Merck Foundation AFRICA ASIA Luminary 2021, 8th edition to be conducted on 27th to 29th April 2021, with 17 African First Ladies as Guests of Honour


French | Portuguese Version

8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021

Meet the Guests of Honour & Keynote Speakers
(in alphabetic order of the country)

  • The President of the Republic of Zambia, H.E. Dr. EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU and Chairman of Executive Board of E.Merck KG, Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp will officially inaugurate the “Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary” Online Video Conference.

  • The 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary will be co-chaired by H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of the Republic of Zambia and Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation.

  • 17 African First Ladies are the Guests of Honour and Ministers of Health, Gender, Information, Education and Science & Technology from 25 African countries to participate in the conference.

  • More than 5000 healthcare providers, policymakers and media from over 70 countries will benefit from the Luminary.

Invitation for 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021.

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck Germany, will conduct their annual conference, the 8th edition of “Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary” from 27th April to 29th April 2021 in partnership with the Government of the Republic of Zambia. The conference will be conducted on a virtual platform, and will be inaugurated by H.E. Dr. EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU, The President of Zambia along with Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of both of Executive Board of E.Merck KG and Merck Foundation Board of Trustees, and is co-chaired by H.E. Mrs. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia and Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation.

Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej, emphasized, “We are proud to welcome our Guests of Honours and Keynote Speakers, the First Ladies of 17 African Countries and African Ministers of different sectors from more than 25 countries. Together, we will discuss our strategy to build healthcare capacity and establish a strong platform of specialized trained medical experts to be the first in their countries and to define interventions to break infertility stigma and support girl education. This annual scientific and social education program will also engage healthcare providers, academia and media in an open dialogue and deliberations on various topics with the aim to improve access to quality and equitable healthcare solutions.”

Following the Inauguration of the Luminary, on the 27th of April, a high-level panel meeting of Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative Committee, will be conducted together with 17 African First Ladies to discuss healthcare and social issues that can be addressed to contribute to the Social and Economic Development in Africa; and advance healthcare, media and awareness capacities and capabilities in these countries.

“I am looking forward to welcome my dear sisters, Her Excellencies, for the conference. Moreover, I am also very happy that during the conference will also mark an important occasion; the 4th Anniversary of Merck Foundation”, added Senator, Dr. Kelej.

On the 28th of April, MARS- Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit will be held where a High-Level Panel Discussion with Ministers of Health, Science and Technology, Education, Information And Gender and MARS Researchers will be held with the objective to empower African young researchers & women researchers, advancing their research capacity and empower them in STEM.

On the third day, 29th April, Merck Foundation Health Media Training will be organized for the African and Latin American Media fraternity to emphasize the important role that media plays to break the stigma around infertility, in raising awareness about infertility prevention and empowering girls and women through education.

Other important scientific sessions in different medical fields will also be held in parallel on Day 2 and Day 3 of the Luminary.

During Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary, in order to contribute to the social and economic development of Africa and Asia, more than 5000 Healthcare providers, policymakers, academia, researchers and health media from more than 70 countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America will benefit from the three days conference that contain valuable educational and social development sessions in four languages; English, French, Spanish and Portuguese by top International experts in Diabetes, Fertility, Oncology, women health, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Respiratory and Acute Medicine and Health Media with the aim to raise health awareness and improve disease management, early detection and prevention, build healthcare capacity and improve access to quality and equitable healthcare solutions across the three continents.

The Luminary’21 will also mark the announcement of two awards for media fraternity, Merck Foundation Africa Media Recognition Awards  “More Than a Mother” 2021 and Merck Foundation “Mask Up With Care” Media Recognition Awards 2021; two awards for fashion fraternity, Merck Foundation Fashion Awards “More Than a Mother” 2021 and Merck Foundation “Make Your Own Mask” Fashion Awards 2021; in addition to Merck Foundation Film Awards “More Than a Mother” 2021 and Merck Foundation Song Awards “More Than a Mother” 2021.

Countries participating in the 8th Africa Asia Luminary include:

Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central Africa Republic, Cambodia, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Guinea – Bissau, Guinea – Conakry, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, The Gambia, Togo, Tunisia, U.A.E, UK, Uganda, US, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe and more.

The 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary will be streamed live on 27th April, from 14:00h to 18:00h (Gulf Standard Time) and on 28th and  29th April 2021 from 13:00h to 18:00h (Gulf Standard Time), @ Merck Foundation Social Media Channels.

Save the Date


"Merck Africa Asia Luminary" 2019 Scientific Book

View here


Watch videos of Merck Africa Asia Luminary 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016

Merck Africa Asia Luminary 2019 in Ghana

Merck Foundation Annual Conference 'Merck Africa Asia Luminary 2018' in Senegal

Merck Foundation Launch at 4th Edition of Merck Africa Asia Luminary 2017 in Egypt

Merck Africa Luminary 2016 in Côte d’Ivoire

Overview of Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative - MFFLI Summit

MFFLI 2019

MFFLI Ghana 2019

MFFLI 2020 Online
Read more about the Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary

Merck Africa Asia Luminary in Ghana 2019
Merck Africa Asia Luminary in Senegal 2018
Merck Africa Asia Luminary in Egypt 2017
Merck Africa Asia Luminary in Cote D’Ivoire  2016

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About Merck Foundation

The Merck Foundation, established in 2017, is the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to quality & equitable healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth. All Merck Foundation press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Foundation Website.  Please visit to read more. To know more, reach out to our social media: Merck Foundation; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Flicker.