The Gerontology Institute plans to host a 2006 conference on National Aging Research in Africa, in collaboration with the annual meeting of the Association for Gerontology and Anthropology (AAGE). The concept for the conference evolved in part from the "Global Aging" theme of the 2003 meeting of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE). AGHE participants who had conducted aging research in Africa met and developed a rationale for a national conference devoted to aging in Africa. The conference will provide a unique networking opportunity for U.S. and African gerontologists, students, and researchers from other disciplines to share and compare their findings about the aging experience among Africans, African Americans, and other ethnic groups of African descent worldwide. Three prominent African gerontologists, Mugo Gachuhi from Kenya, Nana Apt from Ghana, and Monica Ferreira from South Africa, have been invited as keynote speakers, in addition to five invited U.S. speakers who have conducted aging research in Africa: Sinfree Makoni, Penn State University; Gillian Ice, Ohio University; Maria Cattell, Field Museum of History in Chicago; Richard Douglass, Eastern Michigan University; and Brenda McGadney-Douglass, University of Toledo.
The conference also is an outgrowth of the Institute's Gerontology Education and Research partnership with Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya, now in its third year. Sharon King, who along with Dr. Mugo Gachuhi of the Sociology Department of Kenyatta University initiated the partnership, is scheduled to make her fourth and fifth visits to Kenya in 2005 to collaborate with Dr. Gachuhi and his colleagues on the development of a proposal to the U.S. Agency for International Development for an intervention project for grandparents raising grandchildren orphaned by AIDS in rural western Kenya. Georgia State's National Center on Grandparents Raising Grandchildren has partnered with the Institute for this initiative, along with the Atlanta-based international health agency, Global Health Action, Inc., and HelpAge Kenya, a non-governmental agency dedicated to the welfare of older adults in Kenya.