About Frances Mensah Williams CBE
Born in Ghana, Frances spent her early childhood between the USA, Austria, and Ghana before settling in the UK. After building her career in London working in Human Resources Management for international companies, she moved to Ghana where she worked for several years before setting up Interims for Development, an award-winning London-based consultancy to manage talent and business development projects across Africa. Alongside her writing, Frances is an entrepreneur, consultant, and Executive Coach. She is also the founder and Managing Editor of ReConnect Africa.com, an online careers and business portal for the African diaspora.
In 2015 Frances’s acclaimed first novel From Pasta to Pigfoot was published by Jacaranda Books and selected by WH Smith Travel as one of the top 25 of its 100 Summer reads. Described by the novelist Lesley Lokko as ‘a warm and poignant coming-of-culture’ novel, it features under-achieving PA and pasta fanatic Faye Bonsu and chronicles her attempts to find her cultural niche as she explores contemporary Ghana. The sequel From Pasta to Pigfoot: Second Helpings continues Faye’s adventures of self-discovery and self-acceptance.
Frances is also the author of the novel Imperfect Arrangements, published in 2020 and described by bestselling novelist Dorothy Koomson as ‘a brilliantly written novel’. Critically acclaimed and listed in The Top 20 African Books of 2020, Imperfect Arrangements is set in Ghana and explores the intertwined lives and loves of three best friends in search of their happy ever after. Frances has also authored a novella series (Marula Heights Romances) which includes Sweet Mercy and River Wild.
Her first non-fiction book, Everyday Heroes: Learning from the Careers of Successful Black Professionals, was followed by the careers guide I Want to Work in Africa: How to Move Your Career to the World’s Most Exciting Continent. She has also authored a business handbook for entrepreneurs, Enterprise Africa: A Guide to Planning Your Business in Africa.
Frances was a contributing writer for the book Africa: The Good News and has produced many freelance articles for publications including The Voice. She has written extensively on the skills crisis in Africa and the benefits of harnessing the talent and contribution of the African diaspora to Africa’s development. She has been a panellist at numerous events and conferences and was a speaker at TEDx Euston in London on the challenge of belonging and finding your place in an unfamiliar culture with her talk ‘Where is Home?’
Frances is a passionate advocate for skills and capacity building in Africa. She leads training and talent management projects and delivers management coaching to an international client base. In the UK, she has developed coaching and employment programmes to support the careers of Black and ethnic minority employees and create inclusive workplaces.
Selected as one of the Top 20 Inspirational Women from the African Diaspora in Europe, Frances has received several commendations and awards for entrepreneurship and skills development in Africa and was presented with the 2017 Community Pioneer Award by the African Diaspora Awards.
Frances was awarded a CBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the 2020 New Year’s Honours List for services to the African community in the UK and in Africa.