International news agency Reuters has appointed former newspaper journalist Alexandra Zavis as its bureau chief for Africa.
Zavis has previously worked at The Los Angeles Times, reporting from Canada, Mexico, Syria and the Philippines. She will be bringing her years of expertise as she prepares to lead an African newsgathering team that has grown in the last 18 years.
She started her career in 1994 at a South African newspaper after which she joined the Associated Press (AP) and engaged in reporting from countries including Liberia, Sierra Leone, Congo, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Zavis became an editor in New York before moving to Africa to report war, politics, economics, culture and peace-making. She served as the AP’s news editor in Johannesburg and gained coverage of the US invasion of Iraq.
Simon Robinson, regional editor for Reuters, EMEA, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Alexandra to the Reuters family. She takes charge of a team that has never been in better shape and I relish her continuing to drive the changes to make our coverage of the African continent even stronger.”
Zavis said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining Reuters in Africa. This will be a return to my journalistic roots, and I look forward to working with the talented team there to expand coverage of this complex and dynamic continent.”
The appointment follows recent moves by Reuters to beef up its African coverage. It launched a mobile-first video news service called Africa Journal, as first reported by Content Nigeria, edited by Serena Chaudhry.
Reuters has also included an Africa columnist to its financial commentary service Breakingviews, and has also hired new pan-African reporters in business and mining and acquired more reporters in Johannesburg, Lagos and Nairobi.