The First International Conference on Concrete Repair, Rehabilitation and Retrofitting (ICCRRR 2005) was held in Cape Town, South Africa, from 21-23 November 2005. The conference was a collaborative venture by researchers from the South African Research Programme in Concrete Materials (based at the Universities of Cape Town and The Witwatersrand) and The Construction Materials Section at Leipzig University in Germany. From the outset, the organisation and implementation of the conference carried a strong South African – German link, reflected in the excellent support given to the conference by researchers and practitioners from these two countries (Figures 1, 2). Nevertheless, more than 200 papers from 45 countries were presented at the conference, representing a high degree of international support for the event. This helped to fulfil one of the aims of ICCRRR 2005, namely to strengthen relationships not only between Africa and Europe but also between countries and regions from all over the world.