Orange Cameroon, German Development Cooperation inaugurate sixth digital center in Africa and the Middle East
15-10-2021 14:17:00 | by: Pie Kamau | hits: 2423 | Tags:

Orange and the German Development Cooperation are inaugurating, an Orange Digital Center in Douala, an ecosystem entirely dedicated to the development of digital skills and innovation in Cameroon. Following on from Tunisia, Senegal, Ethiopia, Mali and Côte d’Ivoire, it is in Cameroon, in Douala that the first Orange Digital Center of Central Africa is inaugurated.

Spread over 600 sq.m, the Orange Digital Center brings together the four strategic programs of the Orange group, namely: a coding school, a FabLab Solidaire - one of the Orange Foundation's digital manufacturing workshops -, an Orange Fab start-up accelerator and Orange Ventures Africa, the Orange Group investment fund. All of the programmes provided are free-of charge and open to everyone. They range from digital training for young people, 90% of which are practical, start-up acceleration, guidance for project bearers and investment.

Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO, Orange: “Orange acts as a responsible company across its activities. This sense of responsibility is a central value that has been placed at the heart of the Group’s strategic plan, Engage 2025. To promote digital services as a vector for inclusion and to ensure they are available to the widest possible audience, we aim to open an Orange Digital Center in every country in which we are present by 2025. This ambition clearly demonstrates our determination to harness the positive power of digital innovation.”

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. In addition, an agreement links Orange Cameroon to the Ministry of Higher Education for the digital transformation of 8 state universities. An Orange Digital Center Club will be installed in each university in the region, thus complementing the system to give as many people possible access to new technologies and support in using them to their full extent.

Orange and the German Development Cooperation through 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 fulfil 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.

Alioune Ndiaye, Chairman and CEO, Orange Africa and the Middle East: “I am very proud to inaugurate the sixth Orange Digital Center in Africa today in Cameroon, which is part of the network of 32 Orange Digital Centers that will be deployed in all the countries in which we are present in Africa and the Middle East, but also in Europe. 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 strengthen their employability and prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.”

Because digital technology must provide opportunities for everyone, this initiative fully embodies our commitment as a responsible operator and meets the following six sustainable development objectives: (4) quality education, (5) gender equality, (8) decent work and economic growth, (9) industry, innovation and infrastructure, (10) reduced inequalities and (17) partnerships for goals.

Corinna Fricke, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Republic of Cameroon: “This initiative contributes to the digital transformation of Cameroon while creating local employment opportunities for young people. Germany is proud to be able to support such a forward-looking project.”

So far, eight Orange Digital Centers have already 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 and 2022.

Patrick Benon, CEO, Orange Cameroon: “Orange Cameroon’s commitment to digital transformation is a reality. As a partner in digital transformation, we are a major player in the socio-economic development of the country through innovative ecosystems and specific schemes to develop entrepreneurship. Thus, the Orange Digital Center brings together all the necessary skills in a unique place to materialize Orange’s commitment to digital inclusion. 4 Orange Digital Centers Club will be installed in universities in the region of Yaoundé 2, Buéa, Nagaoundéré and Dschang, thus completing the system to give as many people possible access to new technologies and support in using them to their full extent.”