CEO of Merck Foundation, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej and scientific committee felicitated 13 winners of best African Women Researchers and best Young African Researchers of MARS Awards 2021 ceremony via videoconference for their valuable research work and contribution to empowering women and youth in STEM; Merck Foundation also announced the Call for Applications for MARS best young African and best African women researchers Awards 2022, with the aim to Empower Women & Youth in Research and STEM.
Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, conducted the Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit – MARS 2021 Awards ceremony, in partnership with the African Union, through videoconference to felicitate the 13 winners from 8 African countries, for their valuable research work and contribution to empowering women and youth in STEM.
On the occasion, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and Chairperson of MARS Summit expressed “I am very proud of all 13 winners who have been recognized under the 3 categories of ‘Best African Women Researchers Award’, ‘Best Young African Researcher Award’, ‘Best Young African Researcher Special Awards’ for their valuable contribution, especially by African Female Scientists who are under presented in this field. Through Merck Foundation African Research Summit – MARS Awards, we aim to empower African young researchers & women researchers, advancing their research capacity and promote their contribution to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)”.
The award ceremony was also attended by Dr. Ahmed Hamdy, Executive Director, African Union – Scientific, Technical and Research Commission; Prof. Andrew Kambugu, The Sande-McKinnell Executive Director at the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Uganda, and Prof. Elijah Songkok, Professor, Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases College of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Kenya.
Dr. Ahmed Hamdy, Executive Director, African Union – Scientific, Technical and Research Commission, emphasized, “I congratulate all the worthy winners of MARS Awards 2021. This is a very valuable platform for African women and young African researchers who are engaged and interested in health research”.
The winners of ‘Best African women Researchers Award’ and ‘Best Young African Researcher Award’ category will be enrolled into research training at a premier research institute in India. “I am also excited to announce the Call for Applications for our prestigious Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit (MARS) Awards 2022. ‘The Role of Scientific Research in responding to Cancer and Vaccines Development – Two emerging challenges in Africa’ will be the key focus of this year. Eventually, through this contest, Merck Foundation aims to empower young African researchers & women researchers to strengthen the important role research plays towards contributing to public health thus improving healthcare capacity in Africa”, added Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej.
Winners of “MARS Best African Women Researchers Awards” are:
Regina Wachuka Mbugua, KENYA
Temitope Adeyemo, NIGERIA
Ebele Onuigbo, NIGERIA
Beatrice Mukami Muriuki, KENYA
Njua Clarisse, CAMEROON
Winners of “MARS Best Young African Researchers Awards” are:
Touwendpoulimde Isabelle Kiendrebeogo, BURKINA FASO
Jude Ogechukwu Okoye, NIGERIA
Jean-Paul Ngbolua Koto-Te-Nyiwa, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
Winners of “MARS Best Young African Researchers Special Awards” are:
Jean Claude Djontu, CAMEROON
Jason Kilembe Thambwe, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
Okedi Francis Xaviour, UGANDA
Marceline Djuidje Ngounoue, CAMEROON
Oppah Kuguyo, ZIMBABWE
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