Christabel Jemutai Sitienei

Christabel Jemutai Sitienei

Scholar Title

MIT EECS | Hudson River Trading Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar

Research Title

Driving Financial Inclusion in East Africa Through AI





Research Areas
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Armando Solar Lezama

Melissa Amah Edoh


Africa has been in the limelight because of mobile-money development, which has fueled economic growth and increased the banked population of Africa. Kenya tops the list of countries with a staggering 75 percent of adults formally owning a bank account owing to the development of the mobile-money industry. Despite these benefits, the majority of Africans, 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 a person’ s creditworthiness? More important, can this be done while keeping in mind the socio-economic and cultural context? Can creditworthiness be defined in a Kenyan and largely African perspective?


Access to finance remains a huge problem for East Africa, mostly because a majority of the population is unbanked. Having been born and raised in Kenya and knowing what artificial intelligence can do, I believe that I’m in a unique, privileged position that will allow me to fully research and understand this problem and possible solutions.

Back to Scholars