The theme of the symposium was scientific research on plants directed toward the effective utilization of African resources.The three sessions of the symposium focused on using medicinal plants in South Africa to combat infectious diseases such as malaria; effective utilization of wild-plant genetic resources from the Kalahari desert in Botswana; and in Sudan, management of water resources of the Nile river and control of parasitic striga weeds, so as to realize sustainable food production in that country.
Toshiya Muranaka of the RIKEN Plant Science Center and Marion Meyer of the University of Pretoria gave a presentation on ways of bringing technological resources to bear in strategic international technology cooperation to add value to indigenous plants in South Africa and aid combat against infectious diseases.
Akiho Yokota from the Nara Institute of Advanced Science and Technology (NAIST) and Seja Maphanyane of Botswana’s Ministry of Agriculture spoke on the establishment of a high-level infrastructure to enhance the use of wild plants of the Kalahari desert, making use of post-genomic research techniques.
Kobe University’s Yukihiro Sugimoto and Abdelbagi Mukhtar Ali Ghanim of Sudan’s Agricultural Research Corporation presented a lecture on ways to increase food production in Sudan, and water resource management and pest control of the parasitic weed Striga, a topic of research that is currently being expanded.
The participants also discussed preparations for the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) in May 2008 in Yokohama.