The Merck Foundation brings together 26 African ministers to empower women and youth in STEM through their Merck Africa Research (MARS) online summit in partnership with the African Union


Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit –MARCH was produced online during the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021; the MARCH High-level ministerial round table at the summit with 26 ministers of health, science and technology, education, information and gender and MARCH Researchers.

Merck Foundation (, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany led the Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit – MARCH 2021 online, in partnership with the African Union and African ministers from different sectors, during the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021, held in partnership with the Government of Zambia. The conference was opened by The President of the Republic of Zambia, HE Dr. EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU and Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp Chairman of the Board of Directors of E. Merck KG and of the Board of Directors of the Merck Foundation. It was co-chaired by HE Mrs. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of the Republic of Zambia and Senator, Dr Rasha Kelej, CEO of the Merck Foundation.

Elaborate on the MARCH Mountain peak, Senator, Dr Rasha Kelej, CEO of the Merck Foundation and Chairman of MARCH explained “I am very happy to have 26 African ministers from different sectors, united for the MARCH VC online. The Merck Foundation is committed to underlining its long-term commitment to building health care and research capacity in Africa with a particular 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 the response to cancer and vaccine development – Two emerging challenges in Africa ”.

Dr. Eng. Ahmed Hamdy, Executive Director, African Union – Scientific, Technical and Research Commission, stressed: “The Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit has been a valuable opportunity for all those engaged and interested in health research in Africa to learn about the full spectrum of groundbreaking scientific research currently in progress. courses on the continent regarding COVID-19, and prepare the way forward in the African strategy to fight the pandemic with a concrete approach ”.

MARCH The VC Online brought together distinguished leaders on a unique platform to reaffirm the Merck Foundation’s commitment to developing a strong roadmap for Africa towards gender equality by discussing policies, leadership and scientific roles that can enable women to recover and thriveCOVID-19 world.

Hon. Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, Minister of Health and Population, Malawi said: “Women are at the forefront of the COVID-19 crisis, as healthcare workers, caregivers, innovators, community organizers and among the most exemplary and effective national leaders in the fight against the pandemic. This MARCH The ministerial panel highlighted both the centrality of their contributions and the role of governments and policies in promoting gender equality, which will be conducive to our collaboration to empower women and support girls in education. . I am very privileged to work closely with African ministers to contribute to the development of Africa. “

The high-level ministerial group included:

  1. Hon. Dr Jonas Kamima CHANDA, Minister of Health, Zambia
  2. Hon. Dr Dennis WANCHINGA, Minister of General Education, Zambia
  3. Hon. Dr Brian MUSHIMBA, Minister of Higher Education, Zambia
  4. Hon. Elizabeth PHIRI, Minister of Gender, Zambia
  5. Hon. Dora SILIYA, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Service, Zambia
  6. Hon. Silvia Paula Lutucuta, Minister of Health, Angola
  7. Hon. Dr. NDIKUMANA Thadée, Minister of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS, Burundi
  8. Hon. Dr François HAVYARIMANA, Minister of National Education and Scientific Research, Burundi
  9. Hon. Imelde SABUSHIMIKE, Minister of National Solidarity, Social Affairs, Human Rights and Gender, Burundi
  10. Hon. Marie Chantal NIJIMBERE, Minister of Communication, Information Technologies and Media, Republic of Burundi
  11. Hon. Jacquiline Lydia Mikolo, Minister of Health and Population, Republic of Congo
  12. Hon. Dr Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, Minister of Health, Gambia
  13. Hon. Ebrima SILLAH, Minister of Information, Gambia
  14. Hon. Colonel Remy Lama, Minister of Health, Guinea Conakry
  15. Hon. Prof. Amadou Bano Barry, Minister of Education, Guinea Conakry
  16. Hon. Amara Sompare, Minister of Information and Communication, Guinea Conkary
  17. Hon. Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, Minister of Health and Population, Malawi
  18. Hon. Dr Patricia Kaliati, Minister of Gender Equality, Community Development and Social Protection, Republic of Malawi
  19. Hon. Agnes Nyalonje, Minister of Education, Malawi
  20. Hon. Ulemu Msungama, Minister of Youth and Sports, Malawi
  21. Hon. Timoth Pagonachi Mtambo, Minister of Civic Education and National Unity, Malawi
  22. Hon. Dr Kalumbi Shangula, Minister of Health and Social Services, Namibia
  23. Hon. Dr Joyce Moriku Kaducu, Minister of State for Health, Uganda
  24. Hon. Monica Mutsvangwa, Minister of Information and Audiovisual Advertising, Zimbabwe
  25. Hon. Sthembiso Nyoni, Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Small and Medium Enterprises, Zimbabwe
  26. Hon. Amon Murwira, Minister of Higher and Higher Education, Zimbabwe

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the Merck Foundation.

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About the Merck Foundation:

The Merck Foundation, established in 2017, is the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, aims to improve the health and well-being of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to quality and equitable healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building scientific research and healthcare capacity, and empowering people. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) with a particular focus on women and young people. All Merck Foundation press releases are distributed via email as they become available on the Merck Foundation website. Please visit to learn more. To find out more, contact our social media: Merck Foundation (; Facebook (, Twitter (, Instagram (, YouTube ( and Flicker (

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