Astronomy in Africa leading to the IAU-GA2024 and beyond
This session will focus on the upcoming International Astronomical Union (IAU) General Assembly (GA) to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, in August 2024. The IAU-GA is arguably the largest and most important astronomy conference, and it will be the first time that it has been held in Africa. The session will also highlight the activities of the African Astronomical Society (AfAS), a Pan-African professional society of astronomers. It will discuss the society’s vision, mission, and key objectives. It will also highlight AfAS’s progress in contributing to science, outreach, communication, and education activities emanating from astronomy in Africa. The activities leading up to the General Assembly are driven by a vision that significantly uses the event and astronomy to impact society. In this context, the session will also touch on the work of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development, which is hosted in South Africa and coordinates 11 regional offices globally. The Office has supported over 200 projects reaching over 100 countries, with funding exceeding a million euros.
The session will be presented by a panel of experts from the IAU-GA2024 National Organising Committee and the AfAS Secretariat. They will discuss the following topics:
- The significance of the IAU-GA2024 for Africa and the world
- The progress made by AfAS in contributing to science, outreach, communication, and education activities emanating from Astronomy in Africa
- Opportunities in Astronomy in Africa
- The work of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development.
- Awareness of the importance of astronomy for development.
Exploring opportunities for collaboration and support for astronomy in