The number of Older Persons in Africa is projected to hit 226 million by 2050, up from 69 million in 2017.
This projected growth represents 229 per cent.
This development according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) is a cause for celebration, as it is an indication of improved healthcare and nutrition, better education and stronger economies.
This formed part of the communiqué at the end of a two day conference on the “Situation of Human Right of Older Persons in Africa,” which took place at the ECOWAS Parliament Secretariat, Abuja.
The High Level Conference on the Rights of Older Persons organised by the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, and ECOWAS Parliament was part of sessions at the 2019 Second Ordinary Session of the regional Parliament.
The document revealed that there are older women in Africa, and globally.
It called for long-term planning that will ensure societies are able to cope and prepare for the opportunities that longer life expectancy brings.
It also acknowledges efforts made by different African countries to protect the right of older persons, especially through the adoption of national development plans and other policies on older persons.
The issue of continuous discrimination against older persons was also highlighted.
The older persons, the communiqué said faces varied ageing experiences, including discrimination and inequality, hence, governments at all levels are urged to take proactive steps to cushion the ageing experiences of the older persons.
“Factors that can weaken family and community structures due to migration, conflict, natural disasters, climate change, urbanization and the impact of HIV and AIDS can create obstacle to older persons’ full participation in society and the enjoyment of their human right.”
It expresses concern that many older persons faces challenges of in accessing societal security, justice, loans, housing, nutrition, health support services, like insurance, long-term and palliative care, employment, property, lifelong learning and education.
The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission Anthony Okechukwu Ojukwu said that the aim of the conference was to come up with solutions for catering and protecting the rights for the aged in the society.
He urged the parliamentarians and members of the community and other African countries to collaborate and ensure that the protocols on the issue of the aged persons were implemented in the continent.