South Africa will host three important international conferences this year

29 February 2016

South Africa will this year host three important international conferences, which will contribute immensely to global governance and a better life, while also being 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. The Minister of Tourism, Mr 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 following:


South Africa will host the International AIDS Conference in Durban in from 18-22 July 2016. Over 13 000 international delegates are expected to attend, in addition to 5000 local delegates.

Besides the tourism opportunities presented by our hosting of this conference, South Africa will use this opportunity to mark the progress we have 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.

Government thanks the International AIDS Society for choosing South Africa to host this conference.


South Africa will be hosting 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 2000 participants are expected to attend the CoP.

CITES is a powerful tool for biodiversity conservation. It regulates the 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.


South Africa will also host the 35th International Geological Congress 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.

Enquiries: Bongani Majola on 082 339 1993 or

Issued by: The Presidency



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