STEM in Africa: Merck Foundation and African Union hold joint summit

May 10, 2021

During the summit ministers discussed gender equality and how to develop STEM in Africa

STEM in Africa: Merck Foundation and African Union hold joint summit

STEM in Africa: Merck Foundation (, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany conducted the Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit – MARS 2021 online, in partnership with the African Union and African Ministers of different sectors, during the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021, held in partnership with the Government of Zambia.

Elaborating about the MARS Summit, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and Chairperson of MARS Summitexplained “I am very happy to have more than 20 Honourable African Ministers of different sectors, coming together for the MARS Summit. Merck Foundation has been committed to underscore its long-term commitment towards building Research Capacity in Africa. This year, the Summit mainly addressed the importance of Empowering youth to address sustainability challenges in Africa and Global South, Empowering women in education and STEM in Africa (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics); challenges and strategies, the response to Coronavirus pandemic, and the Role of Scientific Research in responding to Cancer and Vaccines Development – Two emerging challenges in Africa”.

Dr. Eng. Ahmed Hamdy, Executive Director, African Union – Scientific, Technical and Research Commission, emphasized, “The Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit was a valuable opportunity for all those engaged and interested in health research in Africa to learn about the full spectrum of ground-breaking scientific research currently underway in the continent with respect to COVID-19, and prepare the road ahead in Africa’s strategy to tackle the pandemic with a concrete approach”.

MARS Online VC brought distinguished leaders on a single platform to reaffirm Merck Foundation’s commitment towards developing a strong Africa roadmap towards gender equality by discussing policies, leadership, and scientific roles that can enable women to recover and thrive in a post-COVID-19 world.