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New Ministry Dealing with Older People is Momentous and Opportune

Tuesday 15 December 2015, Dar es Salaam

The announcement of the new Cabinet of Ministers was a momentous occasion for
advocates on the rights of older men and women in Tanzania. For the first time in
the countrys history older people will have a specific Ministry devoted to their
welfare. According to announcements made by the Government, older people in
Tanzania will now be under the new Ministry that is dealing with Health, Social
Development, Gender, Older People and Children. The explicit reference to
Older People indeed reflects the fact that ageing as an agenda is being given a
higher priority in the incoming Government.
Equally well, the inclusion of ageing is also a testament to the efforts of advocates
for ageing in Tanzania. According to the 2015 Global AgeWatch Index the number
of older people is set to grow exponentially in the coming years, with the bulk of
this growth taking place in developing countries such as Tanzania. Measures to
prepare for this growth need to be taken now and assigning a responsible Ministry
is a step in the right direction.
Opportunely, having a specific ministry will better ensure that the Government is
better placed to appreciate and keep up with the changing preferences and needs
of Older People. It also offers another way to follow-up on all the commitments
made to promote their access to social pension, affordable and appropriate
healthcare, to mention a few from among the myriad demands they have been
advancing over the years.
This also comes soon after the world leaders agreed the new Sustainable
Development Goals, promising to leave no one behind and to be for all people of all
ages. In deed no development strategies can be achieved if older men and women
who constitute 5% of the total population are not proactively recognised in planning
and budgeting and are not enjoying effective public services says, Ms. Amleset
Tewodros, Country Director for HelpAge International.
HelpAge International recognises this positive step and congratulates the
Government for its continued efforts and looks forward to more fruitful
engagements which bear results. These results include legislating the national
policy on ageing so that there is a binding legal framework to support
implementation of policies and strategies related to ageing that will be under the
Ministry of Health, Social Development, Gender, Older People and Children.

Contact: Eric Ngilangwa, Communications Officer,

Tel +255 22 2700169, Cel +255 657 644292
About HelpAge International
HelpAge International helps older people claim their rights, challenge discrimination
and overcome poverty, so that they can lead dignified, secure, active and healthy
lives. Our work is strengthened through our global network of like-minded
organisations the only one of its kind in the world.
Location: 134 Migombani Street
Regent Estate Mikocheni
Mailing: P.O.BOX 9846,
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Tel: +255(0)22 2700169, +255(0)22 2774796
Fax: +255(0)22 2775894