IBM Researcher Abdigani Diriye Selected as a TED Fellow

IBM scientist Abdigani Diriye has been selected as a TED Fellow for his research in mobile-based financial services and for launching a Somalia-based accelerator program for local technology start-ups. He will present his efforts at an upcoming TED Talk in August in Arusha, Tanzania.

Abdigani will be working on financial inclusion. One of the biggest challenges in Africa is that people don’t have access to financial services, like savings accounts and loans. We want to develop mobile technologies to help facilitate access to these services for all citizens. Another project is around developing digital identities for all citizens so they can have access to more public and private services. (Credit: IBM Research)

“My life’s work can be characterized as conducting R&D into innovative technologies that address grand challenges facing Africa, and supporting innovators and entrepreneurs in the continent of Africa and beyond who are creating a positive impact and effecting change,” said Diriye.

Diriye is based at IBM’s research lab in Nairobi, Kenya, which was opened in 2013. He is currently applying Big Data analytics to improve access to financial services for Africans across the continent.

Diriye obtained his PhD in computer science from University College London and has published over 30 patents and papers.

The Kenya lab, combined with IBM’s recently opened lab in Johannesburg, South Africa, are driving innovation by developing commercially-viable solutions based on cognitive computing and cloud platforms to transform lives and spark new business opportunities in key areas including data driven healthcare, digital urban ecosystems, financial inclusion, education and e-government.

Every year, the TED Fellows program opens applications to find a new class of extraordinary thinkers and doers, encouraging innovators over the age of 18 to apply. Interested applicants can visit the TED Fellows program website for more information about the fellowship and to sign up to be alerted when applications for TED2018 open on July 18.