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 firstname.lastname@example.org!
Or join our LinkedIn group African Research Network on Medicinal Plants and Natural Products Research by GA and ISE.
The African Research Network will have its next event on Tuesday 07 September 2021 (12 – 13:30 CEST) during the virtual 69th International Congress and Annual Meeting of the Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research (GA).
Dr. Kumbukani Nyirenda, University of Malawi, will open the session by sharing his experiences during an impulse lecture on Nutraceutical Potential of Fadogia ancylantha, Indigenous Knowledge and Intellectual Property Rights.
A following panel discussion about Key Challenges for Natural Products Research – Perspectives from African Scientists shall provide an opportunity to highlight the problems faced by African researchers of today but also try to bring forth solutions and a way forward.
Participation is included in the congress registration fee.
First African Research Workshop
The First African Research Workshop on medicinal plant and natural products research took place in Innsbruck on 01 September 2019.
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.
The second African Research Workshop took place online.