GeoTech Cues Dec 17, 2020
Property rights, data, and prosperity in Africa
By Thomas Koch
One of the biggest obstacles to wealth creation and greater economic prosperity in Africa has to do with land ownership. Overcoming this obstacle will require better data collection, aggregation, and transparency.
AfricaSourceJun 16, 2022
Better data is the key to unlocking major investment in Africa
By Tom Koch
As COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine continue to hurt the African continent, many countries will require significant investment to revitalize their economies. But a persistent attribute of many African markets will continue to be a barrier to private investment: a relative lack of data. This drives up diligence costs, creates difficulties in valuing assets, […]
Tom Koch is a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center and a director of investment at the US International Development Finance Corporation where he focuses on impact investments across Africa. He was previously director of global capital and strategy at FCA Corp, the advisor to a multi-sector Africa-focused private equity fund. Prior to that, he worked within Deloitte Consulting’s mergers and acquisitions group.
Prior to entering the finance industry, Koch had a career in the US Marine Corps. He is currently a major in the Marine Reserves and works within the Marine Innovation Unit, an organization whose mission is to bring new technology, thinking, and ways of working into the Marine Corps. He previously served for nearly ten years on active duty in the Marines.
Koch’s last active-duty assignment was working as the Marine Corps representative to the US Department of Defense Business Board in the Pentagon, where he teamed up with business executives to provide strategic advice to senior defense leaders. Prior to that, he worked in the Marine Corps Office of Legislative Affairs, where he helped shape policy between the Marine Corps and the US Congress and accompanied members of Congress on high-level bilateral engagements overseas. Koch began his time in Washington, DC, as a Department of Defense legislative fellow in the personal office of a senior member of Congress where he gave advice on various national-security and foreign-policy issues. Koch began his time in the Marines with two deployments to Helmand Province, Afghanistan: one as a detachment commander and the other as a company commander.
Koch earned an MBA in finance with honors from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and a bachelor’s degree from the US Naval Academy. Koch is a former Marshall Memorial fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the United States and a Council on Foreign Relations term member.