2 September 2013
British public broadcaster the BBC is opening a new pan-Africa Business Unit in Johannesburg this month, Peter Horrocks, the director of BBC Global News, announced at the Highway Africa Conference in Grahamstown, South Africa on Sunday.
Reporting on the announcement on Monday, the BBC’s media centre said the unit would contribute business news from Africa to a wide range of BBC outlets, including the broadcaster’s World Service radio and BBC World News’ daily World Business Report.
The unit will produce a new flagship weekly TV programme, Africa Business Report, with South African presenter Lerato Mbele, which will start transmission on BBC World News TV in October.
Horrocks said the opening of the new business unit displayed the BBC’s continuing commitment to Africa.
“With a weekly audience of 96-million 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,” Horrocks said.
“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 unit will commission business stories from across the continent, including key business hubs in west and east Africa.
The BBC said the unit would be led by Adrienne Murray, supported by locally hired producers, and would use correspondents such as Tomi Oladipo in Lagos, Nigeria and and newly appointed business reporter for east Africa Catherine Byaruhanga.
Africa Business Report will begin transmission on BBC World News on Friday, 4 October at 1840 GMT.
It will be broadcast at the following times: Fridays 1840 GMT; Saturdays 1010 GMT and 2010 GMT; Sundays 0010 GMT. From 8 November, it will be broadcast at: Fridays 1940 GMT; Saturdays 1010 GMT and 1810 GMT; Sundays 0010 GMT.