August 25, 2022 | News | Call for Submissions

Workshop on Ageing and Health of Older Persons in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • When: February 19-23, 2023
  • Where: Entebbe, Uganda
  • Deadline for sending abstracts: September 28, 2022


Sub-Saharan African societies have witnessed ongoing progress in lowering mortality during the last decades and life expectancy at birth has increased steadily. These added years of life have led to an increasing number of older persons in the populations of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Despite these overall mortality improvements, the chances of surviving from infancy to older ages are unevenly distributed and depend on a range of contextual factors. Large health and mortality disparities exist between regions and countries, between sexes and socioeconomic groups.  

Of particular concern is the vulnerability of older persons with regard to ill-health and access to health services. With increasing life expectancies, older Africans will experience longer phases of being in the need of public or private support. Alongside this increased dependency is a rise in the share of chronic diseases, creating new major health burdens in SSA. Countries across the region vary in terms of financial and material support for older persons, depending on levels of economic development and cultural context. The rise in the number of older adults creates challenges for policymakers and Sub-Saharan African societies as a whole and calls for research in a wide range of areas to feed into evidence-based political decision-making.  

Objectives of the Workshop  

The workshop aims to increase the scientific and political attention paid to the challenges associated with changes in the age composition of SSA societies and to foster comparative and multi-disciplinary research across SSA countries. Researchers will be given the opportunity to share state-of-the-art research on ageing, to discuss new and existing data sources for comparative studies, and to reflect on the state of the field of SSA-ageing-research with leading scientists and policy makers. 
Junior researchers from SSA countries are the backbone of this workshop and are particularly encouraged to apply. The workshop is a collaboration between the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany, the Department of Population Studies of Makerere University in Uganda, the Federal Institute for Population Research in Germany, and the Faculty of Spatial Sciences at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. 

What Will the Workshop Look Like? 

The year 2022 marks the 20th anniversary of the Madrid International Action Plan on Ageing (MIPAA) which addresses the challenges of individual and population ageing and provides an agenda focused on three priority areas: older persons and development, advancing health and well-being into old age, and ensuring the existence of enabling and supportive environments. Each day will be dedicated to one of the three priority areas and will start with a keynote address by an invited senior speaker followed by junior researchers presenting their work. The workshop intends to establish long-term research collaborations, therefore the afternoons will be dedicated to debriefing sessions about datasets and networking opportunities. The working language at the workshop will be English. 

Who should apply? 

The workshop is predominantly aimed at PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and researchers at early career stages from SSA countries from a broad range of disciplines (e. g. demography, public health, economics and sociology) who work on ageing in SSA. A limited number of spaces will also be allocated to young researchers from outside SSA who work on ageing in the region.  

Funding and Sponsorship  

The workshop is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation’s program “Knowledge for Tomorrow”. In case of acceptance, the costs for travel and accommodation including return airport transfers from Entebbe Airport to the Hotel and conference venue as well as the catering during the workshop will 
be covered. Additional costs like Visa fees, return transfers from the home institution to the airport or COVID19 tests cannot be covered by the workshop. Please contact the workshop organizers via email,, in case of further questions. 

Covid-19 Information  

Uganda allows entry when someone is fully vaccinated. If not vaccinated, one has to present negative PCR test results. The workshop does not cover C19 testing. The rules might change according to the Ministry of Health of Uganda.  

Submission of Abstracts for Oral Presentations 

Submissions can include but are not limited to the following topics: 

  • Health and well-being 
  • Cross-country and regional health differences 
  • Inequalities at older ages 
  • Changing family dynamics in ageing societies 
  • Living environments in ageing societies 
  • Public and private support needs and provision 
  • Comparative research with new datasets 

Please submit your abstract (maximum 250 words, as PDF) and extended abstract (2-4 pages including key references, as PDF) which presents introduction, objectives, data & methods and results in more detail. Both documents shall be submitted via email at, specifying your name in the file name.  

Important Deadlines

The Call opens: August 25, 2022 

The deadline for submissions is September 28, 2022 

Applicants will be notified of acceptance by October 15, 2022 

If you have any questions regarding the workshop or the submission process, please contact 

Workshop Organizers

Tobias Vogt 
Population Research Centre, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen, The Netherlands 
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany 
Prasanna School of Public Health, Manipal Academy for Higher Education, Manipal, India 

Elke Loichinger 
Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB), Wiesbaden, Germany 

Alyson van Raalte 
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany  

Stephen Ojiambo Wandera 
Department of Population Studies, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

Download Call for Abstracts (PDF File, 130 kB)

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.