Ishmael Sunga

Chief Executive Officer of the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU)


Ishmael Sunga is the Chief Executive Officer of the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU).

Mr. Ishmael Sunga holds a BSc (Economics) from the University of Zimbabwe and an MSc (Strategic Management) from the University of Derby, UK. He is also a holder of other post-graduate qualifications and has wide-ranging experience, with more than 30 years’ in the development sector, including development research, international development assistance and development consultancy. His experience spans several sectors and areas, including small enterprise development; agricultural and rural development; rural transport; rural manufacturing; micro-hydro power; irrigation schemes; small scale mining; the informal sector; cooperatives, as well as membership-based organisations. He worked in the UK for a few years, and apart from Southern Africa, he also has undertaken assignments in in other parts of Africa, as well as in India, Bangladesh and Sri-Lanka.

Since his appointment in his current position as the CEO of SACAU in 2005, he successfully grew its membership from 6 member organisations in 4 countries, to 18 members in 13 countries, and established strategic partnerships and alliances with the development, public and private sectors at regional and global levels. Apart from it being the main voice of organised agriculture in southern Africa, the SACAU brand is identified with good corporate governance and professionalism. Among others, he has spearheaded the organisation’s work in a number of key areas, including digital solutions; climate change; an enterprise approach to agriculture development; the development of a new generation of farmers and of farmers’ organisations; multi-stakeholder platforms; systems thinking; and governance of value chains.

His wide-ranging experience and thought leadership has seen him serving on structures of various continental and global institutions/initiatives such as the World Economic Forum, AUDA/NEPAD, the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), Montpellier Malabo Panel of Experts, Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU), Centre for Technical Cooperation in Agriculture and Rural Development (CTA), CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and Generation Africa.

Mr. Sunga has published and has contributed to publications on various subjects, including digital technology, climate change, agricultural cooperatives, the future farmer and farmers’ organisations.

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