Tracking progress towards the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA) in East and Southern Africa: milestones and challenges

Sabu S. Padmadas, Tiemoko Richmond Tiemoko, Nyovani J Madise, Fifi Amoako Johnson, Sasee Pallikadavath, Asghar Asghar Zaidi

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Although population ageing is relatively a slow process in most African countries, the number of older people has been steadily increasing across the region. The UN projections show that by 2050, the percentage of population aged 60+ currently estimated at 5% will exceed 10% in most parts of Africa. These trends clearly highlight the need to systematically monitor population ageing in Africa, and the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA) has offered a suitable policy framework for this purpose. Moreover, the distortions in economic growth suggest that African populations might become old before getting affluent. The MIPAA strategy adopted in 2002 and implemented globally, covers three priority areas for investment in older people: development, health and wellbeing, and supportive environment. This article provides a summary of an extensive review of literature and data from national and international sources to assess the progress and gaps in the implementation of MIPAA in East and Southern Africa (ESA), with a focus on six countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda. These countries represent diverse demographic, economic, social, cultural, political and geographic characteristics. Although there are some key developments in terms of new legislations and policies on older people since 2002, it was difficult to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of these measures due to lack of appropriate comparable data. We conclude that while many of these countries have included policies for older people, institutional and governance structures, data collection systems, target setting and programme implementation strategies remain weak, and poverty remains widespread amongst older people in low-income settings across the ESA region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-206
JournalInternational Journal on Ageing in Developing Countries
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2018


  • Africa
  • population ageing
  • development
  • policy


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