A few weeks ago, I was fortunate to attend a conference organized by NYU called “Debates in Development.” The keynote speaker was an impressive Ugandan coffee entrepreneur named Andrew Rugasira. Among other things, he told the gathered crowd of development/aid types, “The key to helping Ugandans rests in your markets, not in your kind hearts…If Ugandan coffee took up 12 percent of the US market share, it would be equal to half of all US foreign aid spending.” He detailed the challenges of starting the company and breaking into the UK and US markets as well as the accomplishments so far.
Today, the New York Times features the story of Mr. Rugasira’s and his business, Good African Coffee, which is improving the lives of farmers and their families in Kasese in western Uganda. The response in just one day has been so great that there’s overwhelming demand and shortages! If you can, wait for restocking and order. Supposedly this coffee is worth a try.