Mastercard Foundation is a global foundation based in Toronto, Canada with several offices in Africa. 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.

Values are timeless, they transcend and rise above all. They guide everything we do, as employees of the Foundation. We share a common vision of a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. We make mistakes, we reflect, and we grow so that we can impact our world – it’s why we are here. We are ambitious and driven. 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.

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. If you are an experienced Program Management professional ready to build something new and increase your impact, read on!


Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is a critical pathway to ensure young people acquire skills and competencies demanded by the labour market and make a successful transition to work or self-employment. High functioning TVET systems are a key component to achieve the targets set by the Young Africa Works Strategy.  To date, across multiple countries, the Foundation has supported TVET curricula development and instructor training. In addition, through our partners, we have provided institutional support for TVETs to engage with the private sector, develop work-based learning and deepen their administrative support, as well as provided workforce readiness training for out-of-school youth.  

Improving the quality and relevance of secondary education, so that it equips young women and men with the skills and knowledge that they need to succeed, is core to the Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy. The Foundation believes that teachers are the key to improving the quality of secondary education. Beyond any other school-based factor, research has shown that teacher effectiveness is the single most significant predictor of student learning. However, there are several challenges impacting the quality of teaching and learning across Africa in terms of teacher recruitment, motivation, training and professional development. 

In response to these challenges, Mastercard Foundation launched the Leaders in Teaching (LIT) Initiative in 2018. This multi-country initiative is comprised of a portfolio of partner programs, each focused on addressing challenges across the teacher lifecycle, including the recruitment of qualified teachers, strengthening pre and in-service teacher training, ensuring teachers receive effective support and mentorship from school leaders and elevating the status of the teaching profession. LIT was first established in Rwanda in 2018 and will be adapted to other country contexts across the continent. 

In addition, improving the quality and relevance of education and work-force training, so that it equips young women and men with the skills employers need – and that young people themselves need into order to start and grow a business – is core to the Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy. Particularly in the context of rapid technological change, equitable and scalable access to market-relevant foundational, technical and transferable skills is crucial if young people are to make smooth transitions to dignified and fulfilling work, and if enterprises are to grow and create the jobs that the continent so requires.


Reporting to the Country Head, the Program Lead, Education and Skills will work collaboratively with other Foundation staff such as country team members; I and Finance team members as well as other team members (e.g. gender; youth engagement; digital economies, education finance, MSME growth).

She/he will provide expertise to help identify constraints that prevent education and workforce systems from functioning effectively at the country level. She/he 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.

The Lead, Education and Skills will provide thematic and programmatic expertise to support the design of Education related priorities as part of Foundation strategies. In addition, the Lead will assist in the design and implementation of a portfolio of Education focused partnerships and draw insights on key questions in the Foundation’s learning agenda. You will also support the Foundation in developing perspectives regarding effective Education and approaches in Africa that can contribute to thought leadership.


  • Identify issues and trends that affect the quality of secondary Education and TVET, as part of the Foundation’s country strategy and program development processes. 
  • Assist in identifying skill and workforce development gaps, issues and trends that affect education and economic development during the Foundation’s country strategy and program development processes.
  • Provide skills and workforce development expertise to support Foundation colleagues’ design and management of programs in Ethiopia and other priority countries as required.
  • Support and/or Manage current or future programs as appropriate, distilling learnings for the country.
  • Lead the adaptation of the Foundation’s programming and learning related to secondary education and to specific country contexts, leveraging country diagnostics and learning from our portfolio of partners. 
  • Identify and engage with potential implementing partners for country-based secondary Secondary Education/TVET programming and support the development of program proposals. 
  • Support and/or manage current or future programs as appropriate, which may include facilitating implementing partner coordination, reviewing narrative and financial reporting, undertaking regular partner/site visits and distilling learnings for the country teams as well as wider Foundation staff. 
  • Participate in Secondary Education/TVET partner coordination working groups, task forces and other meetings where relevant.  
  • Build and maintain relationships with partner organizations, government representatives and other key stakeholders at the country-level, communities of practice and global stakeholders. 
  • Support the design and delivery of appropriate mechanisms to monitor effectiveness and impact of skills development interventions.


  • Graduate degree in education, economics or a youth development-related field.    
  • Minimum 5-7 years of relevant experience leading program interventions with partner organizations/grantees; education sector experience is desirable.  
  • Strong understanding of key issues, challenges and trends in TVET in Sub-Saharan Africa.  
  • Experience working in one or a combination of the following is a plus:
  • Program development and execution in the non-profit or public sectors with a focus on Secondary Education/ TVET and workforce development training; and/or  
  • Skills or workforce development program development and execution, focused on low-income youth, and incorporating one or more of: work-based and experiential earning 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.
  • Knowledge of, and experience designing and implementing, best practices in TVET.   
  • Command of quantitative and qualitative education and labour market analysis techniques.
  • Solid familiarity with the key organizations, development partners, donors, international organizations and other actors relevant to TVET in Africa is an asset. 
  • Demonstrated ability to lead diagnostic and analytic work as well as project design, partner identification and implementation.  
  • Excellent project management skills, including multi-stakeholder projects with senior levels of government and the private sector. 
  • Experience working with or in partnership with non-profit, private or public sectors, particularly in a role relating to skills development in Africa.
  • Knowledge of skills and workforce development aligned with one or more growth sectors (e.g. agri-food 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.
  • Demonstrated written, presentation and spoken communication skills in Amharic and English is required.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to be flexible and adaptable and comfortable with 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. 
  • Flexible, adaptable, and able to execute a range of job duties and changing priorities.
  • Possess excellent verbal, written, and presentation skills with the ability to articulate information to a variety of constituents across cultures.
  • Possess professional maturity, sensitivity with different cultures, and impeccable integrity that exemplify the Foundation’s values.
  • Is willing to travel up to 30 - 40%. 


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, background checks, and proof of education are essential conditions of employment.

If you require accommodation during the recruitment and selection process, please contact the People and Culture Department at humanresources@mastercardfdn.org. We will work with you to provide a positive recruitment experience in a confidential manner.


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