Africa, the poorest and youngest populated region in the world, is set to see a rapid increase in the number of older persons in the coming three decades. While the expected increase in the prevalence of non-communicable diseases is already evident, sparse data exist on the geriatric syndromes. Healthcare systems vary considerably between the countries, with universal healthcare available in only a handful. Public healthcare is generally underfunded, overburdened and unprepared for the care of older persons and private care unaffordable. Training in Geriatric Medicine is limited to a small number of facilities in a few countries. Despite the African Union Policy Framework and Plan of Action on Ageing, there has been very little progress on the implementation of age-sensitive policies. There is an urgent need to improve care of older persons in the region.