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About this book
About this book
This book is the proceedings of the Pan Africa Chemistry Network Biodiversity Conference which was held in September 2008. A key aim of the RSC/Syngenta Pan Africa Chemistry Network (PACN) is to connect African scientists through a cycle of conferences and workshops and this conference held at the University of Nairobi was the first of these. It brought together 26 speakers from nine African countries - Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria, Botswana, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Sudan - plus the UK and Brazil.
The lectures covered topics such as making the best use of the diversity of Africa's plants in agriculture and medicine whilst benefiting communities in Africa; natural products; analysis and the environment; water quality; dealing with waste; biofuels; understanding crop protection chemicals in the African context; agricultural practices for Africa; farm animals; conservation and the impact of tourism on biodiversity. The resulting book provides a valuable overview of several aspects of biodiversity in Africa.
1. Challenges and opportunities for Africa: an overview of key themes from the PACN biodiversity conference; 2. Exploring the therapeutic potentials of African medicinal plants; 3. Natural products from plant biodiversity and their use in the treatment of neglected diseases; 4. In vitro and in vivo antiplasmodial activity of Kenyan medicinal plants; 5. Anti-larval activity of crude plant extracts from vitex schiliebenii and vitex payos (verbenaceae); 6. Natural products as leads for new and innovative crop protection chemicals; 7. Exploiting phytochemical diversity to control pests of agriculture and vectors of human and animal disease; 8. Root chemicals could offer opportunities for breeding for sweet potato resistance to the weevil cylas puncticollis boheman (coleoptera: apionidae); 9. The role of biotechnology in meeting the biodiversity conservation challenge of Africa; 10. Farmers as a treasure chest of biodiversity - the case of sorghum [sorghum bicolor (l.) Moench] in Ethiopia, a five decade analysis; 11. Delivery of appropriate cattle genotypes to eastern African smallholder farmers through in-vitro embryo production technologies - the technical procedures, prospects and challenges; 12. Levels of some nutrients and non-essential metals in cows' whole milk from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; 13. Water, water everywhere and when found not fit to drink; 14. Foundation for analytical science and technology in Africa and its role in the preservation of endangered species; 15. Jua kali metallurgical industries as point sources of the heavy metals lead and cadmium to aquatic systems in Kenyan urban areas; 16. An assessment of effluent treatment to reduce heavy metal levels in effluent from a battery manufacturing concern; 17. Spectroscopic detection of gaseous ammonia in the environment; 18. Jatropha curcas l. As a source for the production of biodiesel in Kenya; 19. Jatropha biodiesel as an alternative transport fuel in Zimbabwe; 20. Biomass, bio-based products and bioenergy; 21. Municipal solid waste as a resource rather than a waste. A preliminary study of biomass from Githurai market, an open market in the outskirts of Nairobi city; Subject Index
Professor Jacob Midiwo is at the Department of Chemistry, University of Nairobi, Kenya, Africa Dr John Clough is at Syngenta, Bracknell, UK