Born and raised in Arusha, Tanzania, Richard E. Mshomba received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His areas of research are development economics and international economics, with a focus on African countries. Mshomba is the author of Africa in the Global Economy (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2000), a Choice Outstanding Academic Book, Africa and the World Trade Organization (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and Economic Integration in Africa: The East African Community in Comparative Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2017). He has done research and other professional activities in a number of countries including Denmark, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Switzerland, Tanzania, and the United Kingdom. His current research is on the evolution of trade relations between European countries and the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries.
Mshomba was a frequent guest analyst on Voice of America on economic issues pertaining to Africa from 1993-2016. He has also been a guest analyst on National Public Radio (U.S.), BBC, and a number of other radio stations. He is a frequent contributor of op-ed pieces to The Citizen, a daily national newspaper in Tanzania.
Mshomba was awarded the Pew Faculty Fellowship in International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 1993-94. He received the 2005 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, the 2009 Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award, the 2013 Warren E. Smith Award for commitment to service and success in his professional career, and the 2017 John S. Grady Award for Teaching Excellence.
Mshomba and his family travel regularly to his village of Sinon, Arusha, where they are engaged in educational and development initiatives. They have worked with a group of six individuals (volunteers) in Tanzania to build a free library for the community there. The library started providing services in December of 2016.