President of The AAS
Felix Dapare Dakora, PhD
Prof Dakora obtained his BSc (Hons) degree in Agriculture from the University of Ghana in 1977, an MSc degree from the University of Sydney, Australia, in 1981, and a PhD in Botany from the University of Western Australia, Perth, 1989. He currently holds a South African Research Chair in Agrochemurgy and Plant Symbioses at the Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa; and is Fellow and President of the African Academy of Sciences. In 2012, he won the UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences, and the African Union Kwame Nkrumah Science Excellence Continental Award in 2016. He is a Member of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa, Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa, and TWAS Fellow.
He currently serves as Adjunct Professor to the University of Western Australia for the period June 2012 to May 2021. Prof Dakora’s research has contributed to our current understanding of the signalling and protectant roles of legume molecules such as flavonoids, alkaloids, amino acids, terpenoids and isoflavonoid phytoalexins, as well as of rhizobial metabolites such as lumichrome, riboflavin and indole acetic acid, especially in plant functioning and the expression of bacterial nodulation genes. His research has i) identified legume species and their associated microsymbionts that can serve as biofertilizers for cropping systems in Africa, ii) selected legume varieties and super-smart soil microbes that are tolerant of drought, low pH, high salinity and high temperatures for use in a climate change scenario, and iii) isolated native soil rhizobia that promote increased trace element uptake and accumulation in food legumes for overcoming micronutrient deficiency in Africa. Prof Dakora has published 427 papers (which comprise 119 peer-reviewed journal articles, 16 Book Chapters and 292 peer-reviewed Conference papers/abstracts) and a Book entitled: “Biological Nitrogen Fixation: Towards Poverty Alleviation through Sustainable Agriculture” published by Springer.
He has an individual H-index of 33, and his work has been cited 4876 times by peers in the discipline. Prof Dakora is passionate about capacity building, and has trained 44 postgraduate students (27 master’s and 17 doctoral) from 14 African countries.
Prof Barthelemy Nyasse
Prof Nyasse is a full University Professor of Organic Chemistry with special interests in Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products Chemistry into which, he has published many articles in peer reviewed journals. Professor Nyasse is the Head of the Promotion of Academic Research at the Ministry of Higher Education of Cameroon and Head of the Laboratory of Medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Yaounde where is working on selective inhibitors of the glycolytic pathways in the Trypanosomatideae which provoke Sleeping sickness and Chagas Disease. In this context, Professor Nyasse has developed new selective inhibitors with known mechanisms of actions either by synthesis or from extraction from medicinal plants of Cameroon. Professor Nyasse in addition to his daily duties as a lecturer and research management is also member of many scientific bodies: He serves as a Scientific Adviser to International Foundation for Science (IFS), Scientific Adviser to WHO/TDR & ANDI (African Network for Drug & Diagnostics Innovation), Focal point of GIBEX (Global Institute for BioExploration), Lead trainer of Trainers of AWARD ( African Women in Agricultural Research and Development), Consultant to WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) and OAPI ( Organisation Africaine de la Propriete Intellectuelle).
He is also member of the Adviser committee of PRD College (Poverty related Diseases) and Global Heath Systems; Member of American Chemical Society; Member of European peptide Society,etcProfessor Nyasse is author of many publications dealing with pure synthetic chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry and Intellectual Property as evidenced by the attached list of his articles. The results from these publications have contributed in the formulation of local drugs such as Hepasor, Camzin and in the protection of some plants species that otherwise would have been destroyed.
Vice President, Northern Africa Office
Prof Mahmoud Abdel-Aty
Prof Abdel-Aty completed his doctorate in quantum optics at Max-Plank Institute of Quantum Optics, Munch, Germany in 1999. He was promoted to associate professor at 2004 and full professor at 2009. He received the D. Sc. (Doctor of Science), in 2007. Now he is a full professor and head of Mathematics Department at Zewail City of Science and Technology, Egypt. He is a general director of Natural Sciences Publishing USA and Editor-in-Chief of Applied Mathematics & Information Sciences (an International Journal), an editorial board member for several international journals. He has published over 180 papers in international refereed journals, two books and five book chapters.
Vice President, Central Africa Office
Prof Vincent P.K. Titanji
Prof Titanji is currently an Honorary Dean at the Faculty of Science, University of Buea. He obtained his PhD degree (1978) and ‘Docent’ title (1988) in Physiological Chemistry from Uppsala University and his MSc degree in Animal Biochemistry from Lomonosov Moscow State University in 1973. Subsequently, he founded and headed the Biotechnology Center, Nkolbisson, University of Yaounde I (1986-1996) and the Biotechnology Unit, University of Buea (1997-2012). He was appointed to the University of Buea as the Dean of the Faculty of Science (1993-1998) Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Teaching (1998-2005) and Vice Chancellor or Rector (2006-2012).
As an expert in Protein Chemistry and Metabolic Regulation he initially focused on the elucidation the role of protein phosphorylation-dephosphorylation reactions in regulating glycolysis in the liver and the morphogenesis of the blinding parasite Onchocerca volvulus. Coordinating an interdisciplinary team on the applications of Molecular Biology techniques to tropical diseases, he and his colleagues devised diagnostic tests for river blindness, cloned vaccine candidates and identified new drug leads from medicinal plants for the treatment of river blindness and malaria. More recently his group has characterized new clades of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Cameroon and probed into their susceptibilities to first line TB drugs.
He has successfully trained 18 PhD graduates, 60 MSc students and has published more than 110 research articles in peer-reviewed journals. Prof. VPK Titanji was instrumental in the creation of the Cameroon Biochemical Society and has been President and Secretary General respectively of the Federation of African Societies of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (FASBMB) and the Federation of African Immunological Societies (FAIS). He is a Knight of the Cameroon Order of Valour, a Chartered Biologist (C. Biol), and Fellow (FI Biol) of the Institute of Biology, London; a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences; a Fellow of the Third World Academy of Sciences (FTWAS) and a recipient of the IFS/DANIDA P.
Vice President, Eastern Africa Office
Prof Elly Sabiiti
Prof Sabiiti obtained his M.Sc. in 1980 from Makerere University (Uganda) and PhD in 1985 from the University of New Brunswick (Canada). He then joined Makerere University and rose through the ranks to become full professor in 1998. His research interests include agricultural sciences, livestock farming and sustainable rangeland management.
He has established the public university called “Gulu University”, vetted the establishment of Busoga University with Swedish Institutions and worked as member of the joint Commission for the setting up of the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences in Uganda. He has been Head of Crop Science Department of the University, Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry of Makerere University, National Coordinator of the Faculties of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine for the implementation of the SIDA project on dry-land husbandry. He has served as member of the Advisory Committee for the Pastoral Information Network Programmes. He is a member of TWAS, Tropical Grassland Society of Australia. He has several national, regional and international awards and recognitions and has published 100 articles.
Vice President, Southern Africa Office
Dr Boitumelo Kgarebe
Dr Kgarebe is an international expert in scientific program and project management, with vast experience in networking of higher education institutions and institutional relationship management focusing mainly on capacity building. Dr Kgarebe is an analytical chemist by training and holds BSc (Hons) in Pure and Applied Chemistry, M.Sc. and PhD in Analytical Chemistry all from the University of London, as well as an MBA from the University of Botswana. She has more than 21 years of university teaching and research experience at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
She has also been the head of a national scientific research centre responsible for food research, innovation, commercialization, and technology transfer. She has worked at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague. The OPCW, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013, and Dr Kgarebe was given due recognition for her contribution to the outstanding work of the Organisation. At the OPCW, Dr Kgarebe developed and handled a wide portfolio of international technical cooperation and training programmes that focused on the use of chemistry and science for economic and technological development, with a particular emphasis on developing countries and countries whose economies are in transition. She was also in charge of training national laboratories to obtain accreditation in chemical warfare agents analysis.
Currently, Dr Kgarebe works for the National Health Laboratory Services, where she is the Head of the Analytical Services at the National Institute for Occupational Health in Johannesburg. The division provides specialized laboratory services for diagnostic and research purposes, advisory services and training to support the practice of occupational and environmental health. A core function is the responsibility for building capacity in analysis of hazardous substances in environmental and biological media to assess workplace exposure and making the service available to a wide range of users to meet the requirements of Regulations of Hazardous Chemical Substances. Dr Kgarebe serves as a High Level Expert of the African Union. She is also a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), for which she is the Vice President for Southern Africa, and serves on its Governing Council.
Amina Abubakar is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Public Health at Pwani University, Kenya and a Research Fellow at the Kenya Medical Research Institute/Wellcome Trust Research Programme. She is also an honorary fellow at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, UK. Amina is a Kenyan psychologist, who co-leads the Neuroscience research group at Kenya Medical Research Institute-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, based in Kilifi, Kenya. This is a dynamic multidisciplinary research group interested in child and adolescent well-being. In collaboration with colleagues, she has developed measures of early child development which are currently in use in several African countries.
In 2016, she won the Royal Society Pfizer Award in recognition of her pioneering psychological research in East Africa, and for the impact her work has had in the field of neurodevelopmental assessment. Her substantive work has focused on the adverse impacts of a range of health conditions on young people’s neurocognition and mental health. In 2016, she was awarded the MRC/DfID, African Research Leaders award to investigate the associations between executive functioning and mental health, medical adherence, risk taking behaviour and scholastic outcomes among adolescents in the context of HIV.