Showcase: Global South Studies Center

We are extremely grateful for the years of productive cooperation between the Cologne Convention Bureau (CCB) and our Global South Studies Center (GSSC) at the University of Cologne. The GSSC’s close cooperation with the CCB began in 2014. That was the year when the GSSC was founded as part of the Excellence Initiative of the German government and the federal states, the purpose of which was to promote science and research at German universities. (The Excellence Initiative has been continued as the Excellence Strategy since 2017/18.)

The CCB had already proved itself as an ever-reliable and creative partner back in 2012, when it helped to design the supporting programme for the conference of the African Studies Association Germany (VAD) titled “Embattled Spaces — Contested Orders”, which was hosted by the Institute of Ethnology of the University of Cologne. The CCB provided expert support for the 40 events that made up the conference, and we were very grateful for its help in establishing our contact with the Mayor of the City of Cologne.

The CCB provided direct support for the GSSC’s first major conference, titled “Transformations in the Global South”, in 2015 and the Center’s second large conference, “The Global South on the Move”, in 2017.

In 2018 the GSSC participated in the “Global Conference on Economic Geography”, which was opened at an impressive evening event in the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum — Cultures of the World. For all of these major events, the CCB was an expert advisor regarding event locations in Cologne. It connected us quickly and smoothly with the appropriate contact persons from the event and catering sectors, and was always able to suggest interesting event options that were related to the themes of the supporting programme. The CCB also enabled us to create a link with a hotel page that international guests could use to easily reserve their accommodation.

It also gave us outstanding support through its informational materials, city tours for the international scientists attending these meetings, and many other GSSC events. It brought the international participants closer to the city of Cologne, its flair and the mentality of its residents. Our guests were especially impressed by the tour guides that the CCB had selected for the various theme-based city tours. We are convinced that these successful elements of the supporting programme have helped to ensure that many of the scientists cooperating with the GSSC are always happy to come to Cologne and that they consider the city a very special place.

We are currently planning Europe’s biggest-ever conference on Africa, the “European Conference on African Studies – ECAS”, which will be attended by about 2,000 participants from all over the world. Under the title “African Futures”, it will be held at the University of Cologne during Whitsuntide 2023. For this major event too, we are very happy that the capable team from CCB is at our side as a partner and that we will be able to use its comprehensive services completely free of charge.

It’s also worth mentioning the unique “Networking on the Rhine” events, which the CCB organizes so perfectly at regular intervals. Through these events we have already got to know many exciting event locations and established connections with important players in Cologne.

We look forward to cooperating with the CCB on many more projects, and we wish you all the very best for your work, which greatly simplifies the staging of scientific events in the metropolis of Cologne.

Dr. Clemens Greiner

Scientific Managing Director GSSC


Martina Gockel-Frank

Project Manager GSSC