After many years of research in the field of invasive species, we have learnt that these pests can be disastrous to many cropping systems in Africa, especially in a context where countries are not prepared and do not have monitoring and control systems in place. Thousands of organisms can be labelled as invasive. In fact, the list of invasive species is unlimited, yet, within the system itself, some species can become invasive due to habitat change. Unfortunately, the debate amplifies when there are economic or environmental implications that affect livelihoods in general. The topic of invasive species has become viral lately on the continent. The frequent invasions and permanent threats speak for the importance of this topic, especially with the recent occurrences of species such as Tuta absoluta and the fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda within a short interval period. The pattern for managing these pests, when they occur, is almost similar in all African countries. There has been a very poor effort to harmonise or coordinate research, and little willingness to centralise the various experiences or research outputs to facilitate continuous learning among researchers, academics and related regulatory authorities. In the academic world, invasive species open new areas of research, including modelling and remote sensing, in short, geomatics, which serve as model systems for the development of an understanding of climate change and insect behaviour. These aspects can help in developing monitoring surveillance, climate suitability studies for an invasive species and its natural enemies, and the decision-making processes on the best appropriate tool for the management of the pest. When invasive species affect essential crops, such as maize and tomato, or other horticultural crops such as citrus and mango, they automatically become a political or business concern. While invasive insects are part of a more prominent thematic area, which contains weeds, mites and fishes, they also feature strongly in applied research aimed at managing them by using chemicals, biopesticides and natural enemies in order to recommend sustainable solutions. Surprisingly, little emphasis has been given by African governments to applied research or the capitalisation of research outcomes to bolster readiness and preparedness. viii We believe that there is a wealth of knowledge on invasive species which is available, but this knowledge is loose and difficult to assemble. This prompted our initiative to use the forum of the African Association of Insect Scientists, AAIS, to produce this book to centralise the findings on the management of most common invasive species, such as fall armyworm, T. absoluta, fruit flies and others. We believe that emphasis should be placed on understanding the biology of the invasive species and their ecology. This could be done by borrowing from the experiences of countries where the invasive species originated. We have noticed that the African continent is increasingly lacking expertise in taxonomy and identification, which is a critical discipline that is essential in the recognition and reporting of insects. We attempted to gather contributions from various areas in Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Rwanda to record the relevant knowledge, so that it does not fade away over time, as it happened with previous researches on the topic. However, this exercise has not been easy at all, considering the various research areas and interests, including chemical ecology, arthropod pathology, technology transfer, legislation, biological control, chemical control and socio-economics. Hence, this book project might be one of a kind to integrate aspects of invasive species, presenting various facets of the problem. The lack of capacity is worrying, because, without a sound understanding of the pest, there is no basis for adequate decision making. Thus, we have aimed to fill a gap in the literature and produce a book that will inform, support and strengthen the work of African researchers and policymakers in the management of invasive species. This book covers aspects of pest management, taxonomy, regulation and technology transfer. We believe that much of this material will also be of interest to entomologists more widely, and to very many others on the continent. The scope of the material is therefore broad and may be a valuable companion to other research, depending on readers’ interests. As such, this book will be a useful reference text for the private sector and agricultural extensionists. It should also be a handy text for those who are researching solutions to combat invasive species. This book would not have come into existence without the support of our respective institutions: the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International, CABI, and the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, ICIPE. The Plantwise Programme provided financial support for most contributors to attend the 22nd AAIS Meeting and Scientific Conference in Sudan in October 2017. Without that support, this project would not have even started. Dr Segenet Kelemu, Director General of ICIPE, provided generous support for the participation of ICIPE delegates to the Conference. Dr Sunday Ekesi, Director of Research and Partnerships, took on this project, guided the handling and added valuable contributions through consultative meetings and participation in various forums on the topic. We thank the German Academic Exchange, DAAD, for generously funding the AAIS Conference in 2017. Preface ix Colleagues at ICIPE, CABI, other National Agricultural Research Services (NARS), the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centres, and Universities have contributed in diverse ways, including reviewing, reading and commenting on chapters, suggesting references, providing original images, and supplying specimens and photographs that became figures. We are grateful to them for all their insights and commitment to science: Drs Sunday Ekesi, Sevgan Subramanian, Samira Mohamed, Fathiya Khamis, Shifa Ballo, Amanual Tamiru, David Mfuti Kupesa, Washington Otieno, and others. Dr Lorna Migiro provided support and technical information about CABI Plantwise. We take responsibility for any errors or shortcomings; our intention is to share knowledge, to the best of our ability. We gratefully acknowledge the permission granted by Springer to reproduce the copyrighted material in this book and the Series Editor, Dr Aurelio Ciancio, for editing all contributions. We apologise for any errors or omissions in the above list. We would be grateful to be notified of any corrections that should be incorporated in future reprints or editions of this book.
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