#55FORWARD: Meet the Ambassadors creating a connected Africa

Social Media Week

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For 2014, Social Media Week Lagos introduced the #55FORWARD campaign as a way to bring all of the continent into its February activities.  The campaign, focused on highlighting the work of innovators from each of the 55 African nations, was an opportunity to really show this year’s theme “A connected Africa is the future” at work.

To do this, we put out a call for ambassadors, who would represent their country at SMWL.  The response was great and we received applications from people living in 15 different countries on the continent and a few from those living in the diaspora.

In the end we selected 17 ambassadors from nine different countries plus one from the diaspora to present their work both online via Google Hangouts and live and direct at Social Media Week in Lagos.


#55FORWARD ambassadors Frédéric Tapé, Sharon Obuobi and Philip Ogola (from left to right), speak with Al-Jazeera reporter Femi Oke (far right) during the #55FORWARD salon session at Social Media Week Lagos, February 2014.

Below are the inaugural ambassadors for #55FORWARD.  We think they are pretty phenomenal.

We will be introducing you to their projects and offering a few masterclasses with them later in the year.  But you can get to know them now by clicking on their names to say hello!

Côte d’Ivoire
Frédéric Tapé (AMN Co-Working Space)
Bacely YoroBi (SocialSpot)

Democratic Republic of Congo
Ndiaga Seck (UNICEF DRC)

Sharon Obuobi (African & Afro-Diasporan Art Talks)
Ato Ulzen-Appiah (Ghana Think Foundation)

Philip Ogola (TimeOut Media Ltd)
Benard Adongo (Kijicho Interactive Limited)

Andriankoto Ratozamanana (Habaka Madagascar Innovation HUB)

Fatou Binetou Dia (UNICEF West and Central Africa Regional Office)
Karima Grant (ImagiNation Afrika)

South Africa
Rushay Booysen (Fingo Festival)

Paul Bomani (AIM Group)
Hafiz Juma (AIM Group)

Mazuba Kapambwe (The Fest Gurus)
Mukuka Mayuka (circa1964)

Tayo Akinyemi (Afri-labs)

Watch this space to learn more about our ambassadors as we start preparing for Social Media Week Lagos 2015!

Raquel Wilson

People Broker, MVMTMKRS


RAQUEL WILSON is a People Broker at MVMTMKRS where she helps extraordinary thinkers and innovators build sustainable brands, and connects businesses to consumers and opportunities on the African continent and throughout the diaspora. She works with international organizations, cultural institutions, and creative entrepreneurs, and has been pivotal to the growth of programs spanning diverse sectors around the globe including work with ImagiNation Afrika, a learning and discovery hub for children in Dakar, Senegal; the Brooklyn Museum of Art, in New York City; TEDxYouth in Accra, Ghana; the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in Warsaw, Poland; Social Media Week Lagos (Nigeria); and UNICEF in Gambia, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and the West and Central Africa and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regional offices. Raquel is dedicated to keeping access and education in the forefront of art conversations, and is Senior Partner at Young Art Collector, an art consultancy that engages artists and collectors in supporting an inclusive and lucrative global art community. Managing Co-Founder of Lou Bess? Dakar Farmers Market, a monthly event that supported local food and natural beauty entrepreneurs, and health and wellness in Senegal, Raquel offers “From Hobby to Global Brand” workshops to help start-ups knock down the information walls between businesses and hobbyists. As a founding member of the Slow Food International Dakar Convivium Ñaam Joodo, she participated in Terra Madre 2016, a biennial convening of global food activists, as part of the official Senegalese delegation. Raquel is a 2016–17 Communications Teaching Fellow at Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), and currently divides her time between Accra, Ghana and Dakar, Senegal.

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