Social protection remains minimal in Africa and older persons rely mainly on intergenerational relationships for care and support. This panel aims at providing insights from varied African countries in order to assess the way families stand and face the difficulties incoming in old age.
Following the Madrid declaration of 2002, most countries of the African continent have tried to consolidate or to set up public policies aimed at older persons. For instance non contributive cash transfer schemes are being put in place in East Africa; the SESAME plan has been set in Senegal to provide free health care for older adults, etc. Practically speaking, social protection remains however minimal: few individuals are entitled to substantial pensions; old persons still have major difficulties accessing proper health care. Private support, crucial in old age, is usually provided by children and grand children. Inequalities among older people therefore be analysed from two complementary perspectives: their personal situations, the relationships they have built over time, especially within the family. The goal of this panel is to put together insights from varied African countries to assess the situations of older people, and beyond them, of their families, and the way family support and care is organised to face the needs of older people.