We Invite You

The astronomy community on the African continent would like to invite you to Cape Town and online for the IAU General Assembly!

  • We invite you to come and share your science and learn about how Africa is contributing to the global scientific endeavour.
  • We invite you to come meet people from across the world in the place where humanity began – where all people originally emerged from – the continent of Africa.
  • We invite you to come and be moved by the spirit and the culture of Africa, and to connect with its amazing people.
  • We invite you to come and see why we are all children of Nelson Mandela, and be inspired by the strength, resilience and love within all of us.
  • We invite you to experience the African night skies, its sunsets, its rainbows, its mountains and oceans, its fauna and flora. And to visit some of the biggest telescopes in the world.
  • We invite you to join us and let us together rise up from the bumpy colonial history of this continent – let us embrace a relationship where we are equals on this planet and we can together explore the universe to expand human knowledge…

This will be more than just a conference. It will be an opportunity to change the way the world sees Africa, by showcasing the incredible capacity of our people to build great infrastructure and do great science. We want you to embrace this opportunity with us, be our ambassadors in your institutions, and bring them all to Cape Town in 2024, along with your families, for an adventure that I have no doubt will inspire you forever. Allow yourself the freedom to be moved.

We will create opportunities for you to not only do your science but also contribute to society and the environment, opportunities that will more than balance your carbon footprint in travelling to Cape Town, and there will be ample opportunity to fully engage with subjects you are passionate about, whether it’s research; education and outreach; equity, diversity and inclusion; climate change, etc.

The words on the South African coat of arms are !ke e: /xarra //ke which means “diverse people unite”. Let us all unite under the African sky and let us celebrate our diversity – because therein lies our greatest strength as the astronomy community. Our diversity is what will grow not only the field of Astronomy but it will also grow us as people.

Although the GA will primarily be about growing our minds through the sharing of scientific advancements, its location will ensure that it also grows our hearts. Because scientists are people first. And when we recognise each other as people first, people with talents, people with families, people with feelings, people with a passion beyond just the science, people who need a safe comfortable enjoyable environment where they can be themselves; when we recognise this, that’s when the magic happens, when creativity shines and when we inevitably achieve more together.

Your participation in this IAU General Assembly will contribute to achieving our Vision 2024 and the three core principles that we hope will define both this meeting and potentially future astronomy meetings: Accessibility, Impact and Sustainability.