AfAS – IAU OAD Special Session at Africa-Europe Science and Innovation Summit 2021

Africa-Europe Science and Innovation Summit 14 – 18 June 2021: AfAS-IAU-OAD session on Africa-EU Astronomy Collaborations: “Towards the First IAU-General Assembly on the African Continent in 2024, and Beyond” taking place on 16 June 2021 (9:00am – 11:00am CAT/CEST)

The Africa-Europe Science and Innovation Summit will be held virtually from June 14 to June 18, 2021. Within the content of this Summit the African Astronomical Society (AfAS) and the International Astronomical Union Office of Astronomy for Development (IAU OAD) will present a dedicated session entitled “Africa-EU Astronomy Collaborations: Towards the First IAU-General Assembly on the African Continent in 2024, and Beyond”.

In the last two decades, astronomy and space science in Africa have developed rapidly, as evidenced through the winning of the bid to host, for the first time in Africa, the International Astronomical Union’s General Assembly (IAU-GA) in 2024. The IAU-GA is the largest international gathering of astronomers, held every three years by the IAU (the 100-year-old IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together more than 12 000 active professional astronomers from more than 100 countries worldwide). There are already numerous astronomy infrastructure projects, instruments and training programmes that are of interest to communities in both Africa and the EU, such as those in optical astronomy (SALT, MeerLicht, Oukaïmeden, Entoto, etc); radio astronomy (MeerKAT, SKA, JIVE, DARA, HartRAO, VLBI, etc); and gamma ray astronomy (HESS and CTA). This special session offers an opportunity for interactions between existing and potential Africa-EU collaborators to stimulate and explore mutually beneficial opportunities that may arise specifically in the lead up towards the IAU-GA in 2024. Discussions around related science and outreach topics could potentially lead to Africa-EU collaborative flagship projects that would contribute to the legacy of the IAU-GA in 2024.

 Topics during this session will include:

  1. Bringing together African and EU Astronomical communities (networking);
  2. Developing potential Africa-EU flagship projects in science and outreach;
  3. Increasing African contributions to the science agenda of the IAU-GA 2024
  4. Using the IAU-GA as a milestone to strengthen Africa-EU research collaborations through joint research projects, observations, MSc/Ph.D. student joint supervision, joint proposals, etc.
  5. Identifying potential funding channels for activities leading up to and including the 2024 IAU GA;
  6. Establishment of an Africa-EU Working Group for the IAU-GA in 2024

If you wish to attend this or any other sessions during this summit, please register at the following link. The registration is free, enabling you to select those sessions you wish to attend.

For more information contact the AfAS Head Secretariat, Charles Takalana, by email 

For more information contact the AfAS Head Secretariat, Charles Takalana, on 081 481 7416 or email 

You can also contact the Director of OAD, Kevin Govender on 082 487 8466 or email


IAU GA 2024: