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Head of Digital Economy at Mastercard Foundation

Mastercard Foundation is a global foundation based across four hubs in Kigali, Rwanda, Nairobi, Kenya, Accra, Ghana and Toronto, Canada. Our programs promote financial inclusion and advance education and learning in Africa, primarily for young people, and in Canada for Indigenous youth. The Foundation was established in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company. From inception, the Foundation was designed to be a separate entity and independent from Mastercard. Our policies, operations, and funding decisions are made by our President and Board of Directors.

The Foundation believes that youth employment is key to unlocking prosperity, both for youth and their societies. Enabling young women and men from disadvantaged communities to secure dignified and fulfilling work will ensure inclusive development and economic growth in Africa.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Head of Digital Economy

Location: Nigeria

The Work At The Foundation

  • We have entered a very exciting time at the Foundation as we scale up our operations across Africa to realize our Young Africa Works strategy. Our role at the Mastercard Foundation is to be a catalyst. Our Young Africa Works strategy focuses on working with others to spur systemic change so young people have the opportunity to find work that is dignified and fulfilling.
  • The Foundation has opened offices in Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Uganda, building a broader leadership presence in Africa to develop specific strategies that support youth employment.
  • Within a country, we work with governments, the private sector, educators and other funders to improve the quality of education and vocational training, prepare young people for the work force, expand access to financial services for entrepreneurs and small businesses, and connect job seekers to dignified and fulfilling work.
  • We are ambitious and driven. Our values transcend and rise above everything else as our guide. We encourage you to bring your bold ideas, curiosity, and expertise to your work. We laugh at ourselves and with each other. We are a team. Our journey together makes our impact even more meaningful.
  • If you are a driven Technology and Digital leader, ready to build something new and increase your impact, read on!

The Opportunity

  • The Head of Digital Economy will report to the Regional Head, Eastern and Southern Africa and play a critical role in leading the development of the Digital Economy Program strategy.
  • He/She will support the design of country strategies, portfolio design and programming innovation. He/She will also will advise how best to use investments in technology and digital to improve economies and societies.
  • The job holder shall be responsible for digital economy program design, program integration and innovation, institutional learning, employee innovation, and technical expertise in collaboration with colleagues and external partners with expertise in technology and targeted economic sectors (education, agriculture, healthcare, government, infrastructure, entrepreneurship etc.)
  • The successful candidate will be based in any of our listed offices in Africa (Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria).

Ways You Can Contribute

  • Piloting new programming ideas and collaboration models in digital economy.
  • Supporting Country, Regional and Scholars teams to regularly collect and collate learnings from program implementation on digital economy.
  • Ensuring that teams have access to leading technical expertise in digital economy. Building communities of practice internally and externally.
  • Establish and manage effective relationships with key stakeholders and networks in the public, private, and non-profit sector promoting digital economy on the continent.
  • Build and maintain effective business partnerships with other teams within the Foundation.
  • Lead a team to achieve the objectives of the digital economy including cultivating performance through coaching and professional development.
  • Develop a long-term strategy for showcasing the Foundation as a thought-leader and contributor in advancing Digital Economy in Africa.
  • Cascade the strategy into country and regional program teams in collaboration with Country Heads.
  • Lead Diagnosis and expertise on digital enabling environment and policy to inform country strategy design, partnership development, and monitoring processes.
  • Championing robust implementation of the Foundation’s comprehensive programming approach on digital economy, ensuring coherence with all other programs.
  • Facilitating co-design workshops and supporting Programs teams with technical expertise in digital economy geared towards capacity building through knowledge sharing and lessons learnt.
  • Identifying new impact opportunities in digital economy, across countries and supporting Country and Regional including scholars teams in actioning them.

Who You Are

  • Minimum of fifteen (15) years of experience in technology sector as it applies to business, government, education, agriculture, healthcare or other economic sectors, with five (5) years of experience leading and managing a team.
  • Exposure to systems thinking with an ability to understand and engage with stakeholders in an education ecosystem and design programming that addresses root causes and critical needs.
  • Substantive knowledge of key issues and emerging trends and barriers to applying technology to augment and accelerate value in sectors like entrepreneurship/business, education, agriculture, healthcare and government.
  • Previous experience working with a technology think tank, innovation hub exploring creative/innovative solutions across multiple sectors.
  • Demonstrated expertise and established networks and relationships in various economic sectors like education, agriculture, entrepreneurship, healthcare, government etc.
  • Experience with initiating new operations, preferably in complex, emerging markets context.
  • Proven experience effectively engaging and collaborating with high-level government officials, key partners, media, business leaders and other network influencers.
  • Experience with public speaking at conferences and other forums including media interaction. Formal media training would be an asset.
  • Exposure to the various elements and players in technology and digital space: telecom infrastructure, devices, connectivity, software and IT industry products and services, IT Industry global and regional players, cybersecurity and privacy related topics, consumer tech vs. business tech, ecommerce platforms and digital business models. Deep technical understanding of at least one of these elements.
  • Intellectually curious and flexible, is comfortable with ambiguity, receptive to new ideas and open to change, when presented with best options.
  • Are results driven and motivated by a sense of performance excellence and a sense of urgency; possesses a proactive and ‘self-starter’ mentality.
  • Possesses a global mind-set and professional maturity and demonstrates sensitivity to working within different cultures.
  • You have a commitment to Mastercard Foundation’s values and vision.
  • French language and/or local language skills are an asset.
  • Experience conceptualizing and implementing technology solutions/creating platforms that have influenced/unlocked opportunities in various economic sectors.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply

Application Deadline 13th August, 2021.


  • The Mastercard Foundation values the unique skills and experiences each individual brings to the organization and we are committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive and accessible environment for everyone.
  • Completion of satisfactory business references and background checks are essential conditions of employment.