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 the CEO and Founder of Africa Means Business, an opportunities platform helping businesses navigate African markets and discover untapped growth and investment potential across the continent, CEO of the Wesley Group, a global consultancy aiding companies in accelerating a just climate transition, and Co-Founder of Gather, a leadership accelerator for women disrupting the world.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, she has managed mutli-partner, international development projects focused on economic transformation for organizations in the public, private and social sectors.She helped Senegal’s National Office of Sanitation increase the visibility of infrastructure investment possibilities, and has worked extensively with the African Development Bank, providing strategic communications support to the Bank's Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Multi-Donor Trust Fund and, as part of the Bank's External Relations and Communications Department, led social media engagement for the 2023 Africa Climate Summit, African Emergency Food Production Facility and the 16th replenishment of the African Development Fund.Specializing in creating 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 implementing a USAID-funded radio program that connected women in rural areas of Somalia to government services.As a Communications Advisor with Speak Up Africa she helped Senegal's National Office of Sanitation increase visibility and investment for critical infrastructure projects and, since 2006, 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.

Raquel has worked with Roselake Ventures, a Hong Kong-based venture fund, sourcing and evaluating high-growth investment opportunities within African tech ecosystems, and as Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Senegal’s Dakar Farmers Market, Raquel created a community-focused approach to promoting economic growth for local food producers. She was Co-Founder of Jetstream Africa, an Accra-based supply chain platform simplifying export logistics for African suppliers and advised technology startups at the pan-African business incubator MEST Africa, preparing emerging entrepreneurs for investment into their new companies.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.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, where she focuses her studies on the redistribution of wealth and creating pathways to capital for historically underfunded communities.Renowned for connecting people across her expansive network, she is committed to introducing more diverse voices into culturally considerate climate change conversations, making our food systems more accessible, and building new leadership and equity models that make cities better for people and planet.Raquel mentors young women in discovering themselves unapologetically.