Raquel Wilson

Raquel Wilson at the Africa Business Forum in Egypt, Dec 2018

With a practice spanning almost two decades, Raquel Wilson is an outspoken advocate for more equitable and sustainable communities. She is CEO of the Wesley Group, a global consultancy shaping the ideas, innovations and interactions making cities better for people, and a Venture Partner at Roselake Ventures, where she identifies and evaluates high-potential investments within emerging African tech startup ecosystems.A Managing Partner at Utopia Capital Partners, Raquel works closely with companies and clients to overcome market entry challenges and discover investment opportunities in countries across the African continent.She has provided strategic communications support to the African Development Bank's Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Multi-Donor Trust Fund and, as part of the Bank's External Relations and Communications Department, led online engagement for the $1.5 billion African Emergency Food Production Facility and the 16th replenishment of the African Development Fund, helping to secure record commitments.A former Diplomat with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Raquel steered the deployment of the first online platform for monitoring hate crimes, and as a Strategic Communication Advisor with Speak Up Africa helped Senegal's National Office of Sanitation increase visibility for infrastructure investment.Specializing in assisting organizations in developing communication strategies that both inform and inspire behavior change, Raquel contributed to the Federal Government of Somalia's reconciliation efforts as Head of Strategic Communications for the Somalia Stabilization Initiative, designing and launching a USAID-funded radio program that connected women in rural areas of Somalia to government services, and, for IOM Somalia, drafted a Covid-19 fundraising campaign targeting the Somali diaspora. Since 2006, she has remained on UNICEF's global consultant roster, providing digital and strategic communications for offices across Europe, the Middle East, West Africa and North America.As Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Dakar Farmers Market, Raquel created a community-focused approach to promoting economic growth for local food producers–generating more than $25,000 in monthly vendor revenue for the one-day event.

She is a founding member of Slow Food International's Dakar community and joined the official Senegalese delegation to Terra Madre 2016, a biennial convening of global food actors working to establish clean and fair food systems.The Co-Editor of No Tees Please: Why Africa Aid Campaigns #FAIL, a crowdsourced inquiry into the practices of inventing disadvantageous aid campaigns, Raquel managed Social Media Week Lagos' #55FORWARD initiative, bringing together ambassadors from fifty-five African nations to discuss how they use social media to meet the needs of a rapidly increasing youth population.She was Co-Founder of Jetstream Africa, a supply chain platform simplifying export logistics for African suppliers. She also served as an adviser to technology startups with the pan-African accelerator MEST Africa, preparing emerging entrepreneurs for investment in their new ventures.Through her insightful weekly blog, "Africa Means Business," Raquel provides a nuanced analysis of evolving trends and dynamics in African markets within global economic context.Raquel holds a Bachelor of Science in New Media from Indiana University, completed the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa's training for African Women Investors and is an MBA candidate at Imperial College London–focused on creating pathways to capital and redistributing wealth.Renowned for connecting people across her expansive network, and building strong, resilient communities, Raquel facilitates partnerships that strengthen international trade for Africa-based businesses. She is committed to introducing more diverse voices into culturally considerate climate adaptation conversations, and mentors young women in discovering themselves unapologetically.