Indigenous Knowledge Systems-Based Bio-Innovationfor Industrialisation

Moderator:
Baba Buntu
Panellists:
Dikonketso Bodiba
Dr Hafiz Abdelgadir
Prof. Dr. Fernão Castro Braga

Baba Buntu

Baba Amani Olubanjo Buntu is a Community Scholar and Founding Director of eBukhosini Solutions; a people-focused company in Johannesburg, South Afrika, specializing in Afrikan-Centered Education. As a Pan-Afrikan educator, writer, researcher, mentor and practitioner, Baba Buntu has more than 30 years of experience in conceptualizing and implementing programs on social development, innovative entrepreneurship, youth empowerment and indigenous knowledge – particularly suited for Afrikan applicability. He mentors young, emerging leaders and has designed train-the-trainer programs for entrepreneurs and community organizations. Based in South Afrika – and working across the different provinces of the country – Baba Buntu also has had several international working engagements in parts of Afrika, Europe and the Americas. His articles have appeared in academic journals and anthologies published in South Afrika, Namibia, Nigeria, Norway, UK and the USA. He holds a Master Degree in Philosophy of Education from University of South Africa and is currently a PhD Candidate in the same discipline.

Dikonketso Bodiba

Dikonketso Bodiba obtained her undergraduate degree in Biotechnology at the University of Pretoria in 2012. She then went on to join the Department of Medicinal Plant Sciences at Honours and Masters level, obtaining both degrees with distinction. She is currently doing her PhD in the same department. Her project involves evaluating indigenous plants for antimicrobial activity against bacteria which cause periodontal diseases, focusing on the mechanism by which these extracts exhibited their activity. She does this by utilising molecular techniques such as Quantitative Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RTq-PCR), microscopy; nanotechnology and other assays to evaluate the effects of the samples on bacterial virulence factors. Her work also focuses on the synergistic activity of different samples at different concentrations. The idea is to create and formulate an herbal toothpaste that will aid in the prevention of dental caries. She has attended several conferences and conventions presenting her work. She has two published articles and one chapter in a book, resulting from her research.

Dr Hafiz Abdelgadir

Dr Hafiz Abdelgadir earned his BSc Honors and MSc in Agricultural Science from the University of Khartoum, Sudan and went to earn his PhD in Plant Molecular Biology and Physiology from the University of KwaZulU-Natal, South Africa. He completed post-doctoral training at the Research Centre for Plant Growth and Development of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg. He joined the Agricultural Research Council working as researcher at the Vegetable and Ornamental Plants Institute, Pretoria. At the Agricultural Research Council,he was leading the medicinal plants platform where he led and implemented a number of projects in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology. He led the projects of agro-processing of medicinal plants; Moringa Technology Transfer; Agro-processing of medicinal andfood crops at Venda. Dr Hafiz was an active member of the nutraceutical and African Traditional Medicine research consortium established by the DST IKS-Based Technology Innovation Program. He was also a member of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) Traditional Medicine Committee and chaired the working group on medicinal plants raw materials and processing. Dr Abdelgadir participated in a number of national and international conferences and published a number of scientific papers at a peer reviewed international journals. Dr Abdelgadir is currently an Associate Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Animal Production and Pasture Science at the University of Eldaein Sudan.

Prof. Dr. Fernão Castro Braga

Prof. Fernão Castro Braga is a full Professor of Phytochemistry in the Faculty of Pharmacy at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He is a pharmacy graduate who completed his PhD in chemistry at the same university. During his doctorate studies, he undertook an internship at the Eberhard-Karls University, Tübingen, Germany, and thereafter he joined the Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, Germany, as a Post-Doc. He is author/co-author of over 100 scientific publicationsand has ten patents deposited in Brazil or abroad. His work focuses the phytochemical investigation of Brazilian plant species, aiming at the isolation of compounds with anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and antihypertensive activities, as well as the standardization and chemical-biological validation of medicinal plants and derivatives for products development.FCB has several international collaborations and was a member of the consultant committee of the Brazilian Pharmacopoeia for chemical markers(2008-2012). He was formerly the Headof Department of Pharmaceutical Products (2005-2007) and the coordinator of the Graduate Course on Pharmaceutical Sciences from UFMG (2014-2017).

The global rates of unemployment, poverty and inequality are on the rise. Conventional interventions seem to be failing in reversing the scourge of these challenges. It is therefore essential to re-think the role of research, development and innovation in relation to Industrialisation. Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) offers a new way of thinking which is in line with Sustainable Development Goal 8. This promotes sustainable and inclusive economic growth, productive employment and equality.

South Africa is responding to the call through various strategies including, the National Development Plan, IKS Policy, theBio-economy Strategy, etc. Indigenous Knowledge-Based Technology Innovation Unit (of the DST) coordinates the IK-Based Bio-Innovation Programme, supports over 30 small, medium and micro enterprises. These IKS entrepreneurs are currently commercialising science-based African natural medicines, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals and health infusions.

The above initiatives demonstrate the potential of IKS in industrialisation of local products;which are leveraged from local knowledge and abundant natural resourcesforemployment creation and poverty eradication. The unit coordinated a successful event during SFSA2017, with panelist from Jamaica, including South African leading scientists and young scientists in IKS. It is envisaged that SFSA2018 will offer the international community with practical knowledge used in the creation of new industries, commercialisation local products and socio-economic development of local communities.

2018-11-16T12:07:21+00:00