About Us

ALNAP, founded in 1997, is an acronym for the “African Laboratory for Natural Products”, which is a network of natural products laboratories found in 5 neighbouring countries of east and central Africa found in Uganda (Department of  Chemistry, Makerere University and Ministry of Health), Rwanda (Institute for Scientific and Technological Research, IRST),Ethiopia (Department of Chemistry, Addis Ababa University), Congo DRC (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences) and Burundi (Department of Chemistry, Burundi University). The logo of ALNAP shows the map of the above mentioned five member countries. ALNAP's Coordinating Center is based at the Chemistry Department of the Addis Ababa University (AAU).


  • To assist members to undertake collaborative research
  • To organize training and exchange programs for researchers and technicians
  • To offer analytical and bioassay services
  • To facilitate exchange of information through databases
  • To promote cultivation and processing of medicinal and aromatic plants

Our activities and main achievements

1. Promoting research activities dealing with the chemistry of plants of medicinal, commercial and industrial importance.
2. Workshops and Short Courses: Eight workshops were organized since 2007. The 1st ALNAP Workshop was organized in Uganda in the Natural Chemotherapeutics Research Laboratory (NCRL) in July 2007. The 2nd Workshop was held in Addis Ababa in July 2008. The latest workshop being the 8th Workshop in Addis Ababa in July 2011. The main topics of the workshops included: Extraction and Separation Technologies for medicinal and aromatic plants, Phytomedicine Product Development and Quality Control, Research Methods, Scientific Writing and Individual Projects.
3. Exchange of Researchers: This scheme helps young staff to spend time in collaborating laboratories.
4. Home-based Training of Research Assistants by offering fellowships.
5. Databases: A large body of knowledge generated in Africa is not included in the main stream databases and abstracting services. This is mainly because many of the dissertations, periodicals, proceedings of conferences, books etc published in Africa may not enjoy wide circulation. Using a commercially available software known as Reference Manager, we have developed the ALNAP Bibliographic Database in which we store information from scientific journals, proceedings, monographs, books, dissertations etc that deal with the biology, chemistry, ethno botany, and pharmacology of African plants. The information can, when needed, be generated through a quick search, which can be saved, printed or transferred via e-mail. The entries in the literature database now exceed 26,000. Another database that we developed is called Natural Products Database for Africa (NDA), in which brief description of over 5,000 plant species are given with botanical, and other information. The computer program for NDA is developed in-house.
6. Analytical Services: Our group is responsible for the smooth running of several major research equipment such as the Bruker 400 MHz NMR instrument, the Liquid Nitrogen Generating Plant, the HP6890 Gas Chromatograph and the CAMAG Analytical Equipment. The most challenging of all is the NMR instrument, which needs weekly fill of liquid nitrogen and an annual fill of liquid helium. We are pleased to report that the NMR instrumnet was fully operational since its installation in Septebmer 2000. The Laboratory in Makerere University gives gc-ms service, while the Laboratory of Prof Kalenda in the DRC has HPLC facilities. IRST in Rwanda has experience on large scale production of bio-fuels and essential oils.
For further information contact ALNAP Principal Coordinator: Ermias Dagne, Director African Laboratory for Natural Products (ALNAP, Department of Chemistry, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 30270, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Fax: 251-1-551244; E-mail: edagne@gmail.com

The other ALNAP Contact Persons include:

  • Uganda (Prof B. Kiremire, Makerere University and Dr Grace Nambatya, NCRL Ministry of Health of Uganda)
  • Rwanda: (Dr J. B. Nduwyezu, Director and Mr Justin Kabera, Chemist, IRST)
  • DR Congo (Prof D. T. Kalenda, University of Kinshasa) and
  • Burundi: (Dr. J. Bukuru: University of Burundi)



ALNAP‘s principal laboratory, where most of its programs are implemented, is located at the Department of Chemistry, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. Since it is founding in 1997, ALNAP has also enjoyed continuous finalcial (through Sida: http://sida.orbelon.com/research-cooperation/about-us.aspx ) as well as logistics support from the International Science Programme (ISP) based at Uppsala University, Sweden (www.isp.uu.se). We are most grateful to both of the above institutions.