The University of Ghana, the largest and oldest institution of tertiary education in the country, has set up a Centre of Aging Studies which will focus solely on research and education on issues related to aging, says its Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu.

The centre would spearhead research, advocacy and policies within the limit of traditional upbringing and development, purposely towards the welfare of the aged, he said when addressing the 6th Joint Psychology/ Psychiatry International Research Conference held under the theme: “Ageing: Prospects, Challenges and Research in Africa” here over the weekend.

He said at the governmental level, little provision had been made for the well-being of the elderly, and therefore a policy on aging in Ghana was urgently needed to deal with the problems facing the aging population.

Professor Oduro Owusu said the absence of comprehensive information meant that ageing was poorly understood and, as a result, adequate resources were not allocated to meet the needs of the older population.

Citing reports from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and HelpAge International, he said recent projections indicated that the elderly in Africa could account for 4.5 per cent of the continent’s population by 2030 and this ratio could reach nearly 10 per cent by 2050.

He said the rise in the population of the aging, particularly in Africa, had become a global concern given the associated demographic, social and economic implications for the well-being of the aged, the implications for the future generations as well as the social and economic development of the country.