African Govts’ Treatment Of Aged People Under Spotlight At 6th ARFSD

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By Hendricks Chizhanje

VICTORIA FALLS: The treatment of aged people by African governments will be under the spotlight Wednesday, when age care organisations will audit accomplishments and failings in protecting and promoting the fundamental rights of older women and men so that they can live dignified lives.

Triumph Africa, a non-governmental organisation working for and with older people in Africa will partner with other age care organisations and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) to host a side event on Wednesday during the ongoing 6th Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) in the resort town
of Victoria Falls.

The 6th ARFSD, which is being convened jointly by UNECA and the Zimbabwean government in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank and other United Nations entities commenced on Monday under the theme “2020-2030: A Decade to Deliver a Transformed and Prosperous Africa through the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063 and ends on Thursday.

The 6th ARFSD will undertake a review of all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and corresponding goals of Agenda 2063.

During the side event which takes place on Wednesday at lunchtime at Elephant Hills Resort under the theme; “Counting The Gains On Age-Inclusion To Deliver 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063”, participants will take stock of the gains and gaps in protecting and promoting the fundamental rights of older women and men so that they can live dignified lives.

“How we treat the most vulnerable in our societies says a lot about how humane we are as a people. Older people are not invisible, they count and they matter. At the upcoming UNECA 6th ARFSD, we are looking forward to the key discussions on how to leverage programmes that are working and innovative solutions for the issues that adversely affect older people. Beyond that, we look forward to Triumph Africa’s continued active participation in helping to advance the welfare and well-being of older people in Zimbabwe and across the African continent,” said Tendai Immanuel, the Chief Executive Officer of Triumph Africa.

Simon Masanga, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare will deliver the keynote speech during the side event while Saurabh Sinha, Chief, Social Policy Section, Gender, Gender, Poverty and Social Policy Division UNECA will chair discussions led by a distinguished panel of regional and international experts, which will help facilitate learning and seek ways in which to scale up what has worked, find solutions for the gaps and galvanise collaborative partnerships to advance ageing and older persons’ issues and rights.

Through hosting the side event, Triumph Africa and its partners seek to ensure that older persons prosper as per the commitment in Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063 and consolidate key policy actions and messages to influence the 6th ARFSD outcome documents.

Besides Triumph Africa, other age care organisations such as HelpAge Global Network, Southern Africa Regional Age Network, Help Age Zimbabwe, National Ageing Network of Zimbabwe, Stakeholder Group On Ageing-Africa, Rwanda Leave No One Behind Network, National Age Network of Zimbabwe and Malawi Network of Older Persons Organisations among other age care organisations will be represented during the side events.

Apart from Zimbabwe, Triumph Africa, which runs daycentres and healthworker outreach programmes, also has programmes running in Malawi, Sierra Leone and will soon extend their reach to Kenya.

“We are dedicated to reaching more older people,” said Immanuel.