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)
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 was a culmination of a few months of engagements with different stakeholder groups (e.g. astronomers, amateurs, science centres, outreach professionals, etc). These engagements started well before the forum and each stakeholder group was invited to contribute to the programme. We worked by the principle of shared ownership and different stakeholder groups drove activities that were discussed and announced/launched at the forum.
Who attended: 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, and 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.