Abdigani Diriye

Founding Curator & Curator, Hargeisa Hub

Dr. Abdigani Diriye is a scientist and advocate for innovation and entrepreneurship in Somalia. He co-founded Innovate Ventures, the first and leading startup accelerator and technology fund in Somalia. To date, Abdigani has incubated and invested in more than 50 start-ups. Abdigani also leads a team of scientists and engineers at Amazon developing novel features and languages for Alexa. Abdigani’s goal is to enable AI personal assistant such as Alexa to democratise access to knowledge in Africa. Previously, Abdigani has held research positions in industry and academia for some of the largest companies and institutions such as IBM, Fuji-Xerox Palo Alto Labs, The Open University, Microsoft Research and Carnegie Mellon University and has previously founded a FinTech startup and the world’s largest Somali professional network. Abdigani has published over 40 papers and patents in leading scientific outlets, and holds a Bachelors, Masters and PhD in Computer Science from the University of London. Abdigani is a TED Fellow, Next Einstein Forum Fellow, a Member of the Global Future Council on Innovation Ecosystems at the World Economic Forum, and has been listed as one of 35 innovators under 35 by MIT Technology Review. His work has been featured in Forbes, Wired, Technology Review, Quartz, BBC Radio, CNN and Fast Company among others. He has been on the programme committee and co-chaired workshop and paper tracks for academic conferences like SIGIR, CHIIR, HCIR, CHI, IIiX.