The Mastercard Foundation Regional Networking Event for Employers and Associates happened on the 23rd of May, 2024. Jobberman Nigeria, in partnership with LEAP Africa, hosted the Event at the Vintano Hotel, Lekki Phase 1.

The event was attended by the Associates in both the Ogun and Lagos Chapters as well as the relationship Manager, Ibukun Owolabi.

The objectives of the MasterCard Foundation Regional

Networking Event

The MasterCard Foundation Regional Networking Event 2024 was the first of its kind since the inception of the MasterCard Associate Program. The event was held to achieve the following objectives:

  • Advocate for paid internship opportunities for more young and inexperienced graduates while discussing ways to improve the program. 
  • Assess the progress of the Associate’s program (expectations vis-a-vis reality).
  • Identify gaps in the program and tease out recommendations from the Employers and Associates. 
  • Laud the achievements of the Associate’s program.

In addition to the above objectives, the events presented this cohort’s MasterCard Foundation Associates an opportunity to network and connect with fellow associates. There were three sessions to the event: the opening session, the break-out session, and the panel session. 

MasterCard Foundation Regional Networking Event

The MasterCard Regional Networking Event commenced by 10:00 am with breakfast and a networking session. Present at the event were staff from LEAP Africa, Jobberman Nigeria, and MasterCard Foundation West  Africa.

Some of the staff present include,

  • Virginie Dias – HR Director – Talent Acquisition & Talent Management Africa (l’Oréal)
  • Amabelle Nwakanma – Director of Programmes (LEAP Africa)
  • Kehinde Ayeni – Executive Director (LEAP Africa)
  • Mercy Oguche – Senior Programmes Coordinator(LEAP Africa)
  • Towojesudun Odede – Programmes Coordinator (LEAP Africa)
  • Toluwani Aina – Project Coordinator (Jobberman)
  • Dorcas Babet Kwofie – (MasterCard Foundation)

Also, MasterCard Foundation Associates working in Lagos together with the representatives of their respective organizations of service were also in attendance. 

Opening Session

The event began with the welcoming of attendees; MasterCard Foundation Associates and their employers, and staff from LEAP Africa, MasterCard Foundation, and Jobberman. During the opening session, Virginie Dias, a representative of the MasterCard Foundation delivered an opening speech. The opening speech was centered around MasterCard’s intentionality in empowering the African Youth for a wider economic restoration in the continent. In her speech, she hinted at MasterCards Foundation’s efforts to bridge the skill gap predominant in young school leavers through the Associate program.

She furthermore highlighted various ways young associates can make themselves more employable. She spoke emphatically on a few pointers such as,

  • Embracing Career Agility
  • Setting Career Goal
  • Develop Your Sustainability
  • Managing Stress in the Workplace
  • Personal Branding

Break-out Session

Following the opening session was the break-out session between the participating associates and employers. The session for each group focused on identifying the gaps prevalent in the program and recommending ideas and approaches for improvement.

The discussion room for the associates during the break-out session was characterized by questions and answers. The associates asked questions, received clarification where necessary, and gave feedback to the session coordinators on how the associate program has been going for them in their respective employment organizations.

Panel Session

The panel session which was more of a chat between a representative from organizing partners (LEAP Africa and Jobberman Nigeria) followed immediately after the break-out session. It was the session that marked the end of the event before the participants had lunch. On the fireside chat were Amabelle Nwakanma (Director of Programmes at LEAP Africa) and Toluwani Aina (Project Coordinator at Jobberman).

In the fireside chat, Toluwani Aina (Project Coordinator at Jobberman) talked about the challenges they face in recruiting and placing qualified candidates with partner organizations. She further explained how Jobberman works round the clock to meet the expectations of both LEAP Africa and MasterCard Foundation in delivering job placement.

The fireside chat ended a few minutes past two and was followed by a networking and lunch session.


The MasterCard Foundation Regional Networking Event is one that will happen often at intervals throughout the associate program. It was an effective event that left the organizing partners with feedback which when applied will make the associate program more efficient and result-oriented. The participants also had a splendid time and an effective networking session.