Jobs : Program Lead, Digital Economy - Mastercard Foundation

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The Program Lead, Digital Economy will report to the Regional Head on the Programs Team. The Program Lead, Digital Economy will be an integral member of the IDEA and Skills Development areas. As a member of IDEA, she/he will provide expertise on digital policy issues. As a member of the Skills Development Team, she/he will contribute to the development of digital skills strategies, identify opportunities to leverage digital solutions in skills and workforce development, and support the workplan of The Centre in Kigali. In this role, the Program Lead, Digital Economy will also work collaboratively with other Foundation staff, such as Program country team members who are developing country strategies; Strategy and Learning colleagues who are managing the Future of Work learning agenda and research activities; and other program team members in other technical teams (e.g. education finance, agriculture, MSME, etc.).  

The Program Lead, Digital Economy will provide expertise to identify constraints that prevent education and workforce systems from functioning effectively; develop and design programs that equip young people with the skills to succeed in an increasingly digital workplace and that leverage digital solutions; and, contribute digital policy expertise to design and implement country-level strategies. This individual will play a key role influencing and mobilizing dialogue between private sector and policy makers, especially as it relates to digital technology and skills development. They will support the development and design of skill development programs aligned with nationally identified priorities and Foundation strategies that respond to the needs of young people and the private sector. In addition, they may assist in the design of a portfolio of technology and skills related programs and draw insights on key questions in the Foundation’s learning agenda. The successful applicant will also support the Foundation in developing perspectives regarding effective skills policies and ecosystems in Africa that can contribute to thought leadership. 




  • Provide digital technology expertise to support the design and management of programs that leverage technology. 
  • Help identify skill and workforce development gaps, issues and trends, especially as they relate to digital skills and education delivery, during the Foundation’s country strategy and program development processes.  
  • Diagnose and contribute expertise on digital enabling environment and policy to inform country strategy design, partnership development, and monitoring processes. 
  • Engage government and other key stakeholders on digital inclusion and innovation issues. 
  • Over time, lead and supervise colleagues or junior experts by providing coaching and support necessary for success and growth.  
  • Work closely with the program and country teams to leverage synergies across programs and across geographies.  
  • Support and/or Manage current or future programs as appropriate, distilling learnings for the country teams as well as wider Foundation staff.  
  • Contribute insights to the Foundation’s thought leadership on digital skills development in Africa by writing blogs, attending and presenting at conferences and identifying other opportunities to share and deepen learning.  
  • Assist in expanding the Foundation team’s capacity relating to digital skills development and digital policy, by sharing learning, facilitating training and supporting country teams. 
  • Support the design and delivery of appropriate mechanisms to monitor effectiveness and impact of skills development interventions in close collaboration with the Strategy and Learning team.  
  • Participate in governance activities related to programs, such as investment committees, advisory committees or other stakeholder fora to provide oversight or elevate and leverage learnings. 
  • Build and maintain relationships with partner organizations, key stakeholders at country-level, communities of practice and global stakeholders. 


  • Master’s degree or equivalent experience in education, business, or a technology-related field.   
  • Ten (10) plus years of experience working with the private and non-profit sectors, particularly in a role relating to digital technology and skills development in Africa. 
  • Experience working in a skills or workforce development program or policy context, focused on low-income youth, and incorporating one or more of: work-based and experiential learning approaches (e.g. apprenticeships, internships, etc.); upskilling or reskilling; assessment and credentialing; digitally-enabled delivery; career counselling; soft skills training; entrepreneurship skills training; labour market and skill gap assessments.  
  • Experience in policy design, implementation or analysis related to digital solutions, e.g. mobile or internet network operations; digital education, agriculture, or other sectors; industry association, etc.



  • Excellent project management skills, including multi-stakeholder projects. 
  • Experience successfully managing consultants and technology vendors and suppliers to achieve goals. 
  • Command of quantitative and qualitative education and labour market analysis techniques. 
  • Knowledge of skills development, workforce development and/or education policy and reform in one or more African contexts is a significant plus. 
  • Knowledge of skills and workforce development aligned with one or more growth sectors (e.g. agrifood systems, hospitality, manufacturing, construction, creative industries) would be an asset.   
  • Knowledge of skills and workforce development financing approaches would be an asset. 
  • Knowledge of the skills development issues surrounding vulnerable groups (e.g. young women, refugee or displaced youth, youth with disabilities etc.) would be an asset. 
  • Experience living and/or working in Africa. 
  • Demonstrated written, presentation and spoken communication skills in English and French required. Fluency in African language(s) is an added advantage. 
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to be flexible and adaptable and have a comfort for ambiguity. 
  • Proactive, engaged and a self-starter. 
  • Excellent prioritization and time management skills.  
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.  
  • Good organizational skills and demonstrated ability to handle multiple tasks. 
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications (PowerPoint, Word and Excel). 
  • Is willing to travel up to 20% of the time.  


The Mastercard Foundation values the unique skills and experiences each individual brings to the Foundation and are committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive and accessible environment for everyone. We appreciate your interest, and advise that only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted directly. 



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