Orange has launched its innovation hub in Dakar, Senegal, following on from Tunisia. Senegal will be home to the second Orange Digital Center in Africa and the Middle East.
The Orange Digital Center in Dakar, with a surface area of 2,000 m² on six floors, will allow experiences and expertise to be shared between countries and offer a simple and inclusive approach to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship and to support the local digital ecosystem.
The hub aims to bring together several strategic programmes under the same roof: coding school, Solidarity FabLab, Orange Fab and Orange Digital Ventures Africa, the Group’s investment fund.
Other centers are expected to open by the end of the year in Jordan, Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire, with yet more in 2020 in Morocco and Egypt. Ultimately, similar organisations will be deployed in all the countries within Orange’s footprint in Africa and the Middle-East as well as in Europe.
Sékou Dramé, CEO of Sonatel said the new spaces are dedicated not only to students, young people with and without diplomas and young people changing career, but also to entrepreneurs reflecting the ambition to promote a strong and innovative digital economy for the country’s socio-economic development.
“We are working in close collaboration with all the stakeholders, including governments and academics, to strengthen the employability of young Africans and to encourage them to run businesses and to innovate in their countries. Our ambition is to deploy this initiative outside Africa, from the south to the north, by opening Orange Digital Centers in France and Europe. For the moment, Côte d’Ivoire, Jordan and Cameroon will follow in the next few months and in 2020 Morocco and Egypt then all the countries in the Africa and Middle-East zone will have their own Orange Digital Center” adds Alioune Ndiaye, CEO of Orange Africa and the Middle East.
The Orange Digital Center in Dakar, the Solidarity FabLab and the coding school are part of the Foundation’s and CSR’s inclusion programmes will enable many young people to develop new digital skills and will set them on the course to employment.”
Present in 19 countries in Africa and the Middle East where it had 123 million customers on 30 June 2019 and sales revenue of €5.2 billion in 2018, the group also runs Orange Money, its mobile-based money transfer and financial services offer in 17 countries, serving 45 million customers.