Ekow Duker

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Ekow Duker
Ekow Duker.jpeg
Image retrieved from Open Book Festival on 15 July, 2021.
Alma materUniversity College London
University of California
OccupationEntrepreneur, Author
Known forBeing the Co-founder of Zindi

Editor: Tamia Adolph

Ekow Duker is the Co-Founder of Zindi, an AI startup that acts as a data science competition platform, dedicated to solving Africa’s problems by bringing together a community of data scientists who collaborate and compete to come up with the best possible solutions.[1] Zindi is based in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Accra.[2]

Duker is an oil field engineer, investment banker, and author who strives to use his storytelling abilities in the data science field.[3]


In 1983, Duker obtained his A-level mathematics, physics, and chemistry levels from Dulwich College in London. At University College London, he received his BSc in Civil Engineering. His next qualification was a MS in Mechanical and Environmental Engineering at the University of California in Santa Barbara. In 2000, Duker obtained an MBA in Microeconomics, Strategy, and Negotiations at INSEAD in France.[4]


From 1989 to 1998, Duker was a Field Engineer at Schlumberger where he often travelled to countries such as Libya, Algeria, Nigeria, Angola, the Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ivory Coast, and Ghana. From 2000 to 2003, he worked as a Senior Consultant at Deloitte Consulting in Johannesburg where he assisted clients with investment options and corporate strategy. Duker then began working at Standard Bank as a Senior Manager from 2003 to 2006 where he worked closely with leadership in branches at South Africa, Nigeria, Malawi, Kenya, and Uganda, with strategic issues and solutions. He moved to Absa Capital Private Equity as the COO from 2007 to 2010. Duker began his work as the Head of Equity Portfolio Management at Absa Capital in 2010 until 2013.[5]

In 2013, Duker was the Managing Principal of Customer Experience and Analytics at, what was then Barclays Africa Group. After two years, he was promoted to Chief Analytics Officer of Retail and Business Bank. 2016 saw Duker take on the role of Managing Director of Ixio Analytics. In 2018, Duker co-founded Zindi with South African, Megan Yates, and American, Celina Lee.[6]

Duker has also authored four novels. White Wahala was published in 2014 under Pac MacMillian along with Dying In New York. In 2016, he published The God Who Made Mistakes under Picador Africa and his latest release came in 2019 under Kwela Books and is titled, Yellowbone.[7]

Awards and Achievements

In April 2012, Duker was shortlisted for the European Union Literary Award 2011/12 for his novel, White Wahala.[8]

His novel, Dying in New York, was part of The 2015 Barry Ronge Fiction Prize Longlist in the Sunday Times.[9]