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Program Lead, Agriculture WAEMU


  • Organization: Mastercard Foundation
  • Location: Dakar
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2022-12-10


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, young people, 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.


The Foundation has begun working within Canada in partnership with Indigenous communities and post-secondary institutions to listen, learn, and best understand how we can act in meaningful ways. The EleV strategy was co-created with Indigenous communities, young people, and partners to enable 30,000 Indigenous youth to complete their education and transition to dignified work aligned with their values and aspirations.

As reflected in Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, education is a key driver of improved socio-economic well-being. Through building partnerships with Indigenous communities, we look to expand our initiative ultimately helping to support a generation of transformative Indigenous young leaders who will be change agents within their communities. We believe that by setting a bold target, we will encourage engagement across sectors and create momentum that will elevate the strengths and opportunities of Indigenous youth. In keeping with our approach, Indigenous communities and young people will be the drivers of this transformation. The program will promote innovations to address longer-term systemic change to achieve economic prosperity and social well-being within Indigenous communities.

The EleV team oversees current and emerging partnerships related to Indigenous education. Consistent with our overall vision and Youth Africa Works strategy, we will share learnings and opportunities to connect across the work of the Foundation. While operating in distinct contexts, the centrality of youth voice and vision, affirmation of culture and identity, and priority to enhance community capacity for self-determination are common threads upon which our work is strengthened and reinforced.

If you are an experienced Program Lead, Agriculture professional looking to increase your impact, read on!


Reporting to the Cluster Program Head, the Lead will be responsible for building impactful Country programs by setting direction and engaging partners throughout program design and implementation. The Lead will be expected to provide expertise to identify constraints that prevent agricultural systems from functioning effectively at the country level and incorporating the agricultural sector’s needs into country strategies.


  • Provide agro-industry sector expertise to support the Foundation’s country teams in the design and management of agricultural and Agri-finance programs with a focus on agro-processing (MSMEs).
  • Identify challenges and opportunities in the agro-processing sector to drive job growth.
  • Collaborate with the country teams and other team members in the development or implementation of new programs, including co-creation of programs and due diligence practices.
  • Communicate progress and learnings from programs to colleagues and the wider development community.
  • Collaborate with the program and country teams to leverage synergies across programs and across geographies.
  • Manage agriculture programs with adherence to the Foundation’s monitoring and reporting requirement, distilling learnings for staff and country teams.
  • Provide perspective and expertise on emerging issues and trends in the agro transformation sector.
  • Contribute insights to the Foundation's thought leadership on youth employment in Africa.
  • Lead and supervise teams of colleagues and/or junior experts by providing coaching and support necessary for success and growth.
  • Identify and help overcome challenges and other barriers to team effectiveness.
  • Build relationships with partner organizations, communities of practice, and global stakeholders.
  • Represent the Foundation and collaborate with key internal and external audiences.


  • Master’s degree or equivalent experience in Agro-economy studies, in Finance, Business or Development Economics.
  • 13+ years' experience working in the agriculture and/or Agro-processing sector (MSMEs).
  • Strong understanding of the MSME segments working experience with SMEs or Large food processing companies.
  • Proven track record in planning, implementing and promoting programs and projects.
  • Provide financial, technical or business solutions to agro-processing and experience implementing or advising on smallholder sourcing models.
  • Experience living and working in Africa, especially countries that are part of West African Economic Monetary Union.
  • Strong ability to communicate progress and learnings from projects to colleagues and the wider development community.
  • Astute ability to provide expert technical advice to program managers and implementers.
  • Experience with global grant making, especially in designing market systems development programs. This experience may come from working in another funding organization, corporation or an NGO.
  • Strong knowledge and management experience in market-led agricultural value chain development, agricultural policy and trade, agriculture financing, agriculture association and cooperative development and/or agriculture trade and marketing.
  • Knowledge of quantitative and qualitative business analytics.
  • Strong budgeting skills with the ability to manage a large portfolio of assets.
  • Excellent project management skills, including multi-stakeholder projects.
  • Proficiency in English, written and oral is required. Ability to speak a local or French language is highly preferred. 
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • 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.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to Mastercard Foundation’s values and vision.

Deadline for Applications is December 10, 2022.

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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We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.