Lerato Mbele is a presenter for BBC World News television and is the host of the weekly television programme ‘Africa Business Report’. This programme is designed to showcase the wealth of opportunities, innovation and talent that Africa offers as an investment destination. However it does not shy away from the real issues such as poverty, infrastructure constraints and skills shortages that are pervasive in Africa. The show aims to offer a balanced approach to the popular notion of ‘Africa Rising.’
Lerato and team form part of the BBC Africa Business Unit, which is responsible for all coverage of economic news output from Africa, for both radio and television. Lerato joined the BBC in 2012 and began as the co-presenter of the Newsday, a radio show aimed at raising the profile of Africa in the broader agenda of world news and current affairs. In that year Lerato has reported for the BBC and presented shows from the USA, Switzerland, London and parts of Africa.
Prior to joining the BBC, Lerato was a senior business anchor for the international business channel CNBC Africa. This experience gave her much access to newsmakers in Africa and raised her profile as a voice and face in this niche area of broadcasting. However her popularity as a media personality was a established during her days at the national public broadcaster of South Africa, on SABC 3 as the anchor of the prime-time anchor daily show the News@10.
In 2012, Lerato Mbele was named a ‘New Generation African Leader’ by the African Leadership Network. She has participated at the World Economic Forum as a media leader.
She has spoken and moderated televised debates at amongst others the World Economic Forum on Africa; the World Bank & IMF annual meetings in Washington DC; summits of the African Development Bank; the UN Climate Change Summit COP-17 ; UN’s Rio+20 and hosted all the televised presidential debates for the Nigerian Economic Summit Group in Abuja-Nigeria.
Lerato also worked briefly as a political analyst and during that time, she was co-editor of the book Designing Democracy, published under the auspices of the Ford Foundation and SAIIA. The book was a collection of research and views on contemporary political systems and challenges to democracy in Africa.
Lerato is a Chevening Scholar and graduated with an MSc Development Studies from SOAS at the University of London. Her BA was completed at the University of Cape Town.