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 skills and human resources development projects across Africa. She is also the Managing Editor of ReConnect Africa.com, an online careers and business publication for the African diaspora and works as an Executive Coach.
Frances’s first book was ‘Everyday Heroes: Learning from the Careers of Successful Black Professionals’ and was followed by the careers guide ‘I Want to Work in Africa: How to Move Your Career to the World’s Most Exciting Continent’.
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 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 working cultures.
Frances has contributed to several publications and written extensively on the skills crisis in Africa and the benefits of harnessing the talents of the African diaspora. She has spoken at numerous 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?
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.