The Merck Foundation has recognized 13 winners from 8 African countries for the best African Women Researchers and best Young African Researchers categories at the MARS Awards 2021 ceremony. The winners were feted 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 and youth in research and STEM.

Kenya’s Regina Wachuka Mbugua and Beatrice Mukami Muriuki are among the 13 honorees, winning the 2021 MARS Best African Women Researchers Award. Below is the full list of winners.

Winners of MARS Best African Women Researchers Awards

  • 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

  • Touwendpoulimde Isabelle Kiendrebeogo, Burkina Faso
  • Jude Ogechukwu Okoye, Nigeria
  • Jean-Paul Ngbolua Koto-Te-Nyiwa, DRC

Winners of MARS Best Young African Researchers Special Awards

  • Jean Claude Djontu, Cameroon
  • Jason Kilembe Thambwe, DRC
  • Okedi Francis Xaviour, Uganda
  • Marceline Djuidje Ngounoue, Cameroon
  • Oppah Kuguyo, Zimbabwe

Speaking at the event, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and Chairperson of MARS Summit stated, “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 and women researchers, advancing their research capacity and promote their contribution to STEM.”

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.