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Age Demands Action in Africa: Older people are the heart of the campaign

30 Sep 2011

This is a campaign that no one should miss! 

Over the past 6 months, I have been helping our affiliates and partners in Africa to deliver a massive and impactful 2011 Age Demands Action campaign. Although the highlight of the campaign is 1 October during the International Day of Older People, the planning and preparation started in early May.  

An opportunity to speak out

Mama Rhoda, 77, is an Age Demands Action leader this yearOlder people are at the heart of the campaign. For many, this campaign is the only opportunity where they can meet decision makers face to face and discuss issues of importance to them and the older people they represent. 

We have, for example, Rhoda Ngima, 77, from Kenya who has been active in the campaign since 2009. This year she will be meeting the Minister of Finance to ask about cash transfers that her fellow older people are enquiring about. 

And in Cameroon, Mr. Rickary believes in human dignity and has spent his life fighting discrimination in public and private life. He is lobbying for a draft of the national policy on ageing in Cameroon to be released. 

Meeting governments and taking a stand

This year, we have 15 countries in Africa taking part in the campaign; including two new countries; DR Congo and Sudan. Preparatory meetings and discussions with older people have taken place. For example, in Zimbabwe, older people across the country met to finalise their plans to meet the Minister of Labour and Social Services. They will be asking their Minister to ensure that the Older Person's Bill will be addressed in the Parliament during the next session. 

In Zambia, during the heated perapation for the national elections, older people will take a stand to meet with the Vice President asking him to adapt the Social Security and Ageing Policy. And in Burkina Faso, older people will ask for free healthcare for women who are victims of exclusion and live in hosting centres.  

Fantastic campaigns will take place across the continent with the focus to stop age discrimination and address the rights of older people. 

What will you be doing on this day?

Please sign the Age Demands Action global petition and keep checking out the Age Demands Action web pages for all the latest updates.

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Author profile

Gacheru Maina
Country: Kenya
Job title: Regional communications officer, HelpAge

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These blogs are personal reflections and do not necessarily reflect the views of HelpAge International.