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Last updated: 02 May, 2006 - Published 09:37 GMT
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Focus on pensions
Africa pensions special image
We look at pensions across Africa
Across Africa thousands of elderly people depend on their pensions for survival. Most are former civil servants or ex-servicemen and the state promised to look after them when they retired.

But in many countries the monthly sums are barely adequate and pensioners are forced to queue for a long time to collect their money.

In this special series we get an insight into the pension problem across the continent.


To wrap up the Focus on pensions special, we take a look at the overall picture on the continent and what can be done to help improve the position of Africa's over-60s.

Veronique Edwards asked Mark Gorman, the director of policy development at the charity Help Age International, what pensions are available in Africa?


In South Africa as the Aids pandemic continues to ravage communities, elderly people are forced to take care of their sick children and often they are left to care for their orphaned grandchildren on their pension grant.

As much as they are affected by Aids through the death of their close relatives, they are often left out of Aids campaigns. The Siyophomelela Simunye School for the aged and disabled in Johannesburg is trying to change this.

The school is empowering the elderly with knowledge on the illness and on managing their income. Mahlatse Gallens visited this extraordinary school.


When one thinks of the word "pension", the obvious thing that comes to mind is retirement, old age and how one can best prepare for life after work.

Is this something that the younger generation should be worried about at the beginning of their career?

Ruth Nesoba has been investigating the situation in Kenya.


Today we focus on the situation in Libya, where the pension system is well developed and based on international models.

Libyan pensioners have mixed feelings about the current system, although they are generally content to have one at all.

However, the country's social security fund needs to keep up with social and economic changes to sustain its effectiveness, as our correspondent in Tripoli, Rana Jawad has been finding out.


We start the week in Niger, where things are tough for the country's pensioners. Being over the retirement age and with no income, they struggle to meet their family obligations.

Pensions are paid out every three months and there is a lot of frustration with the system as our correspondent in Niamey, Idy Baraou, found out when he joined the queues.

maasai woman (ap)Africa have your say:
Can you survive on your pension?
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