Mastercard appoints Folasade Femi-Lawal as the new Country Manager for West Africa

Mastercard, a leading company in digital payments and technology, is pleased to announce the appointment of Folasade Femi-Lawal as the new Country Manager and Area Business Head for West Africa. With over 25 years of multifaceted experience spanning financial services, management consulting, telecommunications, and business advisory services, Folasade brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the role.

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As Country Manager, Folasade is responsible for further driving the company’s strategic vision, innovation and growth agenda, as well as strengthening partnerships with key stakeholders, and advancing the company’s mission of building a more connected and inclusive digital economy in West Africa.

Folasade brings a wealth of experience as a trusted senior executive, having displayed her ability to consistently achieve business growth objectives in start-up, turnaround, and rapidly changing environments. She has successfully led initiatives in Mobile Financial Services and Digital Banking Strategy at First Bank, Nigeria, over the past decade, and significantly grew the card subscriber base and market share as the Head of Cards & Messaging Business.

Prior to her tenure at First Bank, Folasade served as the Head of the Loan Monitoring Unit at the United Bank of Africa, overseeing critical aspects of credit risk management. With a robust background in digital payments, she has played instrumental roles in driving innovation and enhancing customer experiences across the banking sector. Before her banking roles, she also excelled as a consultant at PwC and played a pivotal role at Airtel, managing the Regional Balanced Scorecard for eight regions.

“We are delighted to welcome Folasade to the Mastercard family. Folasade’s vast experience across the digital payments’ ecosystem will be a huge asset to the Mastercard business in West Africa. She arrives at a pivotal time when digital innovation is transforming the country’s payments landscape, moving Nigeria toward a cashless society. Folasade will work closely with various private and public sector stakeholders in the country to help further this transformation. Her proven track record of leadership, innovation, and dedication to driving positive change and results aligns perfectly with our vision for the region.” said Mark Elliott, Division President for Sub-Saharan Africa at Mastercard.

Folasade is renowned for her commitment to fostering inclusive growth and empowerment, particularly for women and children, as evident through her extensive philanthropic endeavours and mentorship roles with organizations like Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WimBiz), the United States, White House Initiative – Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) and FirstBank Women Network. In her new role, Folasade will be responsible for driving Mastercard’s strategic initiatives, strengthening partnerships with key stakeholders, and advancing the company’s mission of building a more connected and inclusive digital economy in West Africa.

“Mastercard’s unwavering commitment to excellence, cutting-edge solutions, partnerships, and initiatives have consistently set industry standards as it concerns financial inclusion, economic empowerment, digital transformation, and innovation.  As such, I am extremely honoured to take on this role and I look forward to partnering with the amazing Mastercard teams, as well as its customers, clients and partners, as we work together to shape the future of payments and drive digital transformation and inclusion. I am eager to support the Nigerian government’s agenda for developing a powerful, inclusive and secure digital economy, while I welcome the opportunity to further elevate our presence and deliver unparalleled value to our clients and customers,” said Folasade Femi-Lawal, New Country Manager, West Africa.

Folasade holds a wealth of accolades, including being honoured with the Outstanding Women in Management award by the United Nations Association in Nigeria and named one of the Top 50 Women in Management Africa by Women in Management Africa. She also recently served as the Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Committee of eBusiness Industry Heads (CEBIH) and is a member of the Forbes Business Development Council. Beyond professional pursuits, Folasade enjoys singing, writing, and spending quality time with her family.

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