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The Summit Objectives

The main objectives of the UNESCO MARS 2016 Summit will be the following:

  • Build research capacity in the African (scientific) health research community with special focus on women health and emergent infectious diseases;
  • Showcase innovative research taking place in projects, programs and initiatives across African universities and institutes and the wider African research community;
  • Discuss challenges, opportunities and proposed strategies to support health decision making in low and middle income countries;
  • Empowering African Young Researchers and Women Researchers5 and advance their research capacity and promote their contribution to STEM6 .
  • Provide networking opportunities to strength the scientific community and their impact on African society and media communication, where they exchange experiences, knowledge, and best practice and establish cooperation for future research and development projects.

5 Just 28% of the world's researchers are women. While a growing number of women are enrolling in university, many opt out at the highest levels required for a research career. But a closer look at the data reveals some surprising exceptions. For example, in Bolivia, women account for 63% researchers, compared to France with a rate of 26% or Ethiopia at 13% .

6 Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)