Stakeholder Group on Ageing – Africa
6th Africa Regional Forum for Sustainable Development, 2020
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
As Africa ages with its numbers of those over 60 projected to grow from current 69 million to 226 million in 2050, transformative solutions must include and celebrate older women and men across the continent. The transformative actions must take consideration of the increased longevity, capacity and the unattended risks associated with age discrimination and ageism that have left majority of older persons living in abject poverty and subjected to neglect, abuse and violence.
The global and continental sustainable development frameworks, Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063 respectively commits to ending poverty, reduce inequalities and tackle climate change. Both frameworks commit to ensuring people centered and human rights approaches to ensure inequality is eradicated. Specifically, Agenda 2030 commits to leave no one behind by reaching the first the farthest left behind. These commitments have a great potential for countries turn around the neglected state of older persons in the continent through efforts towards making the data management systems, laws, policies, practices and services fit for older persons.
However, minimal evidence of efforts that bring dignity and prosperity among older persons have been reported. The progress of development and adoption of legal, policy and infrastructure frameworks for older persons and their mainstreaming at national, sub-regional and continental levels remain slow. For, instance the AU Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa adopted in 2016 by Head of States is yet to come in force. Only two countries have ratified out of the 15 ratifications needed. Older persons rights remain invisible in Africa human rights mechanism, parliamentary systems and accountability institutions.
The 6th Africa Regional Forum for Sustainable Development theme “2020-2030: A Decade to deliver a transformed and prosperous Africa through the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063”, is a great moment to build consensus on an accelerated commitments needed for the decade of action on age inclusive SDGs and Agenda 2063. This will ensure a prosperous continent people of all ages attain their well-being, dignity and quality of life for older persons as they contribute their talents and potential to advance the continent.