Reem Elmahdi believes in the power of data science and community building to transform Sudan

Her journey so far

“I learned to love data science during my Masters degree, because it was quite challenging and different.”

She began her career in the field by studying at the Computer and Information System college at Sudan University. After graduation, she worked as a researcher in the same department, before joining a software company in Khartoum, the area in which she is currently based. Following this, she joined the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in South Africa as a Master’s student.

The power of networks

Reem learned about Zindi through a Deep Learning Indaba event in Kenya in 2019, in which she participated in one of the competitions. From there, she worked with them as an event planner, most notably helping to organise UmojaHack Africa in Sudan, in March this year.

Sudanese data students compete at the UmojaHack Africa 2021 event at Al-Fashir University in Western Sudan

“Most of the initiatives I have joined try to promote certain companies or export to talent overseas, whereas Zindi identifies problems in Africa and allows and encourages Africans to solve it.”

Reem believes that for problems relating to a country, that country’s members are the first to understand the struggles and issues, and are best placed to solve it, compared to someone from outside who may have a different perspective.

Other pursuits

Reem believes that an interest in analytics and data science should not hold an individual back from other creative pursuits. As if data science pursuits weren’t keeping her busy enough, she recently started a small beauty salon business in her local neighbourhood along with six female friends.



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Zindi hosts the largest community of African data scientists, working to solve the world’s most pressing challenges using machine learning and AI.