Welcome Message

Peter Wiedemann, MD President, 
International Council of Ophthalmology

Peter Wiedemann, MD
International Council of Ophthalmology

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

On behalf of the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO), it is my great honor to invite you to join us in the beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa for the 37th meeting of the World Ophthalmology Congress, WOC2020, which will take place from 26–29 June 2020. This location is of particular importance as it marks the first time that the Congress will take place in Sub-Saharan Africa. What better time for this milestone to take place, than the year 2020?

As the world’s preeminent meeting for ophthalmologists and eye health professionals, we look forward to welcoming more than 10,000 delegates from 130 countries who will come together at WOC2020. The Congress will include hundreds of fascinating and cutting-edge presenters, sessions, and symposiums addressing all subspecialties and related interests in ophthalmology.

WOC2020 will also be a wonderful opportunity to network and collaborate with your colleagues from around the world. We are particularly excited about the social events that we are organizing around the meeting which will feature the many unique flavors and cultures of South Africa and the greater region.

Thank you and we very much look forward to seeing you in Cape Town.


Ivo Kocur, MD, MA, MSc, MBA
Chief Executive Officer
International Council of Ophthalmology

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

I invite you to join us in the stunning city of Cape Town for the next World Ophthalmology Congress WOC2020.  This 37th meeting continues a tradition of education that began in 1857 and we are very excited to bring it to Sub-Saharan Africa for the very first time.

As you know, 2020 is a special landmark year for global efforts to improve access to high quality eye care that began with VISION 2020, now guided by the WHO World report on vision. Over 120 country societies will come together where they will be represented by their leaders, world experts, colleagues, and trainees in what will be a historic meeting.

WOC2020 continues to be the premiere global ophthalmology event where the latest medical and surgical advances in all subspecialties are shared. This year, the meeting will offer many new hands on training sessions through expert led surgical skills wet labs. In addition to taking home many clinical pearls to improve patient care, it is a wonderful opportunity to unite with colleagues who will come from all corners of the world to be together in Africa.

While planning your trip, please remember to allow some time to experience the warm local hospitality, cultural richness and captivating beauty of South Africa – it is not to be missed.

I very much look forward to seeing you at the World Ophthalmology Congress 2020 in Cape Town. It promises to be an unforgettable learning experience that celebrates international achievements in the field of ophthalmology and eye care.

WOC 2020 - Maria-José Tassignon, MD, PhD

Marie-José Tassignon, MD, PhD
Scientific Program Chair, WOC2020

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Block your agenda for the next WOC meeting in Cape Town, South Africa! Come and join us from June 26 till June 29, 2020 and share your knowledge with a large number of colleagues from all over the world who committed to make from this event the most memorable one.

The Convention Centre is magnificent, new, spacious, comfortable and equipped with the most recent technology.

At the current stage of the congress organization, we can count on the participation of the largest number of international societies ever. The member societies of the ICO selected the most innovative, challenging and controversial topics within their fields of expertise.

For the younger delegates, the program will focus on “educational tracks” within the different ophthalmic subspecialties and this from basic level for the starting residents to advanced levels for our very recent new colleagues. Much attention will be paid on wetlabs, where training will be available within the fields of different surgical subspecialties.

Tips and tricks for educators, fellowship programs and how to increase your success to pass the ICO exam is an add.

Our most important wish is that after June 29, you will go back home with increased knowledge, matter to think about innovative techniques, hands on during wetlabs to sharpen your skills, new ideas about how to organize your practice and new friends and colleagues to network.

Learning in the most incredible environment will enchant you with sweet memories of South Africa!

Kgaogelo Edward Legodi, MD
WOC2020 President               ICO Vice President

Kgaogelo Edward Legodi, MD
Congress President
ICO Vice President

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

It is with great excitement that I invite you to take part in the 26–29 June 2020, World Ophthalmology Congress® (WOC2020) of the International Council of Ophthalmology in Cape Town, South Africa. WOC2020––hosted by the Ophthalmologic Society of South Africa (OSSA)––marks the first time the WOC will be hosted in Sub-Saharan Africa.

South Africa is a place of opportunity. It has been over twenty years since the country overcame past struggles, fostered reconciliation, and regained freedom for all. Led by great leaders like President Nelson Mandela, the time is now for South Africa to actively participate in vision-related efforts. We can make a huge difference in tackling the burden of eye disease for all African people and gain better outcomes––especially critical in Africa––through information, education, and instruction.

What better place than Cape Town to share the latest research, introduce new technologies, and open up a world of educational resources? Our former South African President, Kgalema Motlanthe, serves as the ICO Ambassador, and WOC2020 is expected to host more than 10,000 delegates from across the globe with innovative events aligned with VISION 2020’s mission to eliminate preventable blindness.

WOC2020 will be held at the Cape Town International Conference Centre, a world-class facility located in the heart of the city with breathtaking views of Table Mountain. In addition to taking in this wonder of nature, attendees are close to waterfront shopping and the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. From the Cape to Cairo, the beautiful continent of Africa offers much to explore. Excursions include Robben Island––a South African and UNESCO Heritage Site; locales like Sun City, Durban City, and Johannesburg City; and safari game drives where visitors can take in the wonder of lions, leopards, buffalo, rhinos, and elephants.

We welcome this opportunity to open our doors to ophthalmologists throughout the world.

Ahmed Abdulla Ahmed, MD President,
Middle East and Africa Council of Ophthalmology

Ahmed Abdulla Ahmed MD
Middle East and Africa Council of Ophthalmology

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We in the Middle East and Africa Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO), and the 34 countries that we represent are honored and excited that the 37th meeting of the World Ophthalmology Congress, WOC2020, will take place in the most beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa, from 26–29 June 2020.

We are grateful to ICO for selecting South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, important members of MEACO to hold WOC2020. Africa, with its large population of 1.3 billion, requires massive health care needs. This top-notch Congress will bring world attention to major health challenges in this part of the world.

WOC2020 is a unique opportunity to network and collaborate with colleagues from around the world. MEACO eagerly await our colleagues and eye professionals during this important event that will have a cutting-edge scientific program with numerous sessions and symposiums addressing all ophthalmic subspecialties.

On behalf of MEACO, we welcome you to Africa, and we look forward to your participation to ensure an outstanding meeting. Please join us for a culturally rich experience in addition to many memorable moments with colleagues from around the world.

Linda Visser, MD               President,
Ophthalmological Society of South Africa

Linda Visser
Ophthalmological Society of South Africa

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

On behalf of the Ophthalmological Society of South Africa (OSSA), it is my pleasure to invite you to the 37th Meeting of the World Ophthalmology Congress, WOC 2020 which will take place from Friday 26 June 2020 to Monday 29 June 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa.  A first for Sub-Saharan Africa!  The meeting will be held in the spacious and centrally located world class Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) and promises to attract a large number of delegates from more than 100 countries.

The organizers are busy assembling a faculty of respected speakers, both internationally and locally and we plan to present an opportunity to be informed of the latest advances in Ophthalmology, as well as to catch up with colleagues and friends from across the globe.

We look forward to hosting you here on the southern tip of Africa – apart from the comprehensive academic program, you will also have the opportunity to experience the cultures, hospitality and flavors of South Africa and Africa.

See you in Cape Town!