BBC targets Africa with new business unit

Editor | 03-09-2013

As new revenue streams become essential for the cash-strapped corporation, the BBC is to open a new pan-Africa Business Unit.

The Africa Business Unit will be based in Johannesburg and will commission business stories from throughout the entire continent, including key business hubs in West and East Africa.
It 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 also 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.
Led by Adrienne Murray, supported by locally-hired producers, the unit will also deploy correspondents such as Tomi Oladipo in Lagos and newly-appointed East Africa Business Reporter Catherine Byaruhanga.
Confirming the news, director of BBC Global News, Peter Horrocks said the move 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,” he added. “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.”