James Lembeli was born and educated in Tanzania in 1956 and completed his Advanced Diploma in Journalism in 1980. He started his career as a central bank clerk with the Tanzania central bank, then as a journalist with Kiongozi Newspaper-a national Catholic newspaper owned by the Catholic Church. Later he worked in Papua New Guinea as a volunteer journalist with a Catholic newspaper. Back in Tanzania he was appointed as the Public Relations Officer for the cooperative union of Tanzania before moving to Germany where he was a presenter and editor for Radio Berlin International, and later with Radio Deutsch Well. From 1994 to 2015 he worked for Tanzania National Parks as their Chief Public Relations Manager. From 2005 to 2015 he served as a Member of Parliament as well as the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee responsible for issues related to lands, natural resources/conservation and the environment. From 2008 to the present he has served as Chairperson of the Jane Goodall Institute in Tanzania.
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