UNESCO ‐ MeRck Africa Research Summit
‐ MARS 2017

UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit-MARS aims to bring together researchers from across Africa to discuss the generation, sharing and dissemination of research data and to preparefor the road ahead in Africa's development as an international hub for research excellence and scientific innovation.

UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit-MARS 2017 will have scientific support from UNESCO (United Nations educational, scientific and cultural organization), African Union Scientific,Technical and Research Commission (AU-STRC), the University of Cambridge, UK, University of Rome and Merck.

The annual Summit aims to contribute to building research capacity in the African research community, with special focus on "The Role of Scientific Research in responding to Cancer and Vaccines Development-Two emerging challenge in Africa". The Summit will also showcase innovative research taking place in projects, programs and initiatives across African universities, and by the wider African research community. The summit is a unique opportunity for Africa's young and talented scientists to share their research output and findings with the top echelon of scientists from Africa and abroad. It is also an opportunity for networking and career development. The Summit will presents a platform where young and female scientists will be able to discuss the enabling environment for better research among others.

On other note the organizing committee will launch the "Best Young African Researcher Award" and the "Best African Woman Researcher Award" to recognize the outstanding contribution of African female scientist with aim to promote women in research and advance their contribution to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

The annual Summit- UNESCO-MARS will address the vital role of research in the improvement and sustainable development of population health with specific emphasis on how to translate knowledge into action-the 'know-do gap'- to improve health and make an impact on society.

Abstract Submission Details

Abstracts are invited from final year African PhD students and young investigators involved in research related to both Cancer specially in Women and Vaccines Development All should be primarily based at African research institutes and Universities, although collaboration within Africa as well as outside is encouraged. All abstracts will be peer reviewed.

Dead line 30th of September 2017

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Submit your paper on

MARS 2017 Awards

All abstracts will be peer reviewed and 100 winners will be eligible for Sponsorship.

First three winners will be eligible for further number of Research Awards.

Further Research Award will be dedicated for Best African Women Researchers

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Facebook page Merck Africa Research Summit

Twitter handle: @Merck_MARS

YouTube Channel Merck Africa Research Summit

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

28 - 29 November, 2017
Port Louis, Mauritius

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As part of Merck Foundation STEM Program for Women and Youth , Merck Foundation plans to conduct 3rd edition of their annual “UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit” on the 28th and 29th of November 2017 in partnership with Government of Mauritius , UNESCO , African Union and African Governments.

  • UNESCO MARS brings together researchers from across Africa to discuss the generation, sharing and dissemination of research data and to prepare for the road ahead in Africa’s development as an international hub for excellence in scientific innovation.
  • During the Summit , the winners of 2017 MARS Best African Researchers Awards and MARS Best African Women Awards will be announced as part of Merck Foundation long term commitment towards empowering women and youth in STEM with special focus on Scientific Research in Cancer and Vaccines Development.

Meet the Panelists & Keynote Speakers

Introduction by:

Dr. Rasha Kelej
CEO of Merck Foundation

Scientific Book
UNESCO – Merck Africa
Research Summit (MARS) 2017

Inaugurated by:

Prof. Dr. Frank
Stangenberg Haverkamp

Chairman of Board of
Trustees of Merck Foundation
Chairman of Executive Board &
Family Board of E Merck KG

Ms. Audrey Azoulay
UNESCO Director General

Hon. Dr. Mohammad Anwar Hunsoo
Minister of Health and Quality of Life,
Republic of Mauritius

H.E. Inonge M. Wina
Vice-President of
the Republic of Zambia

H.E. Dr. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim
President of the Republic of

Ministerial Panel- Empowering Women and Youth in STEM; Challenges & Solutions to be considered in the National Strategy in Africa and Developing Countries

Hon. Sarah Opendi
Minister of State of Health

Hon. Leela Devi Dookun-

Minister of Education
and Human Resources,
Tertiary Education and
Scientific Research,

Hon. Phoebe Luo,
Minister of Science
and Higher Education Republic of Zambia

Hon. Jonathan Moyo
Minister of Science
and Higher Education Republic of Zimbabwe

Hon. Andre Mama Founda
Minister of Health Republic of

Hon. Nyasia E. Chikwinya
Minister of Gender of the
Republic of Zimbabwe

Hon. Dr. George
Kronnisanyon Werner

Minister of Science
and Higher Education
Republic of Liberia

Hon.ELTIGANI Mustafa
Mohamed Salih

Minister of State
for Higher Education

Hon. Deng Deng Hoc Yai
Minister of Education
Republic of South Sudan

Hon. REALY Onitiana

Minister of Population,
Social Protection and the
Advancement of Women
Republic of Madagascar

Mr. Stefan Maron
Managing Director Merck
South East Africa

Hon. Dr. Mohammad
Anwar Hunsoo

Minister of Health and
Quality of Life
Republic of Mauritius

Hon. Zuliatu Cooper
Minister of Health and
Sanitation Sierra Leone

Hon. Susan Shabangu
Minister of in the
Presidency Responsible for Women
Republic of South Africa

Hon. Julia Duncan Cassell
Minister of Gender and
Social Development
Republic of Liberia

Hon. Chilatu Chilufya
Minister of Health
Republic of Zambia

Hon. Madeline Tchuinte
Minister of Science and
Higher Education
Republic of Cameroon

Hon. Malam Adamu Adamu
Minister of Science and
Higher Education Federal
Republic of Nigeria

Hon. Awut Deng Acuil
Minister of Gender,
Child and Social Welfare
Republic of South Sudan

Hon. Heva Mukasa
Minister of Scientific
Research and Technology
Democratic Republic of Congo

Hon. Habiba SAHOULBA
Minister of Youth, Sports
and Recreation Republic of Chad

Hon. Joyce Lazaro Ndalichako
Minister for Education Science
Technology and Vocational Training
United Republic of Tanzania

Hon. Badara A Joof
Minister of Higher Education,
Research, Science and Technology,
Republic of Gambia

Hon. Fidelis Macdonald Molao
Deputy Minister of Tertiary
Education, Research, Science and
Technology Republic of Botswana

Watch videos of UNESCO – MARS 2016

UNESCO Merck Africa Research Summit -MARS 2016 Ethiopia

Merck Africa Research Summit Award Ceremony.
Empowering Women and Young Researchers

Abstract Book – the winners of UNESCO MARS-2016

UNESCO – MARS 2017 White Paper



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MARS 2016 Award Winners