Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit -MARS Online VC
Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit -MARS Online VC

Merck Foundation Meet 26 African ministers of health, gender, education, science and technology and information to build healthcare and research capacity in Africa

ANI | Updated: May 11, 2021 11:29 IST

Lusaka [Zambia]/Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], May 11 (ANI/BusinessWire India): 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.
The conference was inaugurated by The President of the Republic of Zambia, Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu and Prof Dr Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp Chairman of both of Executive Board of E Merck KG and Merck Foundation Board of Trustees. It was co-chaired by Esther Lungu, The First Lady of the Republic of Zambia and Senator, Dr Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation.
"I am very happy to have 26 African Ministers of different sectors, coming together for the MARS Online VC. Merck Foundation has been committed to underscore its long-term commitment towards building Healthcare and Research Capacity in Africa with a special focus on women and youth. This year, the Summit mainly addressed the importance of Empowering women and youth in education and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics); challenges and strategies, the response to the Coronavirus pandemic, and the Role of Scientific Research in responding to Cancer and Vaccines Development - Two emerging challenges in Africa," said Senator, Dr Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and Chairperson of MARS, while elaborating about the MARS Summit.
"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," said Dr Eng Ahmed Hamdy, Executive Director, African Union - Scientific, Technical and Research Commission.
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.
"Women stand at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, as health care workers, caregivers, innovators, community organizers, and as some of the most exemplary and effective national leaders in combating the pandemic. This MARS ministerial panel has highlighted both the centrality of their contributions and the role of governments and policies in advancing gender equality which will be conducive in our collaboration to empower women and supporting girls in education. I am very privileged to work closely with the African Ministers to contribute towards the development of Africa," said Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, Minister of Health and Population, Malawi.
The High-level Ministerial panel included:
1. Dr Jonas Kamima CHANDA, Minister of Health, Zambia
2. Dr Dennis WANCHINGA, Minister of General Education, Zambia
3. Dr Brian MUSHIMBA, Minister of Higher Education, Zambia
4. Elizabeth PHIRI, Minister of Gender, Zambia
5. Dora SILIYA, Minister of Information & Broadcasting Service, Zambia
6. Silvia Paula Lutucuta, Minister of Health, Angola
7. Dr NDIKUMANA Thadee, Minister of Public Health & Fighting against AIDS, Burundi
8. Dr Francois HAVYARIMANA, Ministre de L'Education Nationale et de la Recherche Scientifique, Burundi
9. Imelde SABUSHIMIKE, Ministre de la Solidarite Nationale, des Affaires Sociales, des Droits de la Personne Humaine et du Genre, Burundi
10. Marie Chantal NIJIMBERE, Ministre de la Communication, des Technologies de L'Information et des Medias, Republic of Burundi
11. Jacquiline Lydia Mikolo, Minister of Health & Population, Republic of the Congo
12. Dr Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, Minister of Health, The Gambia
13. Ebrima SILLAH, Minister of Information, The Gambia
14. Colonel Remy Lama, Minister of Health, Guinea Conakry

15. Pr Amadou Bano Barry, Minister of Education, Guinea Conakry
16. Amara Sompare, Minister of Information & Communication, Guinea Conkary
17. Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, Minister of Health & Population, Malawi
18. Dr Patricia Kaliati, Minister Of Gender, Community Development & Social Welfare, Republic of Malawi
19. Agnes Nyalonje, Minister Of Education, Malawi
20. Ulemu Msungama, Minister Of Youth & Sports, Malawi
21. Timoth Pagonachi Mtambo, Minister Of Civic Education & National Unity, Malawi
22. Dr Kalumbi Shangula, Minister of Health & Social Services, Namibia
23. Dr Joyce Moriku Kaducu, State Minister for Health, Uganda
24. Monica Mutsvangwa, Minister of Information & Broadcasting Publicity, Zimbabwe
25. Sthembiso Nyoni, Minster of Women Affairs Small & Medium Enterprises, Zimbabwe
26. Amon Murwira, Minister of Higher & Tertiary Education, Zimbabwe
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