Speakers for 2017 Conference

Participants will have the unique opportunity to interact with our renowned professionals and scholars at the 2017 conference in Kigali, Rwanda.

The following are a few of our highlighted and distinguished speakers for October 4th – 6th, 2017. Other speakers are still being confirmed.  Additional details  will be published here as they become available.  Please check back regularly for our updated speaker’s list!

**This is the information that we have available at this time, the speaker list could change.**

Prof. Michelle NISOLLE, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Liege-Belgium

Professor M NISOLLE was graduated doctor in medicine, surgery and deliveries in 1983 and obtained her Ph.D Thesis in 1996 on the topic of endometriosis. She is presently Professor of Gynaecology at the University of Liege in Belgium and head of the university department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the “Hôpital de la Citadelle” in Liege. She is especially involved in endoscopic surgery and also in robotic surgery for benign conditions. She is also involved in the surgical teaching of fellows. She is the academic secretary at the board of the Group of Gynecologists Obstetricians of French Language of Belgium (GGOLFB). She is a faculty member of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) and a member of the Steering Committee for the Special Interest Group Endometriosis/Endometrium (Deputy for Endometriosis). She is chairwoman of the Special Interest Group “Reproductive Surgery” at the European Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy (ESGE). She is also a member of many international societies and reviewer of several International Journals. Her research is focused primarily on endometriosis and in particular on the physiopathogenesis of endometriosis. The second theme of her research concerns the ovarian cryopreservation. She has created, with the help of STORZ Company, the Endoscopic Training Centre (ETCL) at the University of Liege in order to allow the continuous training of fellows in obstetrics and gynecology, and to facilitate courses on cadavers. She is author and co‐author of 130 chapters of Books, 207 publications in national and international Journals.


L’endometriose : une affection benigne necessitant une prise en charge multidisciplinaire

Professor Jacob SOUOPGUI, Université Libre de Bruxelles (Brussels, BELGIUM)

Professor J. SOUOPGUI was born in Cameroon and did his primary, secondary and university studies in his country. He studied biology, completed an MSc in Biochemistry in 1994 and his first PhD in Molecular Parasitology in 1999 at the University of Yaoundé 1, Cameroon. Motivated to improve his background training and research skills, he moved to the University of Göttingen in Germany in 1999 where he performed his second PhD in Molecular genetics of Development and was graduated in 2002. After his first postdoc training in Germany, he moved to Belgium in 2006 where he did a second postdoc and was granted a chair in Developmental Biology in 2009 at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB).

Jacob SOUOPGUI is a Professor of molecular genetics and Biotechnology at the ULB-BioPARK, and since 2012 he created and is the Chair of the Laboratory of Embryology and Biotechnology. His main research interest focuses on understanding the origin of some human malformation and genetic diseases.

Besides his fundamental research goals, Professor SOUOPGUI is very active in the field of R&D aiming at strengthening capacity building in African countries. He is presently one of the team leaders of the Belgian institutional support to the University of Rwanda and is in charge of technology platform implementation to support research and teaching in the field of biotechnology and life sciences. Jacob is a coordinator and partner in four big (5 years) health-related research grants in Cameroon and in Rwanda.

Crucial role of laboratory animal models in R&D in Africa

Prof. Roland Marini, Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium

Prof. Roland Marini was born in Congo (DRC), where he did his studies up the university level. He obtained his Pharmacy diploma in 1993 at the University of Kinshasa. After having worked in a medicines distribution program in a protestant missionary center in North-Eastern of Congo, he moved to Belgium in 1996, starting by recognizing his Pharmacy diploma and then obtaining a specialization in Industrial Pharmacy in 1998 and MSc in Drug Analysis 2000 at the University of Liège. In 2006, he obtained his PhD in Analytical Chemistry in the field of uncertainty measurement at University of Liège.  

Roland is very active in academic cooperation with Central African countries. He initiated with other actors (Prof Hubert at ULg, Prof Kadima at UR) the Edulink program of MSc in Quality Control and Quality Assurance Rwanda and DRC, and R&D programs.

Roland Marini is Associate Professor and Lecturer at the University of Liege, the University of Kisangani, and invited Professor at the University of Douala, the University of Rwanda and the University of Kinshasa. Besides his fundamental research goals in counterfeit medicines, analytical method development and validation, Roland is acting as the GMP-Qualified Person of the Pharmacy Department at ULg.

Validation relevance of analytical methods in biotechnology

Prof. Emilio Ovuga, Gulu University

 Emilio Ovuga, PhD, is Professor of Psychiatry and Mental Health of Gulu University. Dr. Ovuga holds a joint Doctor of Philosophy in Suicidology and Suicide Prevention, and Psychiatric Epidemiology of Karolinska Institutet and Makerere University. Dr. Ovuga is the founding Chairman of Bomvitae Agro-Industries Limited (BAIL) whose goal is to develop agricultural technologies to diversify agricultural practices and food production to feed the hungry in conflict-ridden Sub-Saharan Africa. He is the SASA Vice-President for the Africa Region. Dr. Ovuga served as Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Gulu University (2006-2012). He was the founding Chairman of the Forum of Research and Ethics Chairpersons in Uganda (FRECU) (2009-2015) and, of Gulu University Research and Ethics Committee (GUREC) (2007-2017). Dr. Ovuga has held various positions of responsibility at Makerere University from 1989-2006; as Psychiatrist at Mathare Mental Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya (1981-1982); Provincial Psychiatrist in Western Kenya (1982-1984); and Senior Psychiatrist in the Transkei Homeland of South Africa (1984-1989). Dr.  Ovuga has developed and promoted a sustainable research culture at Gulu University, which was established in Northern Uganda in 2004. Consequently undergraduate students of Gulu University are able to conduct research and publish their research findings in international peer-reviewed journals. He has empowered communities to take charge and responsibility of their social and health situations and in improving their relations with government departments. Dr. Ovuga contributed to the establishment of the African Program for Onchocerciasis Control (A.P.O.C.) as a member of the WHO/TDR research team on the psychosocial importance of, and treatment of onchocerciasis in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). Dr. Ovuga is a researcher, educator, administrator, mentor, and has conducted research and mentored students in wide-ranging fields in health, social sciences, business, agriculture and ICT.


Improving Health Research and Disease Surveillance Education

Dr Olivia Jansen Pharmacien PhD Université de Liège Laboratoire de Pharmacognosie

Olivia Jansen is a post-doc researcher at the Laboratory of Pharmacognosy at the University of Liège – ULg (Belgium).

After achieving her Pharmacist Degree at ULg in 2002, she completed two research masters (DEA) in the same University, one in “pharmaceutical sciences” and the other in “chemistry and pharmacology of natural compounds”, dealing with the cytotoxic and anticancer properties of plants from the Uzbek flora and alkaloids isolated from Haplophyllum genus. Then, she travelled to Burkina Faso for 2 years, where she was giving technical assistance on the project “Spiruline Nayalgué” (BF Health Ministry/Technap/Ocades) to set up a quality system and “Good Production Practices” for the local production of spirulina. In Burkina Faso, she was also collaborating with the French NGO “Jardins du monde”, who’s valorizing local plants and knowledges in primary healthcare systems, using the applied ethnopharmacological approach. In the aim to prepare her PhD thesis, this collaboration led to the selection of several plants locally used to cure malaria or fevers.

In 2007, she came back to the Laboratory of Pharmacognosy in Liège where she began a PhD thesis about the antiplasmodial properties of plants used in traditional medicine in Burkina Faso to treat malaria. She was also giving assistance in pedagogic activities linked to the course of Pharmacognosy (practical sessions for phytochemistry, lessons on ethnopharmacology, training of PhD students …) as well as collaborating in several Cooperation projects coordinated by Prof. M. Frédérich, notably in Burkina Faso and in Rwanda. She defended her PhD thesis in biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences in 2013.

She is now working on a Belgian project that aims to extract and valorize high added value secondary metabolites from selected tropical plants, grown in optimized conditions.

She is still particularly interested in ethnopharmacology and the study of the link between traditional uses and knowledges about plants and the possibility to valorize active and safe plants to improve the health level of the local populations, as well to discover new active compounds to cure parasitic disease as malaria.

Medicinal plants, malaria and biotechnology in Africa

Prof. Alain L. Fymat, International Institute of Medicine and Science

Alain L. Fymat, BA, BS, MA, MS, PhD, PhD

Dr. Alain L. Fymat is the current President/CEO and Professor at the International Institute of Medicine and Science with a previous appointment as Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Professor at the Weil Institute of Critical Care Medicine, both Institutes located in Rancho Mirage, California, USA. He was formerly Professor of Radiology, Radiological Sciences, Radiation Medicine (Oncology), and Physics at several U.S. and European Universities (University of California at Los Angeles, University of Southern California, Loma Linda University, California; University of Lille, France). Previously, he was Deputy Director (Western Region) of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration (Office of Research Oversight), and Director of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Center and for a time Acting Chair of Radiology at its Loma Linda, California Medical Center.

In an earlier research career, at the California Institute of Technology (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a NASA contractor), he was actively engaged in atmospheric sciences, environment,  climatology, and space exploration. He was an investigator in several experiments within the U.S. Earth and space exploration program. He was an Advisor to the U.S. National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences for its post-doctoral programs tenable at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. His industrial experience was with the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative (Ballistic Missile Defense Program) researching and designing atmospheric probes and electromagnetic sensors operating in stressful nuclear environments.

Dr. Fymat’s current research interests lie at the interface between science and medicine (particularly molecular medicine, nanomedicine, and human genetics/epigenetics/ecogenetics). He has extensively published (in excess of 300 publications including patents, books & monographs, book chapters, refereed articles). He has received numerous research grants from government, academia and private industry, and has consulted extensively with these entities. He is a current Editor of the “Journal of Nanobiotechnology” (an international open journal of PubMed). He is a Board member of several institutions including (Chair: Medical & Technical Advisory Board of Janus Medical Systems Pte, Ltd,  Singapore, that develops breakthrough electronic personal and hospital medical records; Health Advisor: American Heart & Stroke Association, Coachella Valley Division).

With interest in Africa, Dr. Fymat is also associated with the Society for the Advancement of Science in Africa-SASA (Vice Chair; Member, Executive Council; Director, Scientific Directorate; Chair, Scientific Committee; Chair: 2013 Program, Polokwane, South Africa; Chair: 2014 Program, Kampala, Uganda, Chair: 2015 Program, Toronto, Canada).

Radiology, Radiological Sciences, Radiation Medicine (Oncology), Critical Care, Physics and Research

Dr. Joachim Kapalanga, MD, MSc, PhD Western University

Dr. Joachim Kapalanga is a Physician-Scientist and an Educator who has held faculty and leadership positions in various institutions and organizations. Dr. Kapalanga was educated at Yale University, the State University of New York, Queens University, McMaster University and at the University of Guelph.

Dr. Kapalanga is Professor (Adj) of Pediatrics at Schulich School of Medicine and South Western Ontario Academic Health Network-Research Group, and faculty with the South Western Ontario Medical Education Network/Schulich School of Medicine/Western University. He is also faculty at McMaster University.  He is a Research Group member of the South Western Ontario Academic Health Network (SWAHN)/Schulich School of Medicine at Western University.

Dr. Kapalanga is Chief of Pediatrics Grey Bruce Health Services, Ontario and Consultant Pediatrician and Medical Geneticist Summerside Medical Centre (SSMC), Prince Edward Island (PEI).  He is a Visiting Professor, Gulu University. In 2007 Dr. Kapalanga was appointed Associate Professor and Head Division of Medical Genetics at Upstate Medical University/State University of New York (SUNY). Between 2002 to 2007 Dr. Kapalanga was Assistant Professor and Member Prince Edward Island Health Research Institute/University of Prince Edward Island.

Between 2003 to 2007, he was also chairman of the Perinatal Committee SSMC/Prince County Hospital, head of the PEI Newborn Screening Program and PEI Representative at the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Canadian Expertise (FACE) Research Round table. Between 2008 to 2011 He was appointed to Council, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Prince Edward Island. He was also Lecturer at Dalhousie University between 2007 to 2010. Between 1998 to 2011 Dr Kapalanga was a Clinical Instructor in Genetics at Yale University and between 1995 to 1998 Assistant Clinical Instructor in pathology and pediatrics at SUNY, Brooklyn. Dr Kapalanga obtained an MSc degree in Human Genetics from the University of Guelph, a PhD degree in medical genetics from Queen’s University. He subsequently did a postdoctoral fellowship at McMaster University. He also did residency training in pathology at SUNY Health Sciences Centre/Kings County Hospital and University Hospital, Brooklyn, residency training in pediatrics at SUNY/Maimonides Medical Center, a postdoctoral fellowship and residency at Yale University.

Dr. Kapalanga is a fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics, Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Genetics, Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics and an Associate Fellow of the Canadian College of Medical Genetics. Dr. Kapalanga is a member of the American Medical Association, American Society of Human Genetics, FACE Research Roundtable, Canadian Congenital Anomalies Network Surveillance Network, Canadian Medical Association, the Ontario Medical Association and founding member of the African Society of Human Genetics,.  Dr. Kapalanga’s current scholarly and research pursuits are in neurodevelopmental and neurobehavioral genetics, in the emerging field of epigenetics and in cancer genetics.  He espouses multidisciplinary, multicenter and international research.

SASA Presidential address

Pushing the Frontiers of Science in Africa: The Hurdles, Challenges, Pitfalls and the Way Forward

Joachim Kapalanga, MD, PhD, Executive President of the Society for the Advancement of Science in Africa

Please first allow me to say a word or two about SASA. It was launched in 2011, by African scientists around the world and in Africa, and participant scientist friends of Africa from the U.S.A., Canada, Europe, China, India, Brazil and Russia. It was inaugurated and held it’s First Annual International Scientific Conference under the theme “The Advancement of Science in Africa” on April 25-28, 2013 at the University of Limpopo, South Africa. Following the resounding success of that first conference, SASA held its second such Conference in Kampala, Uganda, May 6-10, 2014 under the theme “Science Innovation for Economic development” that included a joint collaboration colloquium with the Global Knowledge Initiative organization entitled “The African Collaboration Colloquium”. The Third such Conference under the theme “Science Research & Education in Africa” was held in Toronto, Canada in August 28-31, 2015; its Proceedings have just been published by Cambridge Scholars Publishers and can be viewed under the link: http://www.cambridgescholars.com/science-research-and-education-in-africa (please see also the attached Poster from Cambridge Scholars). The Fourth Conference under the theme “Advancing Africa’s Sustainable Development Through Science, Technology and Innovation” was held in Nairobi, Kenya, August 24-26, 2016 and its Proceedings will likewise be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishers on or about end of 2017.

We are now holding the Fifth SASA International Scientific Conference here in Kigali, Rwanda, jointly with the Rwanda Academy of Sciences & Biotechnology and the University of Rwanda. Its theme is “Translational Science and Biotechnology in Africa”. It includes several important sub-themes: Non-Communicable and Infectious Diseases (emphasis: neurological diseases, cancer, diabetes, HTA, neglected diseases, etc.); Precision and Personalized Medicine; Pharmaceuticals and Pharmacogenomics; Bio; Biochemistry and Microbial Ecology; Biotechnology in Agriculture; and Wildlife Biodiversity and Conservation.

Quite a bit has been said and written about the dismal state of science and research in Africa. Africa lags behind all other in terms of indices of scientific activity as measured by the number of academic researchers per 1 million population, the number of masters, doctoral and postdoctoral output, the number of publication output, the number of Africans attending and presenting at major international scientific meetings, the number of African citizens who are scientists or engineers, continents and Africa’s contribution to global research and development (R&D).  Despite the gloomy picture, over the past decade Africa has also been a continent with a heightened tempo of scientific activity; increasingly attracting major international funding for science and research projects. In addition Africa has also seen a huge surge in the number of institutions of higher learning, an increase in the number of major funding agencies and absolute money amounts dedicated to supporting science and research programs in Africa. Further, there has been a marked increase in the number of national academies of science and civil society scientific organizations.  Not to be left out of the act in progress, African governments have also increased the tempo of national political awareness about the societal good of science, and some have made modest increases in funding science and research programs. Indeed the picture is not all gloomy; a 2014 World Bank report shows signs of improvement in certain aspects of scientific activity, notably an increase in the quantity and quality of research, and a modest increase in the number of scientific publications. While some progress is happening in continent wide science and research activity, Africa is still way back compared to the rest of the World. Even countries favored by major international funding agencies have, as yet, not made the cut to attain World class status in science, research, innovation and certainly not in invention. SASA’s objectives are, inter alia, to find ways of overcoming the hurdles, to confront challenges, to avoid pitfalls and to search for the way forward for Pushing the Frontiers of Science in Africa.


Epigenetics, Neurogenetics, neurodevelopmental science and research

Prof. Dennis Raphael, PhD, York University Toronto Canada

Dennis Raphael, PhD, is a Professor of Health Policy and Management at York University in Toronto. The most recent of his over 300 scientific publications focus on the health effects of income inequality and poverty, the quality of life of communities and individuals, and the impact of government decisions on Canadians’ health and well-being. Dr. Raphael is editor of “Social Determinants of Health: Canadian Perspectives” and “Tackling Health Inequalities: Lessons from International Experiences”, co-editor of “Staying Alive: Critical Perspectives on Health, Illness, and Health Care” and author of “Poverty in Canada: Implications for Health and Quality of Life.  Two new books: “Immigration, Public Policy, and Health: Newcomer Experiences in Developed Nations” and the 2nd edition of “Health and Illness” were published in the Fall of 2016.

Keynote Presentation Abstract 

Key Concepts from the Political Economy of Health Literature: Implications for Study of the African Health Scene

Prof. Dennis Raphael, York University, Toronto Canada

A number of key concepts have emerged from the political economy of health literature which may have relevance for the study of the African health scene.  These include concepts from the welfare state literature such as decommodification, stratification, and the relative responsibility ascribed to the State, marketplace, and family in allocating economic and social resources.  Other concepts include issues of power and influence of various sectors such as the corporate and business sector, civil society and the labour sector.  These concepts have proven useful in making sense of the overall health of a nation as well as the extent of health inequalities in western nations.  The relevance and implications of these concepts for understanding and advancing the health situation in Africa will be the focus of this presentation.



Health Policy and Management, Health effects of Income Inequality

Prof. F. Brombacher, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Prof. F. Brombacher* studied Biology, with Diploma in Genetics, 1989 at the Alberts-Ludwigs University Freiburg, Germany; PhD in Molecular Immunology at the Max Planck Institute (MPI), 1989, pioneering transgenic mouse models in the group of Nobel Laureate G. Koehler. Subsequent Research Fellow at MPI and Sandoz Ag (now Novartis), Switzerland, he was called back to the MPI as Group Leader in 1994, working on infectious diseases using knockout mouse models.

1998, he moved to the University of Cape Town, South Africa, as Professor, and  A-rated by NRF, was awarded an extramural MRC Unit and an International Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in 2000. Thereafter, Fellow for Life at UCT in 2005 and South African Research Chair and Coordinator at ICGEB Cape Town component. His group investigates fundamental immunological mechanisms in human diseases, including tuberculosis, African trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis and helminthic infections, including bilharzia – four of the top ten WHO declared human threats to combat, in addition to chronic diseases like allergic asthma and colitis. His research strategy is based on knowledge by gain or loss of function approaches in animal models. Together with transcriptomics and proteomics approaches biomarkers and host-directed drug targets are identified and verified in humans. His H factor is 65 with more than 18000 citation and 197 international peer-reviewed  publications.

*International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), Cape Town  Component and Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine (IDM), Division of Immunology, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Prof. Sam Lanfranco, York University

Dr. Sam Lanfranco is Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar (Economics), at York University (Toronto), where he continues to teach. He started working issues of information and communication technologies (ICT) and development in the late 1970’s while at UNCTAD (Geneva), was on the founding board of the Toronto Free Net, was a member of the founding team for the Bellanet Secretariat at IDRC (Ottawa), and is recent past Chair of the Board of the Ottawa based Canadian Society for International Health (CSIH), Past President of his local Milford Village fall fair board, treasurer of the local Mariners Museum, and a member of the founding board of Habitat for Humanity, Canada.

He continues to work on issues of ICT organizational development and social process, recently presented a panel presentation on ICANN Internet governance issues at ICANN 45. He is also an advisor to the Ambedkar Centre for Justice and Peace (ACJP) in Mumbai, India, and advisor to a number of internet start up initiatives in Canada and the United States.  His current research is on the application of crowd-sourced information for supply line accountability and transparency.

Building Inter-Institutional Collaborations

Prof. Luc Vanhamme, Institute of Molecular Medicine and Immunology, Free University of Brussels

Luc Vanhamme is Professor of Molecular Parasitology at the Free University of Brussels and Director of Research at the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research .

 He has been giving classes of  molecular parasitology, host-parasite interactions, genetic engineering and biotechnology at the Free University of Brussels and also, in the frame of cooperation programs, as invited professor at the Lebanese University in Beirut, Lebanon, University of Bandjoun in Cameroon or Central University of Ecuador in Quito. He also gave lectures at the Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.

 He worked on cancer during his PhD and post-doc. He has been working for more than twenty years on molecular aspects of antigenic variation and human serum resistance in African trypanosomes. He has recently participated to researches on Onchocerca. He has taken part in various cooperation programs from the TDR-WHO (for which he has been an expert), Human frontier scientific program, or belgian ARES-CUD. He has been research associate at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Department of Microbiology, invited Scientist at the ILRAD (Nairobi, Kenya), and also worked in Cameroon.

 He has published close to a hundred papers and book chapters, most of them on African trypanosomes and is holder af several patents.

 During his more than twenty years of work on African trypanosomiasis in a molecular biology laboratory,  he always missed the lack of contact and return to the people suffering from the sickness. With his recent involvement in a program of research on Onchocerca, he found an opportunity to directly interact with patients and help them in the field.   

Human apolipoproteins L : Killing African trypanosomes and acting in programmed cell death.

Prof. Hirotaka KANUKA, Department of Tropical Medicine, Center for Medical Entomology, Jikei School of Medicine


Boosting new arms to tackle pathogen-vector mosquitoes

A variety of arthropods carry and transmit infectious pathogen into another living organism.  The arthropod that transmits a disease is known as a vector, and the disease is referred to as a vector-borne disease.  These arthropods, which are haematophagous, form a major group of disease vectors with mosquitoes, flies, sand flies, lice, fleas, ticks, and mites transmitting a number of diseases such as malaria, dengue, filariasis, Chagas disease, and leishmaniasis.  Understanding the molecular mechanisms of the responses of disease-transmitting vectors against pathogens is of great importance for current efforts to develop novel strategies for control of vector-borne diseases.  The pathogens like virus, protozoan parasites, and parasitic nematodes undergo substantial stage-specific losses during those developments in the vector, which in some cases lead to complete refractoriness of the vector against those pathogens.  The underlying genetics of vector competency are complex and multifactorial.  Completion of the genome sequences of major vector species such as Anopheles gambiae and Aedes aegypti, together with the development of transgenesis in those species and the extension of RNAi and gene-editing techniques (TALEN and CRISPR/Cas9) to vectors, has allowed comparative and functional genomic approaches of the vector and pathogen interaction.  In this talk, a highly complex interplay between pathogen and vector which has been (partly) unveiled by our recent findings will be discussed in addition to its implication to vector competency to mediate pathogen transmission.

Boosting new arms to tackle pathogen-vector mosquitoes

Prof. Monique Carnol, University of Liege-Belgium

Monique Carnol is Professor of Ecology at the Department Biology, Ecology, Evolution of the Science Faculty at Liège University (ULg), Belgium. After her Biology studies at ULg, she performed a 3.5 year stay  at the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Merlewood Research Station, UK for her doctoral research on « Nitrogen deposition and nitrification in coniferous forests » (PhD, 1997, ULg). She worked on several research contracts and performed a post-doctoral stay at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Centre for Terrestrial Ecology, Heteren, NL, before being appointed as associated professor (2002) and professor (2017) at ULg. She also holds a higher education diploma (DES) in University and High School Pedagogy (2008, ULg). Her group investigates the role of soil microorganisms in terrestrial ecosystem functioning, within topics such as management impacts, soil quality, cave microbiology, catchment biogeochemitry, tree species impacts, climate change, molecular microbial diversity, and biodiversity-ecosystem functioning. A recent cooperation project with Rwanda triggered her curiosity on African ecosystem functioning. She teaches soil ecology and microbiology, global carbon cycle and climate change, and scientific communication. She is the head of the Laboratory of Plant and Microbial ecology (Research unit InBioS, ULg).


Soil biogeochemistry and ecosystem functioning

Prof. Maurice Bucagu, University of Rwanda, Kigali

Dr BUCAGU Charles (Ass. Professor) is the Dean of the School of Agriculture and Rural development in the college of Agriculture, University of Rwanda. He received his first degree in Agricultural Sciences from the National University of Rwanda (1999). He was then recruited as academic staff the same year. He pursued his master training at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, with specialisation in Agronomy. He has been involved in several activities including teaching, research, administration and community outreach. From 2004 to 2006, he was coordinating a USAID funded project on development of of high value Crops while offering teaching course at National University of Rwanda. In 2013, he earned a PhD in Agroforestry, from Wageningen University, The Netherlands. He has published a number of papers both in local and international journals. Upon completing his training, he returned home and was appointed to lead the School of Agriculture at University of Rwanda. In that capacity, he contributed in expanding areas of post-graduate training including the establishment of Masters in Crop Sciences. Dr BUCAGU Charles is involved in consultancy work with various stakeholders in Agricultural sector. He is part of the team that developed the National Coffee Policy and Regulations framework for Rwanda. He led a team that completed a comprehensive study on post-harvest losses in various commodities in Rwanda (Maize, Potato, Milk and Tomato) on behalf of FAO. Dr Bucagu has extensively worked on integrated agricultural production systems in Rwanda.

Agricultural System within tropical context operates in a more complex manner. One would consider a farm as a system with components/sub-systems comparable to major CROPS/LIVESTOCK. These components are related to each other such that CROP benefit from nutrients from cow dung/livestock excreta and livestock feeding on biomass from the forage and crop residues. The functioning of the system receives various inputs (solar radiation, water, veterinary care) for it to operate sustainably. The system output would be CROP and ANIMAL products. Current studies on agricultural systems aim at optimising use of resources on farm to produce more food but also to take full advantages of the integration on farm. The challenges are mainly related to integrate and match favourable biophysical conditions with the socio-economic conditions of the farmers/beneficiaries.


Integrated production systems in Agriculture

Prof. Chicgoua Noubactep

Short CV

Prof. Dr. Chicgoua Noubactep

Habilitation, Universität Göttingen, 2011

  1. Scientific activities

138 peer-reviewed articles in 37 journals including Chemical Engineering Journal (16), Chemosphere (4), CLEAN – Soil, Air, Water (10), Environmental Chemistry (2), Environmental Science & Technology (7), Fresenius Environmental Bulletin (8), Journal of Hazardous Materials (27) and Water Research (2).

Scopus record (with self-citations): Citations: 1329 (2316); h-index: 19 (27); 115 cited documents  (per 19.07.2017).

70 co-authors in 17 countries

31 international presentations (including conferences and workshops) in Algeria, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Cameroon, France, Germany, Ghana, Poland, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.

9 lectures and seminars at 8 universities and scientific institutes in Algeria, Cameroon, Germany and Tanzania.

 Invited reviews for more than 50 journals including Applied Geochemistry, Chemical Engineering Journal, Chemosphere, CLEAN – Soil, Air, Water, Desalination, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Science & Technology, Journal of Hazardous Materials.



Water filtration and treatment

Prof. Beth Kaplin, Center of Excellence in Biodiversity & Natl Res Management, University of Rwanda

Professor Beth Kaplin is trained as a wildlife biologist, ecologist and conservation scientist and has published numerous articles and book chapters on tropical ecology, seed dispersal, and primate ecology and conservation.  She is a Professor at University of Rwanda (UR) where she teaches and mentors BSc, MSc and PhD students in the Biology Department,  School of Science, College of Science & Technology.  She is on leave from the Environmental Studies Department at Antioch University New England (AUNE), USA where she has supervised MSc and PhD students for the last  18 years.  She is founding director of the Center for Tropical Ecology & Conservation at AUNE which trains future leaders in research and conservation of tropical landscapes. 

From 2006 to 2015, Dr. Kaplin received funding from the MacArthur Foundation to develop BSc conservation science programs at UR, and an MSc in Biodiversity Conservation and Natural Resources Management.  She also created the Regional Network for Conservation Educators in the Albertine Rift to support conservation in the region (Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Tanzania, and Uganda) especially within HLIs.   She was appointed Acting Director of the newly forming Center of Excellence in Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management at UR in 2016.  The mission of this Center is to coordinate knowledge and research on biodiversity and resource management in Rwanda and the region.  She is active in the global Society for Conservation Biology and the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, member of the Board for the Albertine Rift Conservation Society, and Associate Editor for the journal Biotropica. She maintains an active research program on forest ecological processes, primate ecology and conservation, protected areas conservation and management, and human-wildlife interactions in tropical forests, especially in Rwanda.


Wildlife biodiversity and Conservation

Prof. François Xavier Naramabuye, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, University of Rwanda, Rwanda

Professor. Francois Xavier Naramabuye is a full Professor of soil science in the department of Soil Science at the University of Rwanda. He got his first degree in Agriculture-rural engineering from the National University of Rwanda (1999) where he started his academic career. He got his PhD in Applied Environmental soil science from the University of Kwa Zulu-Natal-RSA (2005) where he continued his academic career as a lecturer of soil science. Back to his home University (Rwanda), he started developing postgraduate programs in agroforestry and soil management. 

He is currently coordinating PhD and MSc programmes in soil science and crop science. He is heading a Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Laboratory of soil and Plant Analysis where PhD and MSc students re performing research projects. He has extended his academic and research activities to other universities including: Sokoine University of Agriculture (Tanzania), Braunschweig Technical Institute of Science (Germany), Zent Istvan University (Hongary)  and SLU university (Sweden) where he is collaborating in research and PhD supervision.. In 2008, he established and leaded a Centre for Environment Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development. He is coordinating and involved in a number of international research projects in the fields of agriculture, water and environment. He has contributed scientifically to the field of soil science by publishing a number of articles. He has coordinated a number of rural development and government programs and projects including: Development and coordination of the Rwanda Land Reform system (2006-7). He has coordinated the national study on development of grouped habitat in the rural area of Rwanda, MINALOC (2009), the development of a program on land management and land administration for Rwanda in collaboration with NIRAS an international Swedish company (2009), the development of a Program for a sustainable rural settlement for Rwanda (2008-9), Soil Health Management in Rwanda for AGRA (2008), the Land Reform Task Force in Rwanda (2006-7), Supervision of various projects from Ministry of Agriculture/RSSP, Conducting a study on Best Practices of irrigation and water harvesting in Rwanda, NBI/EWUAP (2007).


Soil fertility database for a sustainable agriculture planning and land use

Dr Lawrence Ayong, Cameroun in Yaoundé.

Dr. Lawrence Ayong is chief of service and head of the Malaria Research Unit at Centre Pasteur of Cameroon. He obtained his PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Central Florida, USA, followed by postdoctoral training in molecular parasitology at the University of Georgia Athens, USA. He then moved to the Institut Pasteur Korea in South Korea, where he served as head of the Antimalarial Drug Discovery group for three years before returning to Cameroon to initiate his own research group with initial funding from the Institut Pasteur International Division. His research revolves around the discovery of new diagnostic and preventive tools to help accelerate malaria control and elimination globally.

Laboratory for Malaria Research

Prof. David Waltregny, Department of Urology, University of Liege-Belgium

David Waltregny is currently professor of clinics and senior staff urologist in the Department of Urology at the University Hospital of Liège, Belgium. He holds membership in several professional and scientific organizations, among which the European Association of Urology, and he is a founding member of the Belgian Association of Urology. After receiving his MD from the University of Liège, David Waltregny became a Senior Research Associate of the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research, studying the mechanisms of tumor invasion and metastasis, and hormone-independence in human prostate cancer. He then received a PhD from the University of Liège and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, in Boston. David Waltregny is the author and co-author of numerous publications in top-ranked international journals and is currently pursuing his research works in the Center for Experimental Cancer Research at the University of Liège. David Waltregny largely participated in the development of the TVT-Obturator device together with its inventor, Pr Jean de Leval, at the University of Liège in Belgium. He is pursuing the development of new surgical devices for the treatment of male incontinence that occurs after radical prostatectomy

Prof. Jean Robert Nzamushe, Head department of Emergency Surgery, University of Lille (CHU de Lille), France

Dr. Jean Robert Nzamushe was born in 1971 in Lille (France). He made his primary and secondary school in Kinshasa. In 1997, he obtained his diploma of Medical Doctor from The Universty of Sint Luke Belgium (UCL). In 2004, he achieved his specialization as a General and Visceral Surgeon from the same Universty.

From 2004 till 2015, he works as a Visceral Surgeon in the Emergency Surgery Department of University of France (CHU de Lille). He accomplished two Masters: One in biomaterial (University of Lille, 2013) and another in Surgical science (University of Paris-Sud, 2014). His work on short gut proximal syndrom and reinfusion, with the Inserm Clinical Research Unit CIC-IT 807 (Professor Regis Logier) resulted in five patents, some publications, communications in International Congress and many others awards. In 2015, he took the head of the Emergency Surgery Department of University Hospital of Lille (CHU-France) and specially works on mass casualty management in case of terrorist attacks.

Extra Corporeal Enteral prosthesis (ECEP)

Dr. Bertin NJINOU, Clinique des Ormeaux Vauban in le Havre, France

Dr. Bertin NJINOU works at Clinique des Ormeaux Vauban in le Havre, France. Surgeon urologist Diploma of the Faculty of Medicine of the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. Former assistant of university clinics saint luc in brussels Former university hospital practitioner of mont godinne university clinics Urologist surgeon at the Ormeaux-vauban  clinic in havre in france Specialized in laparoscopy and robotics Specialized in urological cancerology and pelvic floor reconstruction Director of the medical and surgical center of urology and minimally invasive surgery of Douala in Cameroon Chairman of the board of directors of  the clinique des ormeaux in havre in France.



Improving Health Care Skills and Innovation

Dr. Jean Paul Rwabihama, MD. Senior Consultant in Geriatrics at Paris Public Hospitals (AP-HP)

Dr. Jean Paul Rwabihama is a Medical Doctor in internal medicine from University of Rwanda and Specialist in Geriatrics after 4 years of training in Paris. He received a Master of Science in Health Law at Diderot Paris University in 2007 and completed his PhD in Ethics and Public Health at the Toulouse University (France) in 2012; he was a PhD fellow at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University, Washington DC (USA). He served as vice-chair of the professional practice assessment committee at Henri Mondor University hospitals from 2012 to 2016.

Since 2015, Jean Paul Rwabihama joined the Clinical Epidemiology and Ageing Unit (EA4393), affiliated to Institut Mondor de Recherche Biomédicale (IMRB), at University of Paris-Est Créteil, as a Senior Researcher. His research topics are focused on patients ‘rights, end of life issues, clinical ethics, therapeutics in the elderly patients and prevention of venous thromboembolic disease.

Currently, he is a Senior Consultant in Geriatrics at Paris Public Hospitals (AP-HP), Henri Mondor University hospitals, Geriatric department of Essonne.

On a part-time, Jean Paul Rwabihama collaborates with the French Ministry of Justice as a legal expert at Court of Appeal of Paris. He has been appointed by several high courts of the Paris region to carry out medical assessments in penal and civil cases.

Chronic non-communicable diseases,

Prof. Leon Mutesa, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda

Prof. Leon Mutesa obtained his MD from the university of Rwanda in 2003; he was then awarded a PhD scholarship from French speaking Universities CIUF/CUD-Belgium Cooperation and joined the Center for Human Genetics at the university of Liege-Belgium. In 2009 he graduated with a PhD in Medical Sciences (human genetics) and joined the College of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Rwanda as Senior Lecturer then Associate Professor of human genetics. Currently, he serves as Head of Center for Human Genetics. Since starting his genetic career, he specifically drove new developments and implementation of a reference center for medical genetics in Rwanda, the only one in the East African Region where he is developing genetic clinical practice, molecular, cytogenetic and newborn screening analyses. He has conducted several research projects in African patients with genetic disorders and mainly focused on chromosomal and molecular disorders such as sickle cell anaemia, chromosomal abnormalities, and cystic fibrosis-like disease. Dr Mutesa is author of more than 70 publications in peer-reviewed journals and has been invited as a key speaker and abstract presenter in more than 40 national and international scientific conferences. Dr Mutesa also served as the Director of Department of Clinical Laboratory Dept. at the Kigali University Teaching hospital which is the largest referral hospital with an average of 30.000 newborns every year. In recognition to his research achievements and project management skills, he was appointed by the Government of Rwanda from 2011-2013 as Director of Medical Research Center in Rwanda Biomedical Centre under Ministry of Health, where he coordinated health related research activities in all national medical institutions. Currently, he is Principal Investigator and manager of more than six major research grants in various aspects including cytogenetic and molecular studies, malaria, HIV, PTSD, epigenetics and newborn screening.

NCD, Infectious diseases, Panel Speaker

Prof. Roland Marini, University of Kisangani DRC

Prof. Roland Marini was born in Congo (DRC), where he did his studies up the university level. He obtained his Pharmacy diploma in 1993 at the University of Kinshasa. After having worked in a medicines distribution program in a protestant missionary center in North-Eastern of Congo and gained experiences in Zimbabwe Drug Control Laboratory, he moved to Belgium in 1996, starting by recognizing his Pharmacy diploma and then obtaining a specialization in Industrial Pharmacy in 1998 and MSc in Drug Analysis 2000 at the University of Liège (ULg). In 2006, he obtained his PhD in Analytical Chemistry in the field of uncertainty measurement at ULg.

Besides his fundamental research goals in counterfeit medicines, analytical method development / validation and pharmaceutical industry’s experience, Professor Marini is acting as the Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP)-Qualified Person of the entire Pharmacy Department at ULg. He is also WHO-Expert in medicines quality control for the WHO-Prequalification Program.

Roland is very active in academic cooperation with Central African countries on Quality Control and Assurance of medicine and medicinal plants, on Sickle cell sickness. He initiated with other actors (Prof Hubert at ULg, Prof Kadima at UR) the Edulink program of Master in Quality Control and Quality Assurance and R&D programs. He is coordinating several ARES-projects with DRC, Burkina Faso, Benin and Rwanda.

Roland is Adjunct Professor and Lecturer at the ULg, full Professor at the University of Kisangani, and invited Professor at the University of Douala, the University of Rwanda and the University of Kinshasa. He is also trainer at Pharmaceutical enterprises.

Fostering Youth Development with Science Education, Panel Speaker

Professor Joseph KAMGNO, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences/University of Yaounde, CAMEROON

Joseph KAMGNO, is a Medical Doctor from the University of Yaounde I, with a Diploma of Epidemiology from Pasteur Institute in Paris, a Master of Public Health and a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Paris VI.

He is currently teaching epidemiology at the Department of Public Health at the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Yaounde I where he was recently appointed Vice Dean in charge of Research and Cooperation. He is also Director of the Center for Research on Filariasis and other Tropical Diseases. He is since 2003 in charge of the post Mectizan and Albendazole Severe Adverse Events (SAEs) surveillance in Cameroon and has trained teams in all the Loa endemic countries in Central Africa for this surveillance.

Joseph KAMGNO is member of the Cameroon Academic of Sciences. He was part time Lecturer at the Louvain Catholic University in Belgium. He was awarded in 2015 the Islamic Development Bank Price for Sciences and Technology in recognition of his contribution at the socioeconomic development of his home country Cameroon. His main domains of research are onchocerciasis, loaisis, lymphatic filariasis (mapping, clinical trials, diagnostic tools, and post Mass Drug Administration impact evaluation). He has also done some work in the domain of epilepsy, malaria and Soil Transmitted helminths. He did complete mapping of Lymphatic filariasis and has also contributed in these diseases mapping in Central Africa. He is author and co-authors of 70 publications in peer review journals.

Research on Filariasis and other Tropical Diseases, Panel Speaker

Dr. BATINA AGASA, Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie Université de Kisangani, D.R. Congo

BATINA AGASA did his studies at the University of Kisangani where he obtained his diploma as Medical Doctor in 1989.

He began his scientific activities in 1990 as Assistant at the Faculty of Medicine at the same university and obtained in 1996 the diploma of specialist in internal medicine.

After having worked many years as clinician and researcher at the university clinics of Kisangani he moved to Belgium where he obtained in 2005 a specialization in Immuno-hematology Transfusion, and in 2007 a diploma of Advanced Studies in Health Sciences at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) where he obtained his PhD in Medical Sciences in 2011.

Besides his researches in internal medicine, transfusion medicine, sickle cell disease and onchocerciasis, Mr Batina is active in cooperation between the University of Kisangani and partners universities such as University of Douala (Prof. E.Mpondo), ULB (Prof. Béatrice Gulbis) and University of Liège (Prof. Philippe Hubert, Prof. Roland Marini, Prof. Vincent Bours).

He had also several responsibilities: Contact point of the local program against AIDS/GTZ (German Technical Cooperation/Blood safety), Coordinator of Provincial Blood Transfusion Center, Deputy Director of the National Blood Transfusion Center.

Batina is full Professor at the University of Kisangani and acting Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy since 2013. He is also invited Professor at the Evangelic University in Africa (Bukavu) and other universities in DRC.



Internal medicine, transfusion medicine, sickle cell disease and onchocerciasis.