Aging and Development

Economic Roles of Older Adults

Contrary to common ‘old age dependency ratio’ notions, a majority of older men and women in most SSA countries continue to be economically active across a spectrum of sectors and roles. One example is smallholder agriculture, where older farmers may now predominate in many farming communities as a result of disinterest or rural-urban outmigration of younger age groups. We examine the nature and scope of older people’s economic functions and their implications specifically for the achievement of a demographic dividend in Africa.

Featured Project

Interventions for promoting the health and well-being of older people in sub-Saharan Africa

Program: Aging and Development

Drawing on secondary analysis of national survey data from Ghana and South Africa, the overall aim of the study is to provide sub-Saharan African policy-makers with more robust evidence base for informed decisions on the potential impacts of interventions for older people, including cash transfers, social health insurance and the screening of chronic health conditions. While the experiences of Ghana and South Africa are not generalizable to the entire region, they offer valuable lessons and insights. This will inform policies to enhance social protection, risk and resilience; as well as specific concerns about depression and mental health.


PROJECT PERIOD: January 2017 – January 2019

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