The Organization of African Unity, currently the African Union, Heads of State and Government declared the period 2000-2010 as a decade of traditional medicine in Africa. This was later followed by the 2001 Abuja Declaration Assembly/AU/Dec.291(XV) which called on Member States to give priority to research on traditional medicines used for the management of HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other infectious disease. The AU Summit endorsed in Maputo in 2003 the WHO proposal to institute the African Traditional Medicine Day in Member States on 31st August of every year as part of a strategy to promote traditional medicine in health systems. The decisions were accompanied by a strategy, framework and detailed plan of action for implementation at the country level. Traditional medicine is a cross cutting issue and can provide a platform to strengthen regional integration within the African context. Further, decision was taken by the African Union Heads of State and Government special summit of African Union on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria ‘’Abuja actions toward the elimination of HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Africa by 2030”
A pharmacopoeia is a formulary, in particular one having an official status and carrying legal force in all pharmacies of a given country. It is a database containing a description of drugs used in current medical practice, including their formulae, analytical composition, physical constants, chemical properties useful for identification, and mode of preparation of compounds and/or combination products. Legally binding pharmacopoeia are useful tools for regulating traditional medicine and protecting use of medicinal plants.
The first edition of the African Pharmacopoeia was produced on the resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity, meeting in its Fortieth Ordinary Session in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in February, 1984 and the book was produced in 1985. The book was appreciated and applauded within the scientific community. Considering the time span and scientific development that took place since publication of the first edition, there is strong need for second edition of the book in order to cope with the spade of development that took place in the field of science and pharmacognosis.
African pharmacopoeia volume one second edition is revised - adopting measures to control and regulate herbal product quality in terms of identity, purity, safety, efficacy and sustainability. That will aid in the appropriate utilization of African medicinal plants to provide quality herbal drugs to African populations as well as boost international trade in African herbal products. In this edition the profiles are indicated in a consecutive manner for each plant: the name of the species and family, the synomyms and common names known in English and French; followed by the African names in principal local languages namely Arabic, Bambara, Hausa, Peuhl, Swahili and Yoruba; finally, brief botanical description and the geographical distribution which will permit the identification of the plant and the knowledge of its area of cultivation and subsequently exploitation in the different climatic zones of Africa.