Job vacancy Program Lead, Market Systems

Bole Medhanialem, Zewdu Bldg 5th Floor Next to Kebe Pastry, Addis Ababa

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Mastercard Foundation
Job Type
Job Status
Full Time
29 November, 2022
Job Title

Program Lead, Market Systems

Job Location
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Job Presentation

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 workforce, 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 at 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 Market Systems professional looking to increase your impact, read on!


Reporting to the Country Director, the Lead, Market Systems is responsible for conceptualizing and leading the introduction of a Market Systems Approach towards developing the prioritized sectors and promoting investment from various actors. (S)he will provide leadership and technical expertise in the design and development of programs and interventions, driving a shared understanding of key issues and opportunities in the selected markets and promoting investment.


  • Provide leadership on program design based on the MSD approach and provide investment facilitation expertise to support Foundation country programs and teams with the goal of designing programs and scaling-up investments in inclusive education, agriculture and other key sectors.
  • Lead Country team members in working collaboratively to develop strategies pertinent to Young Africa Works in Ethiopia and support the implementation of such programs and their interlinkages with investment.
  • Promote the use of a market systems approach as a way to unlock investment and achieve overall developmental objectives for Ethiopia Country programs, especially in the area of job creation for youth.
  • Lead the process of identification, prioritization and monitoring of high-potential markets;
  • Lead teams in the development (via co-creating) of interventions in partnership with key actors and lead the learning agenda to refine and inform further programming.
  • Design and supervise the management of market systems and investment facilitation programming, including pipeline development, grants/partner identification, management (incl. due diligence), and program co-development and delivery quality.
  • Drive the learning & knowledge management agenda. Share knowledge & learning reports to offer insights and solutions. Communicate progress and lessons from projects to foundation colleagues and strategic partners.
  • Contribute insights to the Foundation’s thought leadership on youth employment in Africa, incl. with respect to investment.
  • Establish professional networks with relevant stakeholders such as government and private market players. Learn from, in order to better service, the program beneficiaries.


  • Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree in Finance, Economics, Development Studies, Business Administration or a related field (e.g., social studies) is required.
  • Minimum of 10 years of relevant field-based experience in coordinating or managing very complex projects, preferably in investment facilitation and/or promotion, and access to finance in Ethiopia and/or other African countries.
  • Experience with grant-making, project management, budgeting, partner/stakeholder management, M&E, core analytics (quantitative and qualitative), strategy development and/or gender approaches to development.
  • Strong understanding of the Ethiopian economy and political economy with respect to job creation, including current trends and developments. Knowledge of the global latest developments and best practices in the same is a plus. Strong understanding of the role finance, investment and financial inclusion can play in economic development and job creation.
  • Strong management skills and experience in market systems development approaches.
  • Languages: A minimum of a high level of Business Amharic and English is required. Strong written communication (reports, presentations) is a key advantage. Specifically, should possess excellent verbal, written, and presentation skills with the ability to articulate information and deliver messages accurately and concisely to a variety of audiences.
  • Humble and willing to constantly learn, especially from the key implementing partners, the youth.
  • Strong analytical skills, and the ability to think strategically and contribute as a thought partner in the Foundation’s strategy development.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to work with a range of actors transparently and constructively. Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Strong communications skills. Ability to communicate progress and learnings from projects to colleagues and the wider development community.
  • Willing to travel up to 20% of the time. Enjoys field travel and interacting with the target beneficiaries.
  • Possess professional maturity, sensitivity to different cultures, and impeccable integrity.
  • Committed to Mastercard Foundation’s values and vision.
Valid Till
19 Dec, 2022

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