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Based on United Nations Population Prospects projections, Rwanda had a total population of 12.9 million with 663,253 persons (5.1 per cent) aged 60 years and over in 2020 (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2019)2. The country’s health expenditure was 6.4 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2019 (World Health Organization, n.d.). Rwanda is classified as a low-income country and has a Human Development Index (composite index of life expectancy, education and per capita income) ranking of 160 of 189 with a score of 0.543 (low). Absolute poverty is high with an extreme poverty rate (those living under $1.90 per day) of 16 per cent (2016-2017) and has a GINI coefficient (a measure of degree of inequality) of 42.9 (2016-17). The service coverage of essential health services is 54 per cent.

Rwanda provides an example of a country which is only very recently engaging with the issue of ageing and the development of a policy framework to ensure the inclusion of the growing number of older people, and ensure that their specific needs and concerns are addressed.

This report provides an overview of population ageing and health trends in Rwanda, and assesses the readiness and responsiveness of health, social welfare and long-term care systems to ageing and the needs of older people in the country. It assesses the state of frameworks and structures in place to support healthy ageing and provides a set of recommendations to inform policy development and strategic interventions going forward.