African Research Network

Background and General Information

The African continent features areas with extremely high biodiversity and high levels of endemism, indicating that many of the continent’s plant resources are uniquely African. African traditional medicine is therefore based on a broad ethnomedicinal knowledge and represents a major socio-cultural heritage, which has accumulated during the last millennia and features valuable and unique ethnomedicinal information.

The GA aims to foster the scientific development of African research pursuits by establishing an African Research Network among members of the GA and thus expanding and improving research capacity. Therefore, a working group was established to stimulate and facilitate the interaction of African researchers within the GA. The working group consists of six members of the GA’s advisory board including Attila Hunyadi, Michael Heinrich, Andreas Hensel, Emerson Ferreira Queiroz, Stefan Gafner and Cica Vissiennon (chair).

As a working group of the GA we provide a regular platform for scientific exchange by establishing a sustainable communication channel between the members of the network and organizing regular scientific symposia during the annual conference.

Mission statement and goals of the Working Group

The Mission of the African Research Network Working Group of the GA is to stimulate and facilitate the interaction of African researchers within the GA with the intention to foster the regional scientific development of the continent by expanding and improving research capacity via networking between African researchers and thus improving the quality and relevance of the continent’s scientific output.

To achieve the mission of the working group, the following specific goals are pursued:

I. Implementation of a member’s profile collection with an index of all interested African GA-members (including information such as name, location, research interests, lab equipment etc.). join the network and register here

II. Providing a regular platform for scientific exchange by organizing regular symposia during the annual conference where African researchers can present their recent research results.

III. Training workshops organized by different African scientists/research institutions for young researchers taking place in varying regions of Africa

IV. Joint proposals for collaborative research projects initiated by network members

Join the Network

„Let’s connect” – African Research Network of the GA

All interested researchers are welcome to join the network. Please fill out and sign the registration form and send it to!

Or join our LinkedIn group African Research Network on Medicinal Plants and Natural Products Research by GA and ISE.


Upcoming Events

African Research Symposium “Traditional Nature-based African Medicine”

The African Research Network will have its next event on Sunday, August 28, 2022, 3:45 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. during the 70th International Congress and Annual Meeting of the Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research (GA) in Thessaloniki (Greece).

  • held as pre-symposium of the annual GA conference on
  • Sunday, August 28, 2022 from 15:45 to 18:15
  • On-site and virtual participation is possible
  • Abstract submission deadline: April 30, 2022 (see general abstract submission!)
  • Registration fee: 15 EUR

The African Research Symposium on “Traditional Nature-based African Medicine” is a unique opportunity to exchange scientific findings about natural products research conducted on Traditional African Medicine. The event will be organized in a hybrid format (on-site and virtual participation is possible).

African researchers can present their research findings in short talks (12 min) during the on-site event or as virtual contribution and discuss the findings with colleagues and peers.

How to submit an abstract:

Please submit your abstract on the following topics via the general abstract submission portal:

All contributions on natural products research on Traditional African Medicine are welcome, specific topics include:

  • Ethnopharmacology
  • Clinical research
  • Pharmacological and toxicological mechanisms
  • Phytochemistry

Contributions reporting clinical research conducted on African natural products are especially welcome!

The event is organized as a pre-congress symposium during the 70th International Congress and Annual Meeting of the Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research (GA)”, which will take place August 28-31, 2022 in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Past Events

First African Research Workshop

The First African Research Workshop on medicinal plant and natural products research took place in Innsbruck on 01 September 2019.

African Research Network

Workshop 2021

Our second African Research Workshop took place on 18 April 2021, during the 20th International Congress of the International Society of Ethnopharmacology as a virtual event.

At the beginning of the workshop an impulse lecture by Dr. Bertrand Graz, Fondation Antenna, Switzerland, introduced the concept of “Reverse Pharmacology as an approach to scientifically validate traditional medicine”.

The following short lecture session provided an overview on diverse topics related to natural products research

After a coffee break Dr. Emerson F. Queiroz, University of Geneva, Switzerland) highlighted the potential of interdisciplinary collaborations in his keynote lectures on “Innovative strategies for the efficient isolation of natural products and discovery of potential new leads” where he demonstrated three examples of successful of international collaborative projects.

Prof. Namrita Lall (University of Pretoria, South Africa) concluded the event with an inspiring lecture on “Regulatory aspects and challenges for the commercialization of natural products”.

The workshop was organized jointly by the Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Products Research (GA) and the International Society of Ethnopharmacology (ISE).

One of our participants, Dr. Anna-Mari Reid (University of Pretoria, South Africa) has summarized her impressions on the workshop here.

African Research Workshop 2021

The second African Research Workshop took place online.