AERAP is Organising the Africa-Europe Science and Innovation Summit 


The Africa-Europe Science Collaboration Astronomy Platform (AERAP) is organising the Africa-Europe Science and Innovation Summit. The summit will hold virtually from June 14 to June 18, 2021. In addition, within the content of this Summit, the African Astronomical Society (AfAS) and the International Astronomical Union (IAU), Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD), will present a dedicated session. The session is entitled “Africa-EU Astronomy Collaborations: Towards the First IAU-General Assembly on the African Continent in 2024, and Beyond”. Consequently, this session will take place on the 16th of June 2021 from 9:00 am – 11:00 am CAT/CEST.

Context of the Summit

In the last two decades, astronomy and space science in Africa have developed rapidly. This is evidenced by winning 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. 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).

Thus, 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. Furthermore, 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 the Session

  • Bringing together African and EU Astronomical communities (networking);
  • Developing potential Africa-EU flagship projects in science and outreach;
  • Increasing African contributions to the scientific agenda of the IAU-GA 2024
  • 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.
  • Identifying potential funding channels for activities leading up to and including the 2024 IAU GA;
  • 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, you can register here. Registration is free. For more information, please visit here. Furthermore, you can also contact the AfAS Head Secretariat, Charles Takalana, by email at In addition, you can also contact the Director of OAD, Kevin Govender, by email at


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