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Orange opens second digital centre in Dakar

By , ITWeb
28 Oct 2019

Orange opens second digital centre in Dakar

French telecommunications firm Orange has opened its second digital centre in Africa in Dakar, Senegal.

In a statement released to the media, the telco said that following on from Tunisia, the company's second digital centre features a surface area of 2,000 m² on six floors and is the first of its kind in West Africa.

Orange said the purpose of the digital centres is 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.

"All of the programmes provided are free-of-charge and include digital training for young people, start-up acceleration, and guidance for project owners and investment in these projects," the company added.

Other centres are expected to open by the end of the year in Jordan, Cameroon and Côte d'Ivoire, as well as in Morocco and Egypt in 2020.

Sékou Dramé, chief executive officer of Sonatel, said, "I am very proud to open the second Orange Digital Centre in Dakar, after the one in Tunis. As the main contributor to the digital ecosystem in Senegal, Sonatel supports the emergence of a creative and flourishing ecosystem that provides digital players with the opportunity to imagine ways to create and prosper. These 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."

Alioune Ndiaye, chief executive officer of Orange Africa and the Middle East, added: "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 Centres in France and Europe."

Orange is present in 19 countries in Africa and the Middle East, with a customer base of 123 million as of 30 June 2019.

Fibre investment

In October 2019 Orange Côte d'Ivoire has raised FCFA70-billion (approximately US$120-million) in credit to bolster its local fibre optic network interests.

The credit arrangement is for a period of five years and to secure the facility, the operator partnered with several banks including Banque Internationale pour le Commerce et l'Industrie de la Cote d'Ivoire (BICICI), Societe Generale Ivory Coast, Société Ivoirienne de Banque, NSIA Bank and CITIBANK.

Mamadou Bamba, Managing Director of Orange Côte d'Ivoire, said, "This contribution of all reflects a strong desire to support and boost the Ivorian private sector and therefore the development of the economic fabric of our dear country."

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