New Orange Digital Centre launched in Ethiopia
French telecommunications firm Orange has partnered with GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) and the Ethiopian government to launch the Addis Ababa Orange Digital Centre, an ecosystem dedicated to digital skills and innovation.
The telco and German development corporation joined Ethiopia’s Ministry of Innovation and Technology, the Ethiopian Investment Commission and the Industrial Parks Development Corporation to roll out the resource.
In a statement released to the media, the stakeholders confirmed that following launches in Tunisia and Senegal, Ethiopia will be home to the third Orange Digital Centre in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.
“Occupying a space of 500m2, it is the first centre in East Africa that will operate as a strategic network, allowing experiences and expertise to be shared between countries and offering a simple and inclusive approach to strengthen the employability of young people, to encourage innovative entrepreneurship and to promote the local digital ecosystem,” reads an excerpt from the statement.
The purpose of Orange Digital Centres is to bring together several strategic programmes under the same roof: a coding school, a “FabLab Solidaire”, a startup accelerator “Orange Fab” and Orange Ventures Africa, the Group's investment fund.
All of the programmes provided are free-of charge, open to all and include digital training for young people, 90% of which are practical training, start-up acceleration, guidance for project bearers and investment.
Orange and GIZ are working together in a development partnership of the develoPPP.de programme, which GIZ implements on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project is supported by BMZ’s Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation, which also operates under the brand Invest for Jobs.
“The know-how of Orange in training and supporting young people in the field of digital skills and innovation will be complemented by GIZ's extensive experience and local expertise in addressing the challenges inherent in the employability and entrepreneurship of young Ethiopians. Together with the Ethiopian partners, the GIZ and Orange hope to achieve their shared vision of greater youth employability - including more women and girls in ICT jobs - while supporting the country's sustainable growth and digital transformation,” according to the statement.
Dr. Abraham Belay, Minister of Innovation & Technology, said: "Building the ‘Digital and Innovation Ecosystem’ is a multi-stakeholders agenda that requires holistic policy envisioning, vibrant enabling system and innovative and efficient collaboration among stakeholders like this "Responsible" move of Orange and parties involved: I must acknowledge and encourage, indeed it is an initiative worth investing on."
Alioune Ndiaye, CEO of Orange Middle East & Africa, added: “With the support of GIZ, Orange supports East Africa’s digital ecosystem by providing young Ethiopians with all its technological know-how to create more job opportunities. This program will be complemented by two ODC Clubs that will be deployed swiftly in different regions to reach out to even more young people. I would like to remind you that we are planning to launch other Orange Digital Centres by the end of the year in Africa and the Middle-East.”
Stephan Auer, German Ambassador in Ethiopia, said: “The Orange Digital Centre contributes to Ethiopia's digital transformation while creating local employment prospects for young people. It shows Germany’s and the EU´s commitment to promote inclusive and human-centred digitisation worldwide.”
Orange is present in 18 countries in Africa and the Middle East and has 128 million customers at of 31 December 2020.