Future of Ageing in Africa at the University of Dar es Salaam

Wednesday, June 12, 2024 - 15:30

The University of Dar es Salaam and Maynooth University sponsored a workshop today on the Future of Ageing in Africa at the University of Dar es Salaam (organised by Vendelin Simon of USDM and A Jamie Saris of Maynooth University, both Medical Anthropologists). There was a very rich set of papers and  discussions with representatives of universities, NGOs, and government, focussing on the quiet reality of a rapidly expanding population of older people in Tanzania (and Africa more broadly), presenting both challenges and opportunities for everything from the delivery of formal and informal care, to urban and spatial planning, to shaping the relationship(s) between generations. This is an area of global health where there are more similarities than differences between North and South.
According to the latest Tanzanian Census, there are 5 million people over the age of 60 in the country, more than 4% of the population (about the population of the entire Republic of Ireland). This number will more than double (and perhaps as much triple) by 2050. To put this growth into global historical perspective: it took France nearly a century to double its proportion of older people (from 7%-14%), between the early 19th to the early 20th Century. This growth curve is being observed across sub-Saharan Africa, with some UN estimates predicting in excess of a quarter of a billion people over the age of 60 living in in the region by 2050.
The Workshop is the beginning of a conversation exploring how sectors, disciplines and stake-holders can leverage strengths and shore up deficits to build a just and equitable social environment for healthy ageing in Africa. Universities are well-placed to make such connections, understand the complexity of ageing within different cultural contexts, and pioneer innovative solutions.
University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM)
Maynooth University
Maynooth Anthropology

Anthropology Society NUI Maynooth