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Prof Ashafa
Prof Ashafa’s research documents plants used by the Basotho in the management of different ailments.

The Phytomedicine and Phytopharmacology Research Programme (PPRP) in the Department of Plant Sciences on the Qwaqwa Campus researches the biological effects of medicinal plants used in the folkloric medicine of the Eastern Free State, particularly to explore the values and contribution of indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) towards broader scientific research. This is according to the programme’s principal investigator and researcher, NRF C2-rated researcher, Professor Anofi Ashafa. 

 “Our research is mainly aimed at documenting plants used by the Basotho in the management of different ailments and to further discover, isolate, and purify active phytoconstituents that are responsible for disease curation or amelioration, thereby assisting in the global promotion of accessible and affordable medication in developing countries,” said Prof Ashafa. 

Since 2012, the PPRP has worked extensively on Basotho medicinal plants (BMP) used as antimicrobials, antioxidants, antidiabetics, antitubercular, anticancer, anthelmintic, and antidiarrheal agents, starting from biological activities up to the  evaluation of the toxicity of these plants for the kidney, liver, and heart functions in order to establish safe dosage parameters. These activities have led to the discovery of four potent antidiabetic biomolecules that are awaiting the processes of patency and commercialisation. Additional outputs include 104 published peer-reviewed articles , 7 postdoctoral fellows, 6 PhDs, 9 master’s, and 16 honours graduates. 

“Our research informs teaching and the development of expertise in ethnobotany, 
phytomedicine, and phytopharmacology in order to contribute to the National Development Plan (NDP) through human capacity development, skills, and knowledge transfer.

The group is also investigating some medicinal plants on the endangered red list of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), through micropropagation and field trials as well as proposing conservation strategies to preserve these valuable species.

The PPRP consists of postdoctoral fellows, PhD, master’s, and honours students and research is done in collaboration with several local and international universities as well as the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa. 


News Archive

UFS Council approves Moshoeshoe memorial lecture
2004-11-29

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) approved the implementation of a Moshoeshoe memorial lecture as from next year.

“This initiative forms part of the bigger Moshoeshoe project to honour the Moshoeshoe legacy of nation-building and reconciliation and to explore his role as a model of African leadership. The project was launched in April 2004 as part of the UFS centenary celebrations. One element of the project was the production of a documentary film, commissioned by the UFS, which was broadcast on SABC2,” says Prof Frederick Fourie, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS.

“The Moshoeshoe project, which honours the founder of the Basotho nation’s example of nation-building and reconciliation, is a practical demonstration of the university’s commitment to the continued transformation of the campus and the creation of a new inclusive institutional culture for all staff and students,” says Prof Fourie.

According to Prof Fourie the memorial lecture will have a conscious continental focus with speakers from South Africa, Africa and the African diaspora.

“The high-level lectures will raise critical issues about models of African leadership for the African Renaissance and will contribute to the discourse on nation-building, reconciliation, political tolerance, diversity management etc,” says Prof Fourie.

The first Moshoeshoe memorial lecture is likely to take place in March 2005 on the anniversary of his death.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel: (051) 401-2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za
29 November 2004

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