Duhon, Madeline, et al. (2023) “Preparing for an Aging Africa: Data-Driven Priorities for Economic Research and Policy”, https://doi.org/10.3386/w31750.
The over-60 population in Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to grow rapidly in the coming decades, tripling between 2020 and 2050. Despite this explosive projected growth, few countries in the region have implemented policies designed to support older populations. Further, little research in economics has specifically examined aging in Sub-Saharan Africa, though many opportunities exist for economists to generate research evidence to inform the design of effective policies in this area. This paper combines insights from a cross-disciplinary review with original data analysis to characterize the challenges and opportunities facing older Sub-Saharan Africans in domains such as health and financial security. Informed by these findings, the paper identifies directions for future economic research and discusses policy recommendations, including the need to reform health care systems and expand pension and other public support programs to prepare for an aging Africa.