Ethiopia: AU signs pact to champion rights of vulnerable population

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) -The African Union Commission  (AUC) and HelpAge International have signed a  memorandum of understanding to work towards improving the welfare of older people and the ageing population in Africa, the Commission announced Wednesday.
AU Commissioner of Social Affairs, Dr. Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko said the signing of the MOU offered both institutions a chance to work together in advancing the rights of the vulnerable population in Africa.

"The issues of older persons and people with disabilities are usually forgotten in a lot  of discussions," Kaloko said, highlighting significant progress made by the African Union member states in sustaining the socioeconomic needs of the ageing population.

He applauded efforts undertaken within the East African Community (EAC) to address the welfare of the ageing through efforts such as the ageing schemes in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania respectively.  
AUC Director of Social Affairs, Dr. Olawale Maiyegun noted that addressing issues of older persons in Africa requires concerted  efforts, and the MoU provided the basis for stronger partnership between the AU and key partners such as HelpAge.

Furthermore, he highlighted the importance of an inclusive population towards the realisation of Agenda 2063 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Dr. Prafulla Mishra, Regional Director of Help Age International, said the needs of  older persons in Africa call for African governments to unite in their efforts to institutionalise urgent measures aimed at addressing the needs of older persons.

HelpAge is calling for measures such as prohibiting all forms of discrimination against older persons and encouraging the elimination of social and cultural stereotypes which marginalise older persons and those with disabilities.

In addition, he said there was need for care and support, social protection as well as protection against discrimination in employment.
-0- PANA AO/AR14Sept2016

14 september 2016 17:09:46

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