Abdigani Diriye

Abdigani Diriye is a scientist and advocate for innovation and technology in Somalia and Somaliland.

He has founded several non-profit organizations that focus on supporting techies and start-ups in Somalia and Somaliland. He has previously participated and run start-up accelerator, incubation programmes, and coding camps for start-ups in Somalia and Somaliland for the past few years.

He currently is a research scientist and manager with the Inclusive Financial Services Research Group at IBM Research -- you can find a summary of his activities at the lab here. Prior to IBM Research, Abdigani has worked at Microsoft Research, Carnegie Mellon University and Fuji-Xerox Palo Alto Labs. He is the Founder of Innovate Ventures, and a Director at Worldwide Somali Students and Professional.

He obtained his PhD in computer science from University College London, and was advised by Prof. Ann Blandford and Dr. Anastasios Tombros. He has published over 20 papers and patents.


Abdigani Diriye has worked at and founded a couple of start-ups and non-profits over the years, founded. Some of these include:

Innovate Ventures Somalia

Innovate Ventures provides training and mentoring on product development, marketing, strategy and investor pitching to the youth, IT professionals and entrepreneurs in the Somalia and Somaliland to develop start-ups and help driver job creation. The programme incubated four start-ups, and one was invested in. You can find a Disrupt Africa article here. We are running another acceleration programme in 2016. We will be working with Oxfam and VC4Africa who have funded this programme.

Worldwide Somali Students & Professionals

Worldwide Somali Students Professionals (WSSP) was started by friends and fellow Somalis while at University College London. It has grown to become the largest professional network of Somalis. WSSP works closely with IOM to help address the brain-drain in the Somali region. We have undertaken several programmes. You can see a documentary about our efforts here. You can find more info here and here.


I work in the space of HCI, data-mining and FinTech to design, develop and deploy novel solutions that combine human- and machine-generated data to support people in making sense of information and accessing services more easily, effectively and efficiently. I have explored these topics while working in academia, corporates and start-ups. I combine a combination of lab-based studies with naturalistic and longitudinal studies.

Human Computer Interaction

I've designed and studied systems that aggregrate and visualize information to users. Human-Computer Interaction entails studying the design and use of computer technology, focusing on the interaction between users and computers.

Data Mining

I'm curious to understand how we can derive meaning and insight from structured and unstructured data, and how we can enrich this. I've explored this by looking at documents, financial records, and user behaviour logs.