NAPRECA, the Natural Products Research Network for East and Central Africa, was conceived by East and Central African scientists who attended the 14th International Symposium on the Chemistry of Natural Products in 1984 in Poland. Its establishment was borne from the realization that Africa was rich in biodiversity, but poor in research and development in natural products. NAPRECA became a fully-fledged network and started operating in 1988 after it became affiliated to UNESCO as one of its network programmes. A NAPRECA Coordinating Board had its first meeting in Addis Ababa on March 1988.
The main objective of NAPRECA is to initiate, develop and promote research in the area of natural products in the countries in Central and Eastern Africa sub-region and to coordinate and maintain inter- and intraregional links among different research groups. NAPRECA member countries include Botswana, Cameroon, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
The activities of the Network include biannual Natural Products Symposia and workshops designed to expose young scientists in the natural products research area to the state-of-the-art techniques and to maintain vitality in the Network’s activities in the various member countries. Reports of scientific development are also made during these workshops which are very well attended not only by natural products research scientists from the two regions but also by scientists from other African countries and from other continents.
NAPRECA receives financial support from the International Programme in the Chemical Sciences (IPICS) of Uppsala University’s International Science Programme (ISP), and receive scholarships for students to undertake postgraduate degree programmes in the universities belonging to this Network from The International Educational Exchange Programme (DAAD) of Germany. The NAPRECA headquarters is located in the country of residence of the Executive Secretary and the Assistant Secretary/Treasurer for the duration of their term of office. The headquarters rotates among the member countries within the Network and currently, it is located in Kampala, Uganda.