Richard T. Tugume

Richard oversees lead generation, loan underwriting, and loan application processing in East Africa. Previously, he worked as senior financial controller at Kilicafe, a coffee cooperative in Tanzania and as an external auditor with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Uganda. He holds a B.Com (Acc) from Makerere University in Uganda, a CPA from Tanzania, and an MBA from the University of Nairobi in Kenya.


In the Hills of Northeast Congo, an Underdog Steps into the Ring

Posted by Richard T. Tugume  |  Feb 7, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Coffee gardens on the hills on Eastern DRC-670182-edited.jpg

Hills rise into the sky in the coffeelands of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

Looking out the window as my taxi jostles along a bumpy dirt road that winds from Goli to Ndrele town through the hills of the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), I’m struck by the peaceful scenery that surrounds us. Grassy hills spotted with groves of trees and small gardens of banana, maize, and coffee trees rise gently into the horizon, stretching for miles on either side of the road. However, this region’s apparent tranquility belies a violent past — and scars that a few scrappy businesses are fighting against all odds to heal. 

Read more

Topics: East Africa, Peace & Recovery

Investing in Uganda’s Coffee Sector

Posted by Richard T. Tugume  |  Aug 23, 2016 3:13:28 PM

After a decade of growth, a coffee cooperative shows why reliable access to finance is critical for success.

Global coffee consumption is on the rise. According to the International Coffee Organization, demand will increase by 25 percent over the next five years. As The Wall Street Journal recently pointed out, this offers tremendous opportunities for smallholder coffee producers in Uganda, Africa’s biggest coffee exporter.

It’s here where, in my role as a portfolio manager for Root Capital, I witness how the cultivation and sale of coffee can transform rural communities. Since 2005, Root Capital has lent over $200 million to small and medium-sized enterprises throughout Africa, including more than $80 million to clients in East Africa’s coffee industry. And I have seen how access to finance is a crucial ingredient in the sector’s growth.

Read more

Topics: East Africa