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.

Our 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.

In the next few years, we are going to support education of talented female students in Liberia, Malawi, Ghana, Kenya, Central African Republic and Niger with social focus on empowering girls in education.
The girls who attend school and learn skills to improve their future livelihoods in turn champion education for their families, communities and nation. However, the opportunities must be present and ripe for the taking. Recalling the UN slogan “Equality for Women is Progress for All”, this is a clear message around girls’ education and women’s empowerment.

As part of Merck Foundation STEM Program for Women and Youth, Merck Foundation has conducted 3 editions of “UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit” in partnership with African Governments, UNESCO and African Union. UNESCO 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 in education in general and in STEM.

As part of our contribution towards improving access to healthcare solutions and hence to the social and economic development of Africa, we had launched Merck Foundation’s “Best African Woman Researcher Award” and “Best Young African Researcher Award”. In cooperation with Ministries of Science and Education and UNESCO, 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 education of best performing female students in Africa.

UNESCO MARS 2017 Award Winners

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Prof. Dr. Steven Hildemann Endashaw Bekele Prof. João Sebastião Teta More
Constantine Asahngwa, Cameroon, Best Young African Researcher Award, 2nd place winner Patricia Rantshabeng, Botswana, Best Young African Reseacher Award 1st place winner Rogomenoma Ouedraogo, Burkina Faso, Best African Women Researcher Award 2nd place winner More
Dr. Bich-Tram HUYNH Prof. N.A.OTHIENO-ABINYA Dr. Iruka N Okeke More


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Merck Foundation to conduct their UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit–MARS 2019 in Accra, Ghana

UNESCO Together with Merck Foundation will continue to build research capacity in the African Research Community in the fields of science and sustainability

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Merck Foundation conducts 3rd UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit –MARS 2017 in partnership with the Office of the President of Mauritius and their Ministry of Health

Merck Foundation partners with the Government of Mauritius, UNESCO, African Union and African Governments for their annual UNESCO-MARS to contribute to empowering Women and Youth in STEM.

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