BBC opens new pan-Africa Business Unit

The BBC is opening a new pan-Africa Business Unit this month, Director of BBC Global News Peter Horrocks announced today.

Speaking at the Highway Africa Conference in Grahamstown, South Africa, Mr Horrocks said this new move displayed the BBC’s continuing commitment to Africa.

The Unit will contribute business news from Africa to a wide range of BBC outlets, including World Service radio, BBC World News’ daily World Business Report, BBC online and on-demand services, and domestic services in the UK.

The Unit will produce the new flagship weekly TV programme Africa Business Report, with South African presenter Lerato Mbele, which will start transmission in October on BBC World News TV.

Peter Horrocks said: “With a weekly audience of 96m people around the continent and a network of 150 reporters and producers in 46 countries, the BBC is uniquely positioned to tell the African story.

“A key part of this story is business. Despite many problems, the continent is thriving. The new African Business Unit means we will step up our coverage of African business, bringing impartial, objective coverage to audiences across Africa and beyond.”

The African Business Unit will commission business stories from throughout the entire continent, including key business hubs in West and East Africa.

The Unit will be led by Adrienne Murray, supported by locally-hired producers. It will use the expertise of correspondents such as Tomi Oladipo in Lagos, which is predicted to become the continent’s largest economy, and newly-appointed East Africa Business Reporter Catherine Byaruhanga.

The Africa Business Unit will be based in Johannesburg.

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