NUMBER OF ELDERLY IN AFRICA TO TRIPLE IN NEXT 30 YEARS

UNITED NATIONS– Zambia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Lazarous Kapambwe, has told a session of the UN Commission for Social Development that Africa’s population for elderly people has been projected to triple in the next 30 years.

African Governments are therefore being urged to formulate policies which will serve to protect the elderly from abuse, discrimination, marginalization and neglect. While Africa is often described as a youthful continent, the age structure in the region has dramatically changed because of the decline in fertility and mortality rates in the region, he said.

Kapambwe was speaking on behalf of Africa at the 56th session of the Commission for Social Development which is discussing a global review of the outcomes of the 3rd Review and Appraisal of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing here last week.

He said older people in many African countries often experienced human rights challenges which included age discrimination, abuse, neglect and gaps in the provision of legal protection.

Kapambwe told the meeting that Zambia had formulated policies to protect the aged through specific social protection programmes such as the Social Cash Transfer, Food Security Packs and Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) mainly targeted at the vulnerable and potentially destitute older persons.

He said Zambia had already developed a national policy on ageing to address the many challenges older people are facing.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK