The Mastercard Foundation is a registered Canadian charity and one of the largest foundations in the world. It works with visionary organizations to advance education and financial inclusion to enable young people in Africa and Indigenous youth in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. Established in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company, the Foundation is an independent organization separate from the company, with offices in Toronto, Kigali, Accra, Nairobi, Kampala, Lagos, Dakar, and Addis Ababa. Its policies, operations, and program decisions are determined by the Foundation’s Board of Directors and leadership.


2006: On the day of its initial public offering, Mastercard shareholders make an unprecedented gift of shares to create an independent foundation

2008: The Foundation launches partnership with BRAC to expand financial services to two million people across Uganda

2009: Decision to focus on Africa

2011: $500 million Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program established to educate next-generation ethical leaders

2013: The inaugural Mastercard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion elevates the focus on clients within the industry

2013: Intake of 2,907 Wings to Fly Scholars ranked in the top five percent of national primary school exam scores welcomed

2014: Partnership launched with the White House on the Young African Leaders Initiative to promote entrepreneurship across Africa

2015: Inaugural Young Africa Works Summit sets the bar with youth-led solutions to employment in the agricultural sector

2015: The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity spurs innovative financing to smallholder farmers

2016: The Foundation celebrates its first ten years and prepares for the next decade of impact in Africa

2017: Decision to focus on youth unemployment in Africa and shift to a country-based approach to programming

2017: EleV, a learning partnership focused on removing barriers to post-secondary education for Indigenous youth in Canada, launched with Vancouver Island University and Yukon College.

2018: Young Africa Works strategy launched in Kigali, Rwanda, with the announcement of an ambitious goal: enable 30 million young people, particularly young women, to secure dignified and meaningful work

2019: Young Africa Works programming launched in Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, and Ethiopia.

2020: Young Africa Works programing launched in Nigeria and Uganda.

2020: Launched the COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program to assist institutions and communities in Africa and within Indigenous communities in Canada to withstand and respond to the short-term impacts of this pandemic, while strengthening their resilience in the long-run.

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