Rethinking African ageing: Growing old in an urbanising Africa 
Sandra Staudacher (University of Basel)
Emily Freeman (London School of Economics)
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Start time:
1 July, 2017 at 15:30 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

Africa is ageing as it urbanises. The continent's older population is growing more rapidly than anywhere else in the world. This panel explores how profoundly urbanisation is changing what it is like to grow old and how families, communities, organisations and the state are responding.

Long Abstract

Africa is ageing as it urbanises. People are living longer and the continent's already large older population is projected to grow more rapidly than all other world regions. How profoundly is urbanisation changing what it is like to grow old? How are intergenerational social relations and elderhood changing as a result of urbanisation? Who provides long term care when would-be caregivers are employed in cities? How does formalised support for older adults change perceptions of, and attitudes towards, older adults' living and care arrangements? How are older adults' experiences shaped by new communication and transport technologies? How do older Africans live their cities? Or how do they make use of urban cosmopolitan ideas and transnational networks to deal with their health, care and living situation? This panel will bring together research on new spaces of African ageing - in urban and rural settings. It encourages discussion of diverse aspects of ageing in Africa beyond the common dichotomous discourses on modernity, which either portray elderly people as victims being abandoned by their diverging families or as completely independent actors who follow the call for 'active ageing'.

Accepted papers: