Merck Foundation STEM Program

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Together we empower women and youth in science and technology

We believe that empowering women through education is an important factor in promoting the economic well-being of Africans. Many literatures have shown that there are strong links between educating women and girls and positive outcomes for economic empowerment, social mobility and maternal health. It is also believed that women’s unemployment in a nation’s workforce is a waste of valuable human capital that has a negative impact on economic prosperity and national development.

Merck Foundation STEM program (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) partners with global and local institutions and organizations to empower women and young people in the areas of science and technology. We see education as an important factor in promoting economic well-being in Africa.

As part of Merck Foundation STEM Program for Women and Youth,

Merck Foundation has conducted 5 editions of “Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit” in partnership with African Governments, and African Union Scientific, Technical and Research Commission. MARS brings together researchers and policy makers from across Africa to prepare for the road ahead in Africa’s development as an international hub for excellence in scientific innovation and define interventions to empower women and youth through education in general and in STEM in particular.

As part of our contribution towards improving access to healthcare solutions and hence to the social and economic development of Africa, we have launched Merck Foundation’s “Best African Woman Researcher Award” and “Best Young African Researcher Award” in cooperation with Ministries of Science and Education, and African Union Scientific, Technical and Research commission. The Merck Foundation’s target is to empower girls and women through various initiatives, including providing training for female & young researchers & medical graduates and supporting the education of best performing Girl students in Africa.

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Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit (MARS) 2021 - VC Summit

UNESCO – Merck Africa Research Summit (MARS) 2019 Meeting in Accra, Ghana

Dr. Rasha Kelej-CEO of Merck Foundation at UNESCO MERCK Africa Research Summit (MARS), Mauritius 2017

UNESCO Merck Africa Research Summit MARS 2016 - Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO Merck Foundation

Merck Foundation conducts 3rd UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit - MARS 2017 - Mauritius

UNESCO-MARS 2016 ‘Best African Woman Researcher Award’ 4th place winner Maria Nabaggala, Uganda

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