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Professor Monica Ferreira

Professor and Director, Institute of Ageing in Africa


Professor and Director, Institute of Ageing in Africa; President, International Longevity Centre South Africa, University of Cape Town



Institute of Ageing in Africa
Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Cape Town
Observatory 7925, South Africa





Professor Ferreira is director of The Albertina and Walter Sisulu Institute of Ageing in Africa, and President of the International Longevity Centre South Africa at the University of Cape Town. Her doctoral studies were in health sociology, and she has worked mainly in social demography and social gerontology. Her career in research on ageing and research management spans 26 years. She has published approximately 100 edited books, chapters in books, journal articles, research reports, etc. She was the founding editor of the Southern African Journal of Gerontology (nine volumes). Ferreira has specialised in ageing in Africa and strives to contribute to the development of African gerontology. She has been a consultant to the United Nations and the World Health Organization; was a member of the UN Technical Committee to draft the Madrid Plan of Action on Ageing 2002; and was a member of UN expert groups to draft the global UN/IAG Research Agenda on Ageing for the 21st Century and an Africa regional research agenda. Professor Ferreira has participated in several advisory groups to review and develop South African government policy, legislation, etc. In particular, the Older Persons' Bill; a South African Human Rights Commission Forum for Older Persons


Key research/capacity building interests


Research Interests

  • Physical and cognitive functioning of older people
  • Income security in old age
  • Impact of HIV/AIDS on older persons

Capacity Building Interests

  • Masters and doctoral dissertation supervision
  • Capacity building of research interns
  • Training in qualitative research methods.

Key methodological skills

  • Quantitative survey design
  • Qualitative research (in-depth interviewing, focus group interviewing, key informant interviewing)
  • Policy analysis.

Current/planned research

  • Supporting the functioning of contributive elders
  • Development of culture and education appropriate cognitive
    function measurement instruments for use in the African population (ongoing).
  • Development of a database of older clients in the Institute of Ageing in Africa Memory Clinic (ongoing).
  • A follow-up study of discharged stroke patients in the community.

 Current engagement in capacity building

  • Supervision of doctoral students' dissertations
  • Capacity building of research interns