Michael Sudarkasa is widely known and respected internationally for his work in promoting African private sector development as well as international and intra-Africa trade and investment. He is a commercial attorney by training and a passionate African economic development practitioner.
Michael holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Harvard Law School, and he received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, with High-Honors in History (African/African American Studies concentration). Fluent in French, he has travelled, worked, or provided training and development assistance in 58 countries throughout the world (including 36 in Africa).
He has authored several articles and publications related to African trade and investment, including: The UNDP Inclusive Business Finance Field Guide; The African Business Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Business Resources for African Trade and Investment and is co-author of Investing in Africa: An Insider’s Guide to the Ultimate Emerging Market (John Wiley & Sons).
Michael currently serves as a member of the University of Michigan’s Provost Advisory Committee, as Chair of the University of Michigan’s African Studies Center Advisory Board, and is on the Board of the University of Witwatersrand’s African Center for the Study of the United States.
Michael Sudarkasa joins African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) after 17 years as the founder and CEO of Africa Business Group (ABG), a Johannesburg based economic development company whose focus is increasing the role of the African private sector in the implementation of the continental development agenda.
While CEO of ABG, Michael expanded the company’s client base from work on local economic development projects with the City of Johannesburg, the provincial government of Gauteng and the South African National Treasury, to working continentally with the African Union’s Development Agency (AUDA) (formerly NEPAD), with the African Union headquarters itself, and with a number of United Nations’ agencies, beginning with the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa in 2009, and including thereafter: the United Nations Development Program Africa Regional Bureau, the Food and Agriculture Organization Africa and Southern Africa Bureaus, the U.N. Secretary General’s Office of the Special Envoy to the Great Lakes, the U.N. Disaster Risk Reduction Agency, and most recently the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.
Under his leadership ABG also served: as the in-country trade and investment advisor of the Welsh Assembly government for five years, the Program Director of the African Green Revolution for Africa from 2014-2017, as a key contributor to the African Development Bank’s Enable Youth Program African Youth Agripreneurship Forum (2017-2019), and Africa Business Group was awarded the prestigious “Consulting Firm of the Year” by the South African Professional Services Awards’ judging panel in 2017.
In 2019, ABG also helped launch the Africa network (ARISE Africa) of the UN Disaster Risk Reduction agency’s Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies (ARISE). Sudarkasa also currently sits on ARISE’s global board.
Michael is of African-American and Nigerian heritage, he was born in New York City, and raised principally in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is married and the proud father of five adult children who live in the U.S.