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CCape Town counts down to first World Ophthalmology Congress to be held in Sub-Saharan Africa

It is just one year to go until Cape Town welcomes over 10 000 delegates from 110 countries to the 37th World Ophthalmology Congress (WOC). Taking place between 26-29 June 2020 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (ICC), it will be the first time WOC is taking place in Sub-Saharan Africa. The WOC 2020 theme will be “all eyes on Africa”.

The congress will feature the latest products and services in the field and provide delegates the opportunity to network with leaders in ophthalmology. The congress is the brainchild of the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) and is held every two years in a different region of the world. WOC has been held since 1857, making it the longest running medical conference in the world.

Revenues from the WOC help support ICO programmes including ophthalmic education, eye care delivery, leadership and society development and the ICO’s commitment to “Building a World Alliance for Sight.”

“South Africa is the perfect place  for the first WOC to take place on the African continent. South Africa’s warm  people are ready to welcome delegates from around the world to our beautiful country which is the best place to meet.  Cape Town is a multi-award winning  iconic city and of course provides  the perfect stage for an international gathering of this magnitude,” says Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, Chief Convention Bureau Officer at the  South Africa National Convention Bureau, a  business unit of South African Tourism.

“The Congress will not only help grow the Western Cape Tourism sector, but will also add a valuable contribution in growing the local knowledge economy.  Cape Town’s location in Africa will benefit ophthalmology and eye-care on the continent, highlighting the disparities in eye-care globally, and in Africa specifically.  Patients in Southern Africa specifically suffer unnecessary visual loss and preventable blindness, and this is an angle that was built into the Congress bid. We look forward to welcoming delegates to the province,” says Corne Koch, Head Convention Bureau: Cape & the Western Cape.

“This will be the first time the World Ophthalmology Congress is held in Sub- Saharan Africa, thus it will have a unique African flair. The strategic theme asks for a united, concerted focus and effort to Africa’s eye health challenges and opportunities. And because of that, WOC2020 will have a deepened, definitive sense of purpose; it will unify and encourage an environment that promotes sharing of ideas for the betterment of eye healthcare in the continent; among many other experiences,” adds Dr Eddie Legodi, WC2020 President.

 The ICC is located in the heart of the city, with the breath-taking Table Mountain serving as its backdrop. Delegates will also be close to the historic V&A Waterfront where they can sample some of the finest foods in country. As the country’s official national marketing agency, South African Tourism is looking forward to welcoming all delegates to WOC in Cape Town, the Mother City that is set to inspire them as they tackle some of ophthalmology’s pressing concerns.


For further information, contact:

Altaaf Kazi at South African Tourism            
Tel: +27 11 895-3046                                           
Email:  OR


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About South African Tourism
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