Research Fellow

Riedwaan Fakier

Based in South Africa

I am a policy maker, strategy consultant, researcher, and entrepreneur, currently serving as a Digital Access Officer for South Africa after having worked on the United Nations (UN) led Global Boosting Decent Jobs and Skills in Africa. I have always had a burning passion for social and international development, having grown up in a disadvantaged community in South Africa and lived experiences of the massive inequalities that still exist in society. My career has spanned working with international organizations, governments, global companies, and nonprofits on complex projects within strategy, technology, policy, digital transformation, financial services, smart city, and innovation projects from research to implementation.

Academically, I'm a Commonwealth Masters Scholar and a graduate of University College London’s (UCL) Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP). I also hold a Masters in Strategy and Innovation from Maynooth University, Ireland, where I graduated first in my cohort, and hold an Honours degree in Information Systems from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, where I also graduated first in my cohort.

My current research looks at using technology for development, specifically Artificial Intelligence (AI) to decrease unemployment. My previous published research has included using emerging technology for development and digital twins, specifically using virtual reality to aid sports in impoverished communities in South Africa. I have also worked with the Cambridgeshire City Council to map the food poverty system within the region and was a global finalist for the University of Oxford’s Map the System Competition at the Said Business School. I have also published research on building resilient systems, specifically resilience in and beyond COVID-19 and why it’s a development, technology and innovation policy matter. 

As an Equitech Futures alum from the Civic Tech Institute, I am excited to join Equitech Futures as a Research Associate. This is a great opportunity to be part of this incredible ecosystem of talented leaders who are all driven by their respective passions and ready to innovate to tackle the worlds most urgent global challenges together.