engage in dialogue with the public sector to inform decision-making. Governments to enhance the scope for cross-sectoral cooperation and support between the public and private sectors and civil society to address older peoples concerns.

15 Future Priorities Strengthen institutional and human capacities for managing the multiple challenges of ageing. Integrate ageing concerns in development plans and strategies, particularly poverty reduction strategies, and strategies for the development of health systems. Support research on ageing and development in Africa, particularly in areas such as the impacts of climate change on the livelihood of people, especially in rural areas, continuing education, training and literacy, provision of housing and water and improvement of sanitation and health.

16 Regional and International Cooperation Future priority activities will be undertaken in close collaboration with UNDESA, in partnership with the African Governments, the African Union and its NEPAD program, and the African Development Bank. Funding support from the international community is required to strengthen country level research into:- social security system options, potential linkages and synergy between formal and informal sector interventions. Technical support and funding are needed to strengthen institutional and human capacities. International and regional cooperation are needed to raise and awareness and understanding of the significance of ageing issues and the pressing need to engage in MIPAA action on ageing at national level.

17 Regional and International Cooperation International cooperation is needed to support the countries engagement in the MIPAA review processes including :- training activities on organizing and coordinating bottom-up nationwide review and appraisal and regional review and appraisal events (meetings/conferences) to evaluate the national experience and identify future priorities for implementation. There is need for international cooperation to support the exchange of knowledge and experience between countries and regions, particularly in the sustainability of social security systems.

18 ECA ROLE Apart from debating and conducting research on ageing and development in Africa, the UNEA will:- Continue to help countries to formulate and implement policies and program on ageing and development in the continent Identify areas where less progress has been made, document best practices and lessons of experience, and share knowledge with regional and like-minded institutions Establish knowledge-sharing and learning network on ageing and development. Identify national focal persons on ageing, undertake regional training programs on the implementation of the MIPAA, and organize expert group meetings to validate research results.

19 THANK YOU ! More information is available in ECA regional report: The State of Older People in Africa Review and Appraisal of the Implementation of the MIPAA

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