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14 May 2019 | Story Thabo Kessah | Photo Tsepo Moeketsi
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

Dr Idriss Aberkane to discuss brain ergonomics, knowledge economy and geopolitics on 23 September 2015
2015-09-22

 

The former Deputy-Chairperson of the Council of the University of the Free State (UFS), and currently the CEO of Alexander Forbes, Mr Edward Kieswetter, will be a guest speaker at the UFS Business School.

Details of the event
Date: 23 September 2015
Time: 10:00 -12:00
Venue: CR Swart Auditorium
RSVP: Elvira Oberholzer (oberholzereh@ufs.ac.za)

Mr Kieswetter will be accompanied by Dr Idriss Aberkane, a French thinker, entrepreneur and academic who is also co-founder and CEO of Scanderia Ltd. Scanderia is a neuroergonomic gaming company based in Paris and Melbourne. Dr Aberkane is also co-founder and board member of Eirin International Ltd – an interest-free microcredit company based in Richard Toll, Senegal.

The session presents an opportunity for MBA students, student leaders, the university community and members of the media to gain insight into cutting edge fields of brain ergonomics, knowledge economy and geopolitics of knowledge.

The guest speaker series forms part of the MBA programme held at the UFS Business School throughout the year.

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