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IPC 2017 Cape Town
Report of the 1st International Organising Committee meeting
The first meeting of the International Organising Committee (IOC) for the 28th International Population Conference took place on 31 March and 1 April at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). The meeting was hosted by Statistics South Africa (StatsSA), the primary institution on the National Organising Committee (NOC) with responsibility for the organisation of the Conference. The IOC includes NOC representatives, IUSSP Council members and ex officio representatives from UNFPA and the UN Population Division. The main task of the meeting was to approve a preliminary list of sessions for the Call for Papers and to designate session and theme organizers. It was also an opportunity to discuss formally and informally with the NOC representatives their vision and expectations for the Conference.
South Africa is honoured to have been selected to host the 28th International Population Conference, which will be taking place for the first time in sub-Saharan Africa. StatsSA brings to the organisation of the 2017 International Population Conference their experience organizing the successful 2009 International Statistical Institute (ISI) Conference in Durban. The Conference will draw public attention to demography, population research and development statistics and those institutions in the region working on population issues.
StatsSA is especially keen to include young Africans at the meeting as it did for the 2009 ISI Conference. Encouraging a future generation of African population scientists and statisticians is an important mission for StatsSA. They have collaborated on several programmes to increase the presence of black South Africans in science and technology fields by encouraging young students, especially girls, as early as primary and secondary school, to study mathematics and science. To underscore the importance of this mission, the NOC invited a group of high school students from Christel House in the southern suburbs of Cape Town to perform a traditional South African welcome. The NOC encourages IUSSP members and their institutions to organize training and capacity building activities in conjunction with the Conference, and to consider other ways they can contribute to capacity building in the region.
During the meeting, the IOC members completed a preliminary list of 19 themes and 96 topics to include in the call for papers to be announced in early 2016. We thank again the many IUSSP members who submitted suggestions for session topics and provided the names of potential organizers, which the IOC carefully considered in creating the programme. The IOC strove to create a balanced programme with a range of broad topics where all authors should find a place to submit their paper. It also sought to design a scientific programme with a geographically balanced set of organisers and conveners with expertise in the subject area, including younger scholars and those who had not served as organisers at previous IUSSP Conferences. The final programme will include over 220 regular oral sessions and poster sessions created from papers submitted to the call. Another 25 invited and plenary sessions will be added later.
List of Themes for the 28th IPC
IOC members admired the convention centre's large, well-lit open spaces and spectacular views of Table Mountain. The CTICC opened in 2003 and includes the latest in Conference and meeting technology. The centre is also within walking distance of hotels, restaurants and shopping in both the city centre and the nearby Victoria and Alfred Waterfront.
Once the meetings were over, IOC members took the opportunity to tour Cape Town and visit the many nearby touristic destinations: Robben Island, Table Mountain, the beaches in Camps Bay, Hout Bay, the penguin colony at Boulder’s Beach in Simon's Town, Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope. Some of South Africa’s best wine growing areas are located just outside of Cape Town, and several wildlife parks are also found within a day’s drive of the city.
The 28th International Population Conference in Cape Town is an event not to be missed. The IOC hopes all IUSSP members and those interested in population issues will mark their calendars for the week of 29 October to 3 November 2017 and make the journey to Cape Town. You will not be disappointed.