Christabel Jemutai Sitienei

Christabel Jemutai Sitienei
MIT EECS | Hudson River Trading Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Advisors: Armando Solar-Lezama
Ama Edoh
Department: EECS
Years: 2018-2019
Research Project Title:

Driving Financial Inclusion in East Africa through AI

abstract:Africa has been in the limelight because of Mobile money development which has fuelled economic growth and increased the “banked” population of Africa. Kenya tops the list of countries with a staggering 75% of adults formally owning a bank account owing to the development of the mobile money industry. Despite these benefits majority African, specifically Kenyan people have little access to financial services such as credit primarily because they lack a banking history. Is it possible to use cell phone data or metrics from cell phone usage and artificial intelligence to predict the credit worthiness of a person? More importantly can this be done keeping in mind the socio-economic and cultural context? Can creditworthiness be defined in an kenyan and largely african perspective?

Access to finance remains a huge problem for East Africa mostly because a majority of the population is unbanked. Born and bred in Kenya, and afterwards with the exposure of what Artificial intelligence can do, I believe that I'm in a unique, privileged position to fully research and understand this problem and possible solutions.