Orange and the German Cooperation will inaugurate an Orange Digital Center in Bamako, Mali to nurture digital skills and innovation, becoming the fourth after Senegal, Tunisia and Ethiopia to get the digital centers in Africa and the Middle East.
Spread over 1,557 sq.m, the Orange Digital Center brings together the four strategic programs of the Orange group, that includes a coding school (Orange Digital Kalanso), a FabLab Solidaire -one of the Orange Foundation’s digital manufacturing workshops -, an Orange Fab startup accelerator and Orange Ventures Africa, the Orange Group investment fund. All of the programmes provided are free of charge, open to all. They range from digital training for young people, 90% of which are practical, start-up acceleration, guidance for project bearers, and investment.
“I am very proud to inaugurate the fourth Orange Digital Center in Africa today in Mali, which is part of the network of 32 Orange Digital Centers deployed in all the countries where Orange operates to support the startups. The main objective is to democratize access to digital technology for young people – with or without qualifications – giving them access to the latest technological trends to improve their employability and give young Africans the ability to write their digital future,” Alioune Ndiaye, Chairman, and CEO of Orange Africa and the Middle East.
Working as a network, the Orange Digital Centers allow experiences and expertise to be shared between countries and offer a simple and inclusive approach to improve young people’s employability, encourage innovative entrepreneurship and promote the local digital ecosystem. Moreover, discussions are underway between Orange Mali and the Ministry of Higher Education for the digital transformation of universities in Mali. An Orange Digital Center Club will be installed in each university in the region, thus completing the system to give as many people possible access to new technologies and support in using them to their full extent.
As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility approach, Orange Mali wishes to support new ideas, which bring progress for all and in particular those that create economic value and jobs at the local level. This is why Orange Mali wanted to set up and support, in a partnership-based approach, initiatives that help accelerate this positive change. As the leading contributor to digital development in the country, Orange Mali supports the emergence of a creative, prosperous ecosystem that gives digital players the opportunity to create and develop.
Orange and the German Cooperation by GIZ are working together as part of a development partnership within the develoPPP program, which GIZ is implementing on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The goal is to fulfill their shared vision, fostering youth employability – and access to ICT jobs for women and girls – while supporting sustainable growth and the country’s digital transformation. This joint project by Orange and GIZ is an example of successful cooperation between German Cooperation and the private sector.
So far, eight Orange Digital Centers have already been opened in the region: Tunisia, Senegal, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Jordan, Morocco, and Mali. This means other inaugurations are still to come in 2021.
“Orange Mali is truly committed to the digital transformation. Being the partner of the digital transformation makes us a leading player in the socio-economic development of the country thanks to innovative ecosystems and specific actions intended to develop entrepreneurship. The Orange Digital Center brings together all the necessary skills in a single place to illustrate Orange’s commitment to digital inclusion,” noted Brelotte BA, CEO, Orange.
Orange is present in 18 countries in Africa and the Middle East and has more than 130 million customers as of 31 March 2020.
With 5.8 billion euros of revenues in 2020, Orange MEA is the first growth area in the Orange group. Orange Money, its flagship mobile-based money transfer and financial services offer is available in 17 countries and has more than 50 million customers. Orange, a multi-services operator, a key partner of the digital transformation provides its expertise to support the development of new digital services in Africa and the Middle East.