MeRck’s Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp receives “African Alliances HE for SHE” award for women empowerment

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‘Merck More than a Mother’ Campaign’s contribution to empower infertile women in Africa recognised


The “Merck More than a Mother” Campaign’s contribution to empower infertile women in Africa has been recognised with the “African Alliances HE for SHE” award from African Alliances of Women Empowerment. The award given to Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of Executive Board and Family Board of E. Merck KG during the 11th African Congress for Women Entrepreneurs held in Egypt also recognises Merck’s efforts to empower women in the field of research and healthcare through the Merck Capacity Advancement Program and UNESCO–Merck Africa Research Summit.

Receiving his award Prof. Stangenberg-Haverkamp said, “I am very happy to receive this important award. The ‘Merck More than a Mother’ campaign is a very important initiative to empower an unprivileged segment of women in Africa. Women who suffer infertility have been neglected, mistreated and discriminated because they cannot bear children, while around 50% of infertility is caused by male factors and yet women are solely blamed for it.”

Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of Executive Board and Family Board of E. Merck KG receives “African Alliances HE for SHE” award for women empowerment from Dr. Amany Asfur, President of African Alliances of Women Empowerment as Dr. Yasmin Darwich (left), President of BPW International and Dr. Rasha Kelej (immediate right) Chief Social Officer, Merck Healthcare look on.

Dr. Amany Asfur, President of African Alliances of Women Empowerment explained: “We are very proud to acknowledge Merck’s efforts to empower infertile women in Africa by improving their access to information, awareness, health and change of mind set through their historic ‘Merck More than a Mother’ campaign.”

“A new program to empower African women and young researchers will be launched during UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit- MARS 2016. This program is very critical for Africa’s future, and its social and economic development, which cannot be achieved except with the economic empowerment of women and youth,” explained Rasha Kelej, Chief Social Officer, Merck Healthcare.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, Chief Social Officer, Merck Healthcare; Hon. Qedani Dorothy Mahlangu, Member of Executive Committee for Health, Gauteng Government, South Africa; Hon. Sarah Opendi, Minister of Health, Uganda, and Prof. Frank Stangenberg Haverkamp, Chairman of Executive Board and Family Board of E. Merck KG during the Congress

During the same Congress, the African Women Empowerment Awards were granted to both H.E. Prof. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia and H.E. Catherine Samba-Panza, former President of Central African Republic.


H.E. Catherine Samba-Panza, former President of Central African Republic receives the African Women Empowerment Award

H.E. Julia Duncan-Casell, Minister of Gender and Social Affairs, Liberia receives the African Women Empowerment award on behalf of the President of Liberia, H.E. Prof. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

A high level panel discussion of the ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign was held during the first day of the congress. Hon. Sarah Opendi, Uganda’s Minister of Health; Hon. Jean Kalilani, Malawi’s Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare; Hon. Julia Duncan-Cassell, Liberia’s Minister of Gender and Social Affairs; Hon. Dr. Lanre Tejuoso, Chairman of Nigeria’s Senate Committee on Health; Hon. Qedani Dorothy Mahlangu, Member of Executive Committee on Health, Gauteng Government, South Africa; and members of parliament and academicians from Uganda, Kenya, Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania, Nigeria and Ivory Coast, were engaged in a discussion to define the campaign’s objectives and interventions across Africa. A call of action and commitment were made to kick off the campaign in each participating country during 2016 and 2017.


The ‘Merck More than a Mother’ campaign has started an important project called ‘Empowering Berna,’ which seeks to help infertile women who cannot have children start their own businesses and build independent and happier lives.


Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of Executive Board and Family Board of E. Merck KG makes his remarks after accepting the “African Alliances HE for SHE” award

Hon. Betty Amongi, Chair of Uganda Women Parliamentarians; Dr. Rasha Kelej, Chief Social Officer, Merck Healthcare; H.E. Catherine Samba-Panza, former President of Central African Republic; Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of Executive Board and Family Board of E. Merck KG; Hon. Sarah Opendi, Minister of Health, Uganda; Hon. Laurette Yace Member of Parliament, Cote d’Ivoire; Susan Lyimo, Vice Chair of Women’s Parliamentary Caucus of Tanzania; Hon. Maria Angelina Enoque, Member of Parliament, Mozambique; Prof. Santos Nicolau, Dean of Augustine University, Angola and Hon. Dr. Lanre Tejuoso, Chairman of Senate Committee on Health, Nigeria

Prof. Oladapo Ashiru, President of Africa Fertility Society; Hon. Joyce Lay, Member of Parliament, Taita-Taveta County, Kenya; Hon. Dr. Lanre Tejuoso, Chairman Senate Committee on Health, Nigeria; H.E. Julia Duncan-Cassell, Minister of Gender, Liberia; Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of Executive Board and Family Board of E. Merck KG and H.E. Hon Sarah Opendi, Minister of Health, Uganda during the ‘Merck More than a Mother’ high level panel discussion

Prof. Oladapo Ashiru, President of Africa Fertility Society; Hon. Joyce Lay, Member of Parliament, Taita-Taveta County, Kenya; Hon. Dr. Lanre Tejuoso, Chairman Senate Committee on Health, Nigeria; H.E. Julia Duncan-Cassell, Minister of Gender, Liberia; and Dr. Rasha Kelej, Chief Social Officer, Merck Healthcare and Chair of Health Committee, BPW-Egypt and African Alliance for Women Empowerment during the ‘Merck More than a Mother’ high level panel discussion


Participating in the dialogue are from left to right: Dr. Yasmin Darwich, President International Federation for Business and Professional Women; Prof. Santos Nicolau, Dean of Augustine University, Angola; Dr. James Olobo-Lalobo, Vice-President of Africa Fertility Society; Dr. Amany Asfour, First Vice President International Federation for Business and Professional Women, Chair of the Board of African Alliance for Women Empowerment (as Founder of BPW Egypt); H.E. Amb. Mona Omar Chair of International Relations Committee National Council of Women – Egypt.


Participating in the dialogue are from left to right: Dr. Yasmin Darwich, President International Federation for Business and Professional Women; Prof. Santos Nicolau, Dean of Augustine University, Angola; Dr. James Olobo-Lalobo, Vice-President of Africa Fertility Society; Dr. Amany Asfour, First Vice President International Federation for Business and Professional Women, Chair of the Board of African Alliance for Women Empowerment (as Founder of BPW Egypt); H.E. Amb. Mona Omar Chair of International Relations Committee National Council of Women – Egypt.