The African Association of Physiological Sciences (AAPS) was inaugurated in Kuopio, Finland on July 8, 1989, after series of meetings held by 35 African participants from 15 countries that attended the centennial IUPS congress. The meetings were guided by Osmo Hanninen (Finland) and chaired by Peter Masesa (Tanzania) with Kayode Adeniyi (Nigeria) as the secretary. The meeting elected officers to look after the affairs of AAPS, facilitate the emergence of physiological societies in Africa, and organize a congress in Nairobi in 1991. The officers were:
Secretary – West Africa
Secretary Southern Africa
Secretary – East Africa
Secretary North Africa
Shortly after leaving Kuopio, Kungu Kimani for health reasons could not function as the Secretary General and with a unanimous vote by the rest of the secretaries, Kayode Adeniyi was elected the Secretary General and Peter Odonkor (Ghana) was elected as a replacement to the vacant position of Secretary – West Africa.
Yehia Habib died in 1996 and in his honor the Yehia Habib Lecture was introduced in 1997. Peter Masesa is also late.
Kayode Adeniyi and the team of secretaries worked to organize the Nairobi congress, but this looked increasingly difficult with the exit of Kungu Kimani and lack of foothold in Kenya. The team toyed with the option of merging the meeting with that of the Society of Neuroscientists in Africa (SONA) since the membership was identical. Wail Benjelloun (Morocco) assisted by arranging a meeting between Kayode Adeniyi and Kimani – SONA Secretary General in Agadir in 1991 to sort out the logistics but failed to reach a consensus as both societies insisted on maintaining their separate identities. AAPS was then left no option than to look elsewhere to hold the meeting and team started exploring other possibilities and fortunately John Kamau (Kenya) offered his assistance. He had only just recently taken over the leadership of the Kenyan Physiological Society and wanted the meeting to be held in Nairobi.
The team ceased the opportunity and immediately shifted the meeting to 1992 and worked with Kamau to actualize the meeting. In the interim, the team involved all the known societies in Africa – Physiological Society of Nigeria, Physiological Society of Southern Africa in the planning of the 1st Congress. The entire team also facilitated the emergence of new societies in Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Cameroun, Sudan and Egypt.
The 1992 Nairobi meeting drew attendance of over 300 delegates from 30 countries in Africa, Europe, Asia and USA. IUPS and APS were represented by H. Sparks Jr. – Treasurer, K. Krnjevic, Osmo Hanninen, G. Somjen, H. Penny and many others.
The meeting drew up its constitution which was adopted at 1997 at the 2nd congress in Durban. The next congress was slated for Lagos, Nigeria in 1996. In the mean time AAPS was elected as a Regional member of IUPS in 1993 together with FEPS.
During the ensuing years, with assistance of the executive, the following societies were established and each of these became affiliated to AAPS: The Sudanese Physiological Society, The Zimbabwe Physiological Society, The Ethiopian Physiological Society and Moroccan Association for Neuroscience (MAN). Membership to the Society includes: Physiologists, Biochemists, Pathophysiologists, Neuroscientists, and Medical Scientists from Africa and abroad.
The aim and objectives of the Society, besides holding Congresses every fourth year, were: to develop the capacity of basic medical scientists in the African continent, to disseminate the latest development in physiological sciences by either publishing regular newsletters or launching a website (see the constitution for more details).
From the time it was launched in Nairobi at its first international congresses, five international congresses have been held: the 2nd was to have been hosted by the Physiological Society of Nigeria in 1996 (as agreed at the 1st AGM), but due to unforeseen circumstances this was not held in Nigeria.
The inability to hold the 2nd congress in 1996 in Nigeria was a breach of the AAPS and IUPS regulations for regional congresses. To salvage the situation and maintain its position in the calendar, AAPS Executive decided to move the meeting elsewhere. G. van der Horst – PSSA President appealed to Prem Gathiram, the organizer of the PSSA congress which was to held in Durban in 2007 for assistance.
Thus the 2nd Congress was held in Durban, South Africa, in September 1997. It was jointly organized by PSSA and the executive committee of AAPS. At its 2nd AGM the following were elected as Officials:
K.J.R. Abaidoo (Ghana) | M. Baddour (Egypt) | P. Gathiram (South Africa) | A. Lochner (South Africa) | J. Mufunda (Zimbabwe) | E. Osim (Nigeria) | A.M. Saeed (Sudan) | Sohair Ali (Sudan) | L.B Sigola (Zimbabwe).
LB Sogola was elected as the Editor-in-Chief of AJPS.
The 3rd congress was held in September 2001, in Pretoria, South Africa; The Pretoria meeting elected the following officers: