Job Type






Head, Digital Economy Kigali

Mastercard Foundation

Mastercard Foundation Kigali Rwanda

3 months ago

About Mastercard Foundation

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 Digital Economy professional looking to increase your impact, read on!


Over the last decades, Technology and Digital evolved to become a key driver of economic development, societal change and job creation. At the Foundation, we envision Digital as an opportunity to amplify our goals of creating fulfilling and meaningful work for youth in Africa.

We have identified five Digital Economy building blocks where the Foundation can make a difference:
• Serve as a catalyst for Digital as an economic sector on its own, strengthening the African ICT industry, generating demand for African IT Professionals by positioning and branding Africa as a source of tech talent for BPO and IT Services.
• Work with Education and Training partners to equip millions of young Africans with required engineering, technical, managerial and innovation skills needed by the ICT sector in Africa and at the global stage.
• In collaboration with the Foundation Pan African Entrepreneurship program, support the strengthening of existing and creation of new tech entrepreneurship ecosystems across Africa by enabling access to capital, access to market and access to technical support. Advocating for a legal and a business framework enabling local Tech entrepreneurs, and founders to flourish.
• Supporting other economic sectors like Agriculture and Retail to take full advantage of the digital opportunity, addressing significant gaps in access to digital tooling for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in these sectors. Collaborate with existing and support the emergence of new work platforms matching demand & supply for workers in these sectors.
• In collaborating with stakeholders, push for building the foundational policies and “digital public goods”, required for building a resilient and sustainable digital economy: a. Affordable connectivity, b. Digital ID, c. Addressing systems and d. Assets registries.

Reporting to the Director of Digital Economy, the Head of Digital Economy will support the development of the Continental level Digital Economy strategy and portfolio, engage with internal and external stakeholders (Country Heads, Sectorial Heads, Partners, Research, Impact), influence Country level Digital initiatives, actively participate in Partners selection, programs co-creation, contracting, transitioning and execution follow up, work with Impact on programs valuation and provide feedback on programs improvements to achieve desired outcomes.

The Head of Digital Economy will bring his / her unique expertise in how to use Digital to amplify and strengthen outcomes, economic prosperity, and job creation in one of the following areas: Agriculture, Education, Healthcare, Retail, Entrepreneurship, MSMEs digitalization, ICT Sector development, Policy, and Digital Public Goods.

The successful candidate will be based in Canada or any of our listed offices in Africa (Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria).


Digital Economy Program Strategy and Alignment with The Foundation overall strategy
• Support Program Director in developing an overarching, continental level, Digital Economy strategy where Digital and Technology are leveraged to amplify our goal of creating fulfilling and meaningful work for youth in Africa
• Lead the diagnosis, landscaping, data, and evidence collection work required to develop a context-aware program strategy.
• Ensure coherence and complementarity between the various programs within the Digital Economy Portfolio. Thrive to align the portfolio initiatives with the overall Foundation strategy (Young Africa Works).
• Challenge ideas and initiatives to ensure alignment with relevant African context and perspectives.
• Providing depth of expertise in one or many of the Digital Economy pillars.

Portfolio Design & Implementation Support
• Develop frameworks to Support Country and Thematic program teams in the articulation of their own Digital initiatives.
• Collaborate with Impact teams to define Program impact framework, measurements, and evaluation.
• Incorporate research-based insights about Digital Economy in the Development context into programs design and ensure continuous learning by assessing the performance and impact of programs and projects, supporting knowledge creation and dissemination.
• Gather feedback from all stakeholders about the program initiatives and leverage that input to continuously improve program design and implementation.
• Facilitate co-creation workshops and support Programs teams with Digital Economy technical expertise in one or many of the priority areas.
• Pilot new programming ideas and collaboration models in Digital Economy space.
• Championing robust implementation of the Foundation’s programming approach on Digital Economy, ensuring coherence with all other programs.

Country and Themes level Knowledge Sharing, Cross Pollination & Synergies Realization
• Support Country Directors in designing and implementing country level Digital Economy initiatives.
• Cascade Pan African Program strategy into country and thematic program teams.
• Provide Country Teams with learnings and best practices from continental level work.
• Serve as a conduit for Country level learnings and disseminate that knowledge and experience to other countries and continental team enabling synergies where applicable.
• Synthesize, socialize, and integrate learning from across country programming in collaboration with Research and Impact teams.
• Ensure teams have access to expertise in Digital Economy and that expertise is shared openly and widely.

External Stakeholder Engagement
• Establish and manage effective relationships with key external stakeholders and networks in the public, private, and non-profit sector promoting Digital Economy on the continent.
• Build and maintain effective business partnerships with these stakeholders, having regular tough points, and thriving for a win-win relationship in alignment with the Foundation strategy and objectives

People Development & Thought Leadership
• Build and lead a team of internal and external resources with deep expertise in a specific pillar of the Digital Economy
• Drive team members’ performance and capability building through coaching and mentoring.
• Build and facilitate communities of practice focused on a specific pillar within Digital Economy Program scope.
• Showcase the Foundation as a thought-leader and contributor in advancing Digital Economy in Africa through participation to relevant conferences and events.
• Facilitate formal Digital Economy learning sessions with deep dives into your specific area of expertise.

Who You Are
• You hold a Bachelor/Masters/MBA in a relevant field and have at least 15 years of experience, with at least 5 in a senior management role, working for a global or regional organization.
• Your work experience allowed you to build deep understanding and expertise in digital and technology and how digital can be leveraged to achieve business, economic and societal outcome.
• Experience and expertise in one or many of the following areas:
• ICT industry, BPO and IT Services in a business development or service delivery role.
• MSMEs, Enterprise, Government or Multi-National Companies digitalization.
• Tech Startup Building or Tech entrepreneurship ecosystems building and financing.
• Digital and Technology as they apply to Agriculture, Retail, Education, Healthcare, or to Commerce and Job Matching Platforms.
• Education, Training, and Capability Building in engineering, technical, managerial and innovation skills needed by the Digital Economy / ICT sector.
• Public Policy, Economics, Legal Framework as they apply to Digital Economy.
• “Digital Public Goods” fields: a. Affordable connectivity, b. Digital ID, c. Addressing systems d. Assets registries.
• ICT4D, Social change.
• Strategic planning skills with the ability to merge demand from various stakeholders and prioritize them into a coherent, executable plan.
• Proven ability to think in a transformative way, able to co-design initiatives/processes that will drive large-scale change.
• Proven experience in effectively engaging with technical experts from various domains and fields and ability to synthetize knowledge into executable plans leading to desired outcome.
• Ability to effectively develop and manage mutually beneficial relationships with external stakeholders and partners at all levels, garnering enthusiasm, and energy around a common goal.
• Demonstrated expertise and negotiating and contracting work with partners from private, public, or non-for-profit areas.
• Proven experience effectively engaging and collaborating with high-level government officials, key partners, media, business leaders and other network influencers.
• Demonstrated success in building and managing high performing teams with proven success.
• Ability to communicate effectively with and relate to a broad range of internal stakeholders, including other senior team members, staff, and board members.
• Client service mindset, always seeking ways to create impact for program teams. Commitment to the value of co-creation, employing deep listening and authentically inclusive approach.
• Energetic, independent, and self-motivated individual with a solution-based approach while demonstrating innovation, integrity, creativity, flexibility, and resilience.
• Innovative and entrepreneurial individual who can develop new or creative approaches to problems while inspiring others on the team. Drive to continually experiment and innovate, building and leveraging best-in-class expertise and learnings.
• Possess excellent verbal, written, and presentation skills with the ability to articulate information to a variety of constituents across cultures.
• Experienced with public speaking at conferences and other forums including media interaction.
• Possess professional maturity, sensitivity with diverse cultures, and impeccable integrity that exemplify the Foundation’s values.
• French language and/or local language skills are an asset.
• Ability to travel across Africa and internationally (30-40%).
• You have a commitment to Mastercard Foundation’s values and vision.

Deadline for Applications is February 28, 2023.

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 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.

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.

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Kigali Rwanda

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