Hey there!

I am Abdigani Diriye.

A computer scientist and advocate for innovation and technology in Africa.

About Me

I work in the technology space where I design, develop and deploy user-centered intelligent systems to impact people. I have been working to advocate for a greater focus on innovation and technology in Somalia and Somaliland.

I have founded several non-profit organizations that focus on supporting techies and start-ups in Somalia and Somaliland. I have also previously participated and run start-up accelerator, incubation programmes, and coding camps for start-ups in Somalia and Somaliland last few years.

I'm currently a research scientist and manager with the Inclusive Financial Services Research Group at IBM Research -- you can find a summary of my activities at the lab here. Prior to IBM Research, I has worked at Microsoft Research, Carnegie Mellon University and Fuji-Xerox Palo Alto Labs. I also co-founded Innovate Ventures and Worldwide Somali Students and Professional.

I obtained my PhD in computer science from University College London, and was advised by Prof. Ann Blandford and Dr. Anastasios Tombros. I have published more than 35 papers and patents. I have been fortunate to be recognized as a TED Fellow and Next Einstein Forum Fellow. I have also been named one of the World’s Top Young Innovators under 35 and received the TR35 awarded by MIT’s Technology Review. My work has been featured in Forbes, Wired, Technology Review, Quartz, BBC Radio, CNN and Fast Company among others.

Companies & Work

I have worked at and founded a couple of start-ups and non-profits over the years.

Innovate Ventures


Innovate Ventures is the leading start-up accelerator and technology fund, and provides training and mentoring on product development, marketing, strategy and investor pitching to the youth, IT professionals and entrepreneurs in the Somalia and Somaliland.

Learn More

Worldwide Somali Students & Professionals


Worldwide Somali Students Professionals (WSSP) is the largest professional network of Somalis working closely with IOM to help address the brain-drain in the Somali region.

Learn More

IBM Research

Research Scientist

IBM Research is IBM's research and development division. It is the largest industrial research organization in the world, with twelve labs on six continents.

Learn More

Microsoft Research

Research Intern

Microsoft Research is the research division of Microsoft. It was formed in 1991, with the intent to advance state-of-the-art computing and solve difficult world problems through technological innovation

Learn More

Carnegie Mellon University

Post-Doctoral Researcher

Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1900 by Andrew Carnegie as the Carnegie Technical Schools, the university became the Carnegie Institute

Learn More

Fuji-Xerox Palo Alto Labs

Research Intern

FX Palo Alto Laboratory (FXPAL) is wholly owned by Fuji Xerox, a market leader in enterprise communication tools and services in the Asia Pacific region.

Learn More
Appearances & Conferences

Upcoming Appearances

EmTech, MIT Tech Review 2017, Boston | USA - Nov 4-9

Ignitve, 2017, Amsterdam | Netherlands - Dec 1-3

Past Appearances

Africon 2017, Capetown | South Africa - Sept 17-21

TEDGlobal 2017, Arusha | Tanzania - Aug 27-30


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.

Say Hello

If you have any questions or want to know more, please don't hesitate to get in contact with me