IBM Researcher Abdigani Diriye Selected as a TED Fellow

Joins the newest class of 21 young innovators from five continents
ARMONK, N.Y. - 25 May 2017: IBM (NYSE: 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.

Follow Diriye @abdiganidiriye

About the TED Fellows program

The TED Fellows program brings together young innovators from around the world and across disciplines, who display both outstanding achievement and exemplary character, to raise international awareness of their work and maximize their impact. The program offers Fellows full participation in a TED or TEDGlobal Conference, a two-day pre-conference of workshops and activities, a Fellows Retreat, ongoing professional coaching and mentoring, dedicated PR coaching and active participation in the TED community, including the global TED Fellows network. Founded in 2009, the TED Fellows program now includes 436 Fellows from 94 countries, and was named one of the top 10 Fellowships of 2016 by

About IBM Research

For more than seven decades, IBM Research has defined the future of information technology with more than 3,000 researchers in 12 labs located across six continents. Scientists from IBM Research have produced six Nobel Laureates, a U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, 10 U.S. National Medals of Technology, five U.S. National Medals of Science, six Turing Awards, 19 inductees in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and 20 inductees into the U.S. National Inventors Hall of Fame. For more information about IBM Research, visit

Contact(s) information


John Galvez

UK External Relations