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Does the sun hold the key to improving the lives and well-being of a growing older population in rural Africa?
2019-11-05, Mwendwa, Purity, Kroll, Thilo
Globally the number of older people is rising. In Africa the number of people over 60 years is expected to increase from just under 50 million to nearly 200 million by 2050 1. Generally the number of older persons is growing faster in urban areas than in rural areas 1 however, a large share of the elderly reside in rural areas, where support and services are more difficult to find 2. Many older people across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) live in chronic and profound poverty. Increasingly, older people also live alone or are disconnected from their families who may have moved into the cities or even abroad 3. Despite the changing demographics of Africa, the older population has largely remained invisible in international development initiatives and related health policy discourses. As a result, SSA is lagging in investment and development of infrastructure and support programs to meet the needs of their ageing citizens. Preparing for an ageing population is vital to achieving the goals of poverty eradication, good health, gender equality, economic growth and decent work, reduction of inequalities and creation of sustainable cities as set out in Agenda 2030 for sustainable development 4.