SA to host three major international conferences

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Pretoria – South Africa will this year host three international conferences that will contribute to global governance.

The Presidency on Monday said the conferences are also an excellent marketing and tourism opportunity for the country. President Jacob Zuma outlined the importance of inbound and domestic tourism for the country during the State of the Nation Address on 11 February 2016.

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom also briefed the nation extensively on the tourism priorities for 2016/17 during the debate on SONA 2016.

The international conferences to take place in South Africa are the International Aids Conference to be held in Durban from 18 – 22 July 2016. Over 13 000 international delegates are expected to attend in addition to 5 000 local delegates.

Besides the tourism opportunities presented by South Africa hosting this conference, the country will use the opportunity to mark the progress made in fighting the Aids epidemic.

Government will in the coming weeks make further announcements about this conference, especially plans to have civil society take centre stage in the planning and execution of the conference.

South Africa will also host the 17th Conference of Parties (COP17) to CITES from 24 September 2016 to 5 October 2016 in Johannesburg at the Sandton Convention Centre.

One hundred and eighty-one (181) parties are signatories to the Convention and more than 2 000 participants are expected to attend the COP.

CITES is a powerful tool for biodiversity conservation. It regulates international trade in wild fauna and flora to ensure the international trade is sustainable and not detrimental to the survival of species in the wild. It will be the first time since the year 2000 that a COP of this convention is held on the African continent.

Another conference to be hosted by South Africa will be the 35th International Geology Congress to be held from 27 August to 4 September 2016.

Considered the “World Cup for geologists”, the congress aims to promote geoscience and socio-economic development on the African continent, with the impact being increased research in geosciences and opportunities for new mineral and petroleum discoveries.

It will also expose young African scientists to world class researchers, thus contributing to the transformation of the research fraternity.