Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2019 2020
Previous Archive
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

Team on the way to SIFE world cup
2007-07-16

 

A team of students from the University of the Free State (UFS) has won a national competition in business skills and entrepreneurship, and will be representing South Africa at the Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) World Cup in New York later this year.

The SIFE World Cup will be held in New York from 10 to 12 October, and will feature student teams from 40 countries.

Antonia Gumede, a UFS student, says the competition involves students developing sustainable business models based in the community, which are evaluated in terms of entrepreneurship, financial literacy, business ethics, market economics and success skills.

Gumede says the UFS entry won first prize in all five categories at this year’s national competition.

The UFS team consisted of seven students and two faculty advisers, and included a diverse group of students studying in fields such as accounting, psychology, social science and actuarial science.

The UFS won the national SIFE competition for three years in a row – 2002, 2003 and 2004. This year (2007), the UFS team emerged as the winner for the fourth time.

The Co-ordinator of Community Service in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Tessa Ndlovu, attributes the success of the team to the university’s policy of community service learning, which she says motivates students to get involved in academically grounded projects that contribute to the well-being of the community.

“The financial, academic and emotional support from the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, as well as the faculty’s contribution to community service learning on the campus, contributes to the success of the team,” added Ndlovu.

The UFS SIFE team has been sweeping the board nationally. They first won the competition in 2002 and went on to represent the country at the SIFE World Cup in Amsterdam (the Netherlands), where they came fourth out of 33 countries.

In the following year (2003), the SIFE UFS team was once again crowned the national champion and went on to represent South Africa internationally, coming second in Mainz, Germany.

SIFE teams spend the academic year conducting projects that specifically meet the communities’ unique needs. These efforts assist aspiring entrepreneurs, struggling business owners, low-income families and children by teaching them how to succeed in a global market economy.

“Teams have the tremendous asset of learning from business experts who serve on their Business Advisory Boards. These people not only provide mentorship and guidance to them in terms of their projects, but also introduce them to other leaders in the community and give them access to needed resources,” said Nldovu.

“It is an unparalleled feeling to know that the contribution we as students make in our communities actually matters,” added Gumede.

Media release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt.stg@mail.ufs.ac.za  
16 July 2007
 

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept