AAB - President



Agriculture: Africa's "Engine for Growth" - Plant science & biotechnology hold the key
To be held at
Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Herts, UK
12-14 October 2009
BASIS Points awarded: 18 (9 CP, 4E, 1 PN, 4 PD)

Rationale: This international meeting is designed to bring together approximately 75 motivated/innovative Africa scientists with another 75 leading researchers and their teams from other countries working on basic science and areas related to the improvement of African agriculture. This international arena will allow dynamic interactions to discuss cutting edge research issues and promote science, education and policy issues related to Africa. This meeting is designed to address key issues by examining existing plant science knowledge, possible applications and development of new technologies, together with their use for improving crop performance in Africa. The need to enhance education in novel areas of plant research and biotechnology that might provide suitable solutions for Africa will also be addressed.

Our key aim is to assist the participation of African scientists in this dynamic interaction. We therefore encourage African researchers with an interest to offer papers/posters. We will use these as a basis for selection and we aim to offer a contribution of their funding to all selected African participants.’

General aims: This three-day international symposium is designed to bring together scientists from Africa, Europe and the USA to examine how new advances in plant science research and developing technologies can be used to the benefit of African agriculture. The symposium will present recent advances in plant science research and current views on innovations required for the development of agriculture in Africa, as well as analysis of how education may be enhanced to advance uptake of novel technologies. The meeting will bring together equal numbers of plant scientists, biotechnologists, agronomists, traditional breeders and educators from Africa and the rest of the world in order to discuss the role of novel, dynamic and relevant technologies and their applications in agriculture. In this way we aim to improve interactions between labs in Africa and other countries in research and education. In addition, this meeting will provide tools for education. Videos and podcasts arising from this meeting will be linked directly to the AAB and Rothamsted websites.

There will be a funders' forum on the evening of Monday 12 October, hosted by Rothamsted International.  On Tuesday evening, following the poster session, there will be a tour of the experimental plots at Rothamsted Research, together with a conference dinner at the Harpenden House Hotel.

Invited Speakers Include: 

Lorna Casselton (The Royal Society, UK)  

Wayne Powell (IBERS, Aberystwyth, UK)   

David Howlett (DFID, Glasgow, UK)

Frank van Breusegem (Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) - Department of Plant Systems Biology, Belgium)  

Marcelle Holsters (Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) - Department of Plant Systems Biology, Belgium)  

John Pickett (Dept of Biological Chemistry, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, UK)

Julie Scholes (University of Sheffield-Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, UK )     

Howard Atkinson (University of Leeds-Centre for Plant Sciences, UK)   

Melaku Gedil (IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria)  

Michael Meztlaff (Bayer BioScience N.V., Belgium)

Khaled Masmoudi (Plant Molecular Genetics Laboratory, Centre of Biotechnology of Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia) 

Marc van Montagu (Gent University-Institute of Plant Biotechnology for Developing Countries, Belgium)  

Jonathan Jones (Sainsbury Laboratory, John Innes Centre, UK) 

Ingo Potrykus (Humanitarian Golden Rice Board & Network) 

Dominique Michaud (University of Laval, Quebec, Canada) 

Chairs Include:  

Rachel Chikwamba (CSIR, Pretoria, South Africa)  

Ignatious Ncube (University of Limpopo, Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biotechnology, South Africa)  

Riekert Van Heerden (South African Sugarcane Research Institute (SASRI), South Africa) 

Percy Chimwamurombe (University of Namibia - Dept of Biological Sciences, Namibia)

Karl Kunert (University of Pretoria-FABI, South Africa)


In addition to offers of platform presentations and posters from Africa, we are also hoping to receive offers from European countries on their work related to this topic. 


Registration fees are as follows:

AAB Members              £300

AAB Retired Members   £250

AAB Student Members  £200

Non Members               £350

Student Non Members   £225


The registration fees includes attendance at the conference, a copy of Aspects of Applied Biology 96, coffee, lunch and tea on all days and attendance at the conference dinner (except for those delegates booking on a daily basis).

There will be a twenty-five pound admin charge on all cancellations
Book before 30 September to avoid the late booking surcharge of twenty five pounds
Why not join the AAB and save on registration fees
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