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, and Co-Founder of Gather, a leadership accelerator for women disrupting the world.Raquel has worked with Roselake Ventures, a Hong Kong-based venture fund, sourcing and evaluating high-growth investment opportunities within African tech ecosystems. 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 and was Co-Founder of Jetstream Africa, an Accra-based supply chain platform simplifying export logistics for African suppliers. She has also advised technology startups with the pan-African business incubator MEST Africa, preparing emerging entrepreneurs for investment into their new companies.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 helped Senegal’s National Office of Sanitation increase the visibility of infrastructure investment possibilities. She 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 online engagement for the Africa Climate Summit, African Emergency Food Production Facility and the 16th replenishment of the African Development Fund.

Specializing in helping organizations develop 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.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, remained on UNICEF’s global consultant roster, providing digital and strategic communications for offices across Europe, the Middle East, West Africa and North America.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–focused on the redistribution of wealth and creating pathways to capital for historically underfunded communities.Renowned for connecting people across her expansive network, Raquel is committed to introducing diverse voices into culturally considerate climate change conversations, making our food systems more accessible, and mentoring young women in discovering themselves unapologetically.