Merck Foundation Meets African Leaders Over Sustainability Initiative

Merck’ Foundation Chief Executive Officer Dr. Rasha Kelej

Merck Foundation says it has begun working with African leaders in Sustainable Initiative  Art and Interiors in a bid to accomplish its Sustainability Initiative dubbed, “Sustainability Is a Shared Responsibility (SSR)”.

The program is meant to address sustainability challenges in the countries of the “Global South” and to empower youth and support their development to make the sustainability leaders of tomorrow, according to a statement from Merck Foundation, following the recent meeting its executives held with partners in Dubai, United Arab Emirate.

Using the terminology “Global South” suggests that beneficiary populations for the Merck Foundation project could be identified in low and middle countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

And with the alliance being sealed, African leaders are now expected to raise awareness about sustainable art, according to Merck’s CEO, Dr. Rasha Kelej, who “strongly believes” that young people have numerous untapped capabilities that can be exploited to transform their lives and environments.

“We wish to unleash such capabilities which would empower and enable them to lead the sustainable development and Green Environment Agenda of their countries and to encourage others to lead a cool sustainable lifestyle in order to adapt to the impact of climate change.

Under the Sustainability Initiative, the foundation will promote education, engage and empower youth and young entrepreneurs through access to information, and change the mindsets of youth in order to enrich their understanding of sustainability, the release said.

There would also be support to new innovative ideas in the sustainability space.

The foundation says equally the programs will basically focus on capacity-building and raising awareness so as to accelerate sustainable solutions to urban sustainable challenges through five pillar programs.


They are the Sustainability Ambassador (SA) under which  the Sustainability Ambassador will enable them to build advocacy and raise awareness among young people via media, social media and at different global and regional platforms to encourage youth to lead a Sustainable life style with the aim of protecting the environment from further climate change.

Another is the Sustainability Education and Training Programs for students, community members, media, young professionals and entrepreneurs to improve access to information and change of mindset to strengthen their knowledge as sustainability future leaders in their societies.

These programs will encourage them to sensitize their communities and to work together to find their own solutions to impact climate change in their small but significant ways.

The third is the Start-up Incubator that focuses on nurturing the growth of new innovative businesses in the sustainability space, including sustainable innovation, sustainable interiors and exteriors, circular fashion, circular art and others.

Also, there is the Networking and Partnership Opportunities that aims to accelerate transition to a more sustainable world. Merck Foundation will collaborate with local and global stakeholders, including academia, research institutions, multi-sectoral business, governmental and non-governmental entities, as well as community organizations, media and artists under this program.

The fifth platform is Provision of Collaboration Research and Development Spaces seeks to support a new generation of innovators to accelerate the transition towards a more sustainable world.

Meanwhile, Dr. Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of Executive Board and CEO of Merck, averred that he was “very happy to start the sustainability Centre in Dubai; it underlines our commitment to broadening our relationships with other innovators, scientists and entrepreneurs.”

“We at Merck are curious minds dedicated to human progress. What attracted us to Dubai is its cross-roads location and its readiness to welcome ideas from all over the world, embrace new technologies and face up to the future,” the statement quotes him as saying.


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