Head of Regional Programs, West, Central and North Africa at Mastercard Foundation

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Head of Regional Programs, West, Central and North Africa at Mastercard Foundation

  • Post Date:October 26, 2021
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Job Description

Mastercard Foundation seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. Through its Young Africa Works strategy and Canadian EleV program, the Foundation works with partners to ensure that millions of young people, especially young women, access quality education, financial services and dignified work. Mastercard Foundation was established in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company. The Foundation is independent with its own Board of Directors and CEO.


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 an experienced Regional programs professional looking to increase your impact, read on!


Reporting to Regional Director, Eastern and Southern Africa, the Head of Regional Programs will be responsible for leading the Regional Programs strategy in a variety of portfolios, including strategy and program design, implementation, resource planning and management, innovation, learning, and program integration.


  • Lead the development (and regular review) of an overall strategy (/Roadmap) for regional programs, ensuring the integration of cross-cutting themes such as gender, safeguarding, disability and inclusion.
  • Contribute to the development of enterprise-wide strategies for thematic areas, including agriculture, digital economy, and refugees and displaced youth.
  • Contribute to the development of an impact framework, including measures, tools, and resources for regional programs.
  • Develop and manage a robust resourcing strategy, including the development of internal capabilities, to ensure the effective delivery of regional programs.
  • Collaborate with country teams (Country Heads and technical leads) and regional thematic leads to exchange learning and identify synergies and opportunities to deepen impact across country and regional programs.
  • Contribute to building partnerships and strengthening stakeholder relationships by providing key interface with all regional partners, including government, implementing partners, and private companies.
  • Promote excellence and quality in programming through people-centered, systems thinking, and evidence-based approaches to both design and implementation.
  • Lead co-creation processes for new regional programs and initiatives.
  • Provide leadership and oversight to all regional programs, acting as a key point of contact (and relationship management) for regional programs and partners.
  • Provide technical and problem-solving support, and lead issue management across the regional program portfolio.
  • Collaborate with the Foundation’s Risk team, and others, to dynamically identify and manage risks associated with regional programs.
  • Ensure that regional programs are informed by, and have access to, leading technical expertise.
  • Ensure that cross-cutting priorities such as gender, safeguarding, disability and inclusion are considered in regional program implementation.
  • Contribute to the development of templates and tools to support robust program management, and champion their application.
  • Support systematic planning and reviews of all regional programs, drive reflection and learning, and promote the application of adaptive management practices.
  • Monitor progress and provide routine reports on all regional programs (including Board reporting).
  • Support the development of relevant internal and external communities of practice.
  • Establish and manage effective relationships with key stakeholders and networks in the public, private, and non-profit sector in the region.
  • Represent the Foundation in external fora, as relevant.
  • Build and maintain effective business partnerships with other teams within the Foundation.
  • Lead the regional program team to achieve the objectives of the region including cultivating performance through coaching and professional development.
  • Collaborate with colleagues in the Foundation, senior leadership and other Foundation colleagues to execute the regional program strategy and program portfolio.


  • A minimum of Masters and Professional qualification or any related qualification is an asset.
  • Minimum of fifteen (15) years of experience in the education and/or technology sector, with five (5) years of experience leading and managing a team.
  • Demonstrated expertise and established networks and relationships in education, EdTech, innovation and/or teaching and learning.
  • Experience with initiating new operations, preferably in the education space.
  • 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 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 in education and technology integration and strong understanding of education policy and practice across Africa.
  • Demonstrated dynamic thought leadership, a flexible mindset, and agility in executing iterative, highly participative, and consultative design processes involving multi-stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated strong organizational skills with excellent prioritization and attention to detail.
  • Comfortable and highly effective when faced with ambiguity and/or complexity. Able to formulate and develop new or creative ideas and approaches.
  • Commitment to Mastercard Foundation’s values and vision.

Deadline for Applications is November 08, 2021.

Mastercard Foundation (the “Foundation”) values and respects your privacy. By submitting an application for this opportunity, you hereby agree to the Foundation’s collection, use and disclosure of your personal information in accordance with its Privacy Policy (available at https://mastercardfdn.org/privacy/). Please note that the Foundation may share your personal information with third party agencies that support the Foundation’s recruitment activities, and such third-party agencies may contact you directly regarding this opportunity. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Foundation’s Privacy Officer at the address indicated in its Privacy Policy.

Method of Application

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