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Program Lead, Agriculture 2 at Mastercard Foundation

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Mastercard Foundation is a global foundation based across four hubs in Kigali, Rwanda, Nairobi, Kenya, Accra, Ghana and Toronto, Canada. 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.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Program Lead, Agriculture 2

Location: Lagos, Nigeria

The Opportunity

  • Reporting to the Country Program Head (CPH), the Program Lead Agriculture 2 will be responsible for a portfolio of Agricultural intervention programs and partnerships along with building new partnerships to address the country’s intermediate and strategic outcomes for agriculture and contributing to overall foundation goals for Nigeria. He or She will work collaboratively with the programs team and other Foundation staff.
  • The Program Lead Agriculture 2 will be expected to provide expertise to identify constraints that prevent agricultural systems from functioning effectively at the country level, including, those that prevent youth interest and participation and developing skills relevant for work in the agricultural sector; limiting the capacity of agribusinesses in crop, livestock, fisheries and poultry from accessing the resources, capacity and markets needed to grow as well as be responsible for, development and design of programs in these subsectors incorporating their unique needs into country strategies.
  • This individual will be expected to interact effectively with senior levels of partner and public sector organizations to advance the current work of the Foundation, while concurrently contributing to the Foundation’s country strategy development, new program developments and management.

Ways You Can Contribute

  • Identify challenges and opportunities in the Livestock, Poultry, Fisheries and crop subsectors of the agri-food system that can be unlocked through improved access to resources including education, labour and productivity enhancement, and financial services to drive job creation.
  • Provide Livestock, Poultry, and Fisheries sectoral expertise to support the Foundation’s country teams in the design, implementation, and management of intervention programs to scale country-level small holder farmers (SHF) productivity enhancement. In addition, there would be scaling of specific value chains of national importance, including education, financial services, and labour-saving systems in Africa.
  • Work closely with the country teams and other team members in the development or implementation of new programs, including co-creation of programs and due diligence of potential partners and projects.
  • Provide perspective and expertise on emerging issues and trends in the Livestock, Poultry, Fisheries and Crop subsectors specifically, including access to finance, inputs, extension services, post-harvest management, markets, climate change and technology innovation.
  • Lead and supervise small teams of colleagues and/or junior experts by providing coaching and support necessary for success and growth.
  • Manage current programs, distilling learnings for the Foundation’s staff and country teams which includes oversight of the day-to-day activities of programs or processes, conducting field visits, and reviewing project budgets.
  • Communicate progress and learnings from projects to the Foundation’s colleagues and the wider development community.
  • Contribute insights to the Foundation’s thought leadership on youth employment in Africa.
  • Work closely with the program and country teams to leverage synergies across programs and across geographies.
  • Build relationships with partner organizations, communities of practice, and global stakeholders.
  • Represent the Foundation and collaborate with key internal and external audiences.
  • Identify and help overcome challenges and other barriers to team effectiveness and other duties as assigned.

Who You Are

  • Master’s Degree or equivalent experience in Agronomy, Plant science, Agricultural Finance, Business management, Economics, Agricultural Economics/Extension, Veterinary Medicine, Animal science, Animal husbandry, Fisheries and Aquatics.
  • A minimum of 10 years relevant experience in Livestock/Poultry/Fisheries/Crop agricultural projects and/or companies working with small holder farmers is required. This experience could include project management and/or field experience working in developing countries.
  • Minimum 5 years of leadership and management experience including managing staff and coaching, mentoring, and providing feedback.
  • Experience working in agricultural development and/or commercial agricultural companies operational in Africa.
  • Experience living and working in Africa.
  • Demonstrates a strong understanding of the role of agriculture in economic growth and development, particularly in Africa, and as it relates to improved smallholder farmers’ access to resources.
  • Understands market and systemic challenges to financial inclusion for rural and agricultural economics in Africa and best practices for addressing them, including M4P (Markets for the Poor) and facilitating market systems.
  • Experience and understanding in a variety of value chains (Livestock, Poultry, Fisheries and Crop), the small businesses and SMEs along the value chains, and supply chain / logistics in the agri-food system.
  • Understanding of the role agri-food and rural SMEs can play in economic transformation and job creation for youth.
  • Demonstrates a strong understanding of agricultural markets in Africa and the systemic challenges leading to stagnant growth. Possesses understanding and knowledge of current trends and innovations in agri-finance for value chains, agri-SMEs, smallholder farmers and youth engaged in the agri-food system. Experience with global grant making, especially in designing market systems development programs.
  • Demonstrates strong analytical skills, the ability to think strategically and contribute as a thought leader in the Foundation’s strategy development.
  • Demonstrates strong budgeting skills with the ability to manage a large portfolio of assets.
  • Demonstrates the ability to communicate progress and learnings from projects to colleagues and the wider development community.
  • Demonstrates experience in translating technical advice into practical recommendations for program managers and implementers. Command of quantitative and qualitative business analytics.
  • Excellent project management skills, including multi-stakeholder projects.
  • Excellent listening and interpersonal skills.
  • Proficiency in English, written and oral is required. Ability to speak a local language is highly preferred. French is an asset.
  • Is willing to travel up to 40% of the time.
  • A proactive, engaged and a self-starter with the 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 and an ability to prioritize, work and deliver to tight deadlines.
  • 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. 

Application Closing Date
3rd March, 2023.

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