Orange is not new to accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa. The firm has its FabLab, Orange Fab and Orange Digital Ventures which invests in startups from or focused on Africa.
Today the French telco launched its “Orange Digital Centre” in Tunis to provide wide-ranging support for startups such as coding, mentorship, as well as startup acceleration and investment in early-stage companies.
According to Alioune Ndiaye, Chief Executive Officer of Orange Middle East and Africa: “I am very proud to launch the first Orange Digital Centre in Tunis. Dedicated to our countries’ digital development, these new spaces aim to consolidate Orange’s standing as a key player in the digital transformation of the countries where we operate.”
Functioning as a network, the Orange Digital Centres will help in sharing experiences and expertise for entrepreneurs, students, young people with or without degrees, and those undertaking a career change.
The centers will work in collaboration with stakeholders, including governments and academics, to strengthen the employability of these young people and to encourage them to run businesses.
By the end of this year, Orange will set-up similar centres in Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Jordan, Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone. From 2020 onwards, Morocco, Egypt and the rest of the countries in the Middle East and Africa region will have their own Orange Digital Centre.
Christine Albanel, Deputy Chair of the Orange Foundation, said: “The mission of the Orange Foundation in the countries where the Group operates is to use digital technology to provide everyone with a chance. This new initiative is part and parcel of the ambition to make digital inclusion the key focus of our social commitment. The ‘FabLab Solidaire’, which is part of the Foundation’s inclusion programmes, is a gateway that will enable young people to develop new skills and firmly establish their career path.”
The Orange Digital Centre houses four strategic programmes under the same roof: the coding school, the FabLab Solidaire, Orange Fab and Orange Digital Ventures Africa.