The International Astronomical Union, which has been in existence for over 100 years, is the world’s largest body of professional astronomers. Every three years it holds a General Assembly, bringing together astronomers from around the world. This meeting will take place for the first time on the African continent in 2024. Cape Town has been selected to host the meeting, and the National Research Foundation (NRF) is the official host organisation. In preparation for this event, it is essential to bring together the African astronomical community to discuss how the continent can maximally benefit from this unique opportunity as well as how best to facilitate participation by countries in Africa.

Format: Virtual Forum for African astronomy community via Zoom

Date/Duration: 27 – 29 October 2021 (3 days)

Venue: Online

Contributions: Contributions may take the form of posters, and/or short recorded talks about ideas or initiatives for the IAU GA 2024. Deadline for submission of contributions (via the registration form) is 15 September 2021.

Purpose: Engage the African Astronomy community, including astronomers, amateur astronomers, education and outreach community, to obtain commitment on participation and appoint country ambassadors.

Spirit: The October Forum should be a culmination of a few months of engagements with different stakeholder groups (e.g. astronomers, amateurs, science centres, outreach professionals, etc). These engagements should start well before the forum and each stakeholder group should be invited to contribute to the programme. We should work by the principle of shared ownership and different stakeholder groups should drive activities that will be announced/launched at the forum.

Who should attend: Astronomers, amateur astronomers, education and outreach community or anyone with an interest in astronomy research, infrastructures, education, outreach, development; amateur astronomy, astrotourism, astronomy arts & culture, etc. In particular, we encourage those interested in proposing an IAU Symposium or Focus meeting at the 2024 GA to express their interest here, so that we can assist them with the IAU process.

Draft programme

Day 1: 27 October 2021

Time (CAT)
09:00 Overview of GA2024, Vision and expected outcomes 
09:10Science and outreach Flagship projects
10:10Community input defines programme
14:00 Close

Day 2: 28 October 2021

Time (CAT)
09:00 Reflections on Day 1
09:10Community input defines programme
14:00 Close

Day 3: 29 October 2021

Time (CAT)
09:00Reflections on Day 2
09:10Parallel sessions
13:00Action items and way forward
13:30Summary and close


Download the poster here:

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