The CTICC works closely with its ambassadors and industry associations to bring international events to the centre and city. Bringing the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union, which will be hosted for the first time on Africa soil, was such an event that brought about an important collaboration.

“Africa is undergoing a tremendous growth in astronomy with the establishment of the Southern African Large Telescope, the MeerKAT radio telescope array, which will expand into the Square Kilometre Array, and a number of new facilities across the continent. Hosting the IAU General Assembly will bring the world of astronomy to Africa, to South Africa and to Cape Town. There is a long and rich history of astronomy in South Africa, dating back to the establishment of the observatory in Cape Town in 1820 – they will celebrate their 200th anniversary in 2020,” says Professor Patrick Woudt, who was instrumental in bringing the event to Cape Town.

He adds: “This was the second attempt – previously we bid in 2015 – to bring the IAU General Assembly to Africa for the first time. In the 100 year history of the International Astronomical Union, its general assembly has not been held in Africa before.”

Having been awarded these prestigious international events, the CTICC has already hosted two of the 15 events that will take place at the centre. The International Congress of Linguistics 2018, took place at the centre between the 2nd and 6th of July 2018, and was attended by 800 delegates. The conference, a first on African soil, showcased African language research and applied linguistic areas of research on the continents. Another event awarded in the last six months and which took place in August 2018 is the 500-delegate ICAO Global Aviation Gender Summit which provided a unique opportunity to advocate and advance gender equality and empowerment of women in the global aviation sector.

The CTICC’s world-class, high-tech facilities, flexible venues and high levels of service delivery are making a growing impact on international conference organisers. Cape Town and the location within the city are strong draw cards too.