“My hope is that my engagement may spur ideas and connections for the development of cross-regional inquiry on central ageing-related issues that are of concern globally.”
What do you expect and hope for from the IAGG-ER 2019 congress and your visit to Gothenburg?
I look forward to having an opportunity not only to share perspectives from sub-Saharan Africa (a region that has not featured much in the international scientific gerontological discouse), but also to learn from the insights into European ‘realities’ of ageing that will be discussed in Gothenburg.
What are the most exciting challenges in your field of aging research?
The most exciting challenges for research on aging in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), to my mind, are two-fold:
First, to clarify, dispassionately, the linkages between the circumstances and wellbeing of older adults and prospects for advancing SSA’s core population and development agendas (which presently center on optimising the capacities, opportunities and productivity of Africa’s huge child and youth ‘bulge’ toward achieving a ‘first demographic dividend’)
Second, to make progress toward a true ‘African gerontology’ that engages as equal with, and advances, the international scientific gerontological debate through ‘homegrown’ theorizing that actively interrogates- and seeks to refine existing (largely global North-derived) constructs and theories in terms of their ability to capture and explain African empirical realities and meanings
Isabella is a Senior Research Scientist and Head of the Aging and Development Unit at the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), Nairobi, Kenya. She holds additional positions as Visiting Associate Professor of Gerontology at the University of Southampton, UK and Extraordinary Professor at North West University, South Africa.