Jonathan Rosenthal is The Economist's London-based Africa Editor and former banking editor. He joined The Economist in 2005 as British business correspondent, having worked for several years at Bloomberg News in London and Johannesburg. Before that he was the mining editor of Business Report, a South African daily newspaper.

His previous roles at The Economist have included European business and finance correspondent, based in Berlin, and British business correspondent in London.

In January 2008, Jonathan won the Feature of the Year award at the WorkWorld Media Awards, and the following year he was named Reporter of the Year. He has appeared on television and radio in several countries including BBC News 24, Sky and on ITV's "Tonight" programe, among others.

Jonathan wrote The Economist's 2011 special report on international banking, which examined the reregulation of finance after the crisis.


These are topics that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest the speakers range and interests.

Jonathan is a very experienced moderator of group sessions and chairs 4-5 large conferences a year, many of them for The Economist. He is skilled at encouraging lively debate among panellists and encouraging participants to delve deeply into their topics.

As a speaker Jonathan tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below.

Financial inclusion

Jonathan has written extensively on the subject of financial inclusion and is able to bring a complex subject to life with real-world examples of how it is changing the lives of the poorest people in Africa.

Africa rising

Jonathan has been Africa Editor since 2014 and has a deep knowledge of the continent and its most pressing issues. He was the author of an influential Special Report on Nigeria and has written extensively on South Africa’s political and economic evolution. He is able to talk authoritatively about the durability of the Africa Rising narrative, as well as its political and economic challenges. In particular, he can speak about South Africa’s democracy under Jacob Zuma and whether its legal and political institutions can hold. Based on his experience covering banks, Jonathan follows the evolution of finance in Africa and can speak about its banking systems. He has also written widely on power and infrastructure challenges on the continent. He also keeps a close eye on private equity in Africa and can talk about the main sectors that are attracting investors such as healthcare and education.

Technology in Africa

Jonathan is currently working on a Special Report for The Economist on technology in Africa that investigates the areas in which innovation and tech are proving transformative or disruptive. These include innovations such as mobile money that have become platforms for a whole set of new innovations such as micro-insurance or pay-as-you-go solar power. It includes a look at technologies such as remote-healthcare, e-learning, renewable energy and drones that will allow African economies to leapfrog ahead.

  • The Economist: International Banking

    Retail Renaissance

    The Penguin Economist Special reports delve into the most pressing economic issues of the day: from national and global economies, to the impact of trade, industry and jobs. Written to be read on a long commute or in your lunch hour - be better informed in under an hour.

    Retail banking is heading for a revival. With the financial crisis still hanging over Western economies, banks have rejuvenated the retail arm of the business. They are now seen as more stable sources of profit than the risky traders. Technology is both a help and a hindrance. On one hand, online banking is revolutionizing money management. But will this lead to the close of the high street bank? How can banks outstrip the developing tech companies who are offering rival services? This report will assess the challenges and opportunities that banks face in the rich world and the emerging markets. Sections include: Retail renaissance; Withering away; Dispatches from the hothouse; Crunching the numbers; A wealth of wallets; Over the sea and far away; Private pursuits; World, here we come.

    Penguin (1 July 2012)

  • Building a Roadmap to Financial Inclusion | FI2020


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