Orange unveils latest digital centre in Abidjan
French telecommunications firm Orange, together with the German Development Cooperation, have unveiled a new Orange Digital Centre in Abidjan, an ecosystem entirely dedicated to the development of digital skills and innovation.
Spread over 1200 sq.m for Côte d’Ivoire, the Orange Digital Centre brings together the four strategic programs of the Orange group, namely: a coding school Orange Digital Academy, a FabLab Solidaire (part of the Orange Foundation's digital manufacturing spaces), an Orange Fab start-up accelerator and Orange Ventures Africa, the Orange Group investment fund.
The programmes range from digital training for young people, 90% of which are practical, start-up acceleration, guidance for project bearers and investment.
Orange and the German Development Cooperation say their objectives include access to ICT jobs (especially for women and girls), supporting sustainable growth and the Côte d’Ivoire’s digital transformation.
Engage 2025 strategy
Orange has stipulated a target of creating an Orange Digital Centre in every country in which it operates by 2025, to support start-ups as part of its Engage 2025 strategy.
The telco, in partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) re/Start, will offer a free and certified, 12-week, full time cloud skills training program for unemployed and underemployed individuals to launch their cloud careers in 18 countries through Orange Digital Centres in Africa and the Middle East.
These include Tunisia, Senegal, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Jordan, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Morocco, Egypt, Madagascar, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Botswana, and the Central African Republic.
AWS re/Start is a skills-based training program that covers fundamental AWS Cloud skills and practical career skills, such as interviewing and resume writing, to help prepare individuals for an entry-level cloud position.
The program also prepares and covers the cost for participants to take the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Certification exam, validating their cloud skills with an industry-recognized credential.
Both Orange and AWS say after completing the program, they will help connect graduates with employers.
Eight Orange Digital Centres have been opened in Tunisia, Senegal, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Jordan, Morocco, and Mali.
Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of Orange, said: “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.”
Ingo Herbert, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Côte d’Ivoire said: “The future of Côte d’Ivoire is its youth - and digital is the future of the world. This initiative aims to strengthen young people's access to the labour market as well as to entrepreneurship so that they can fully contribute to a better future for their generation and Côte d’Ivoire as a whole.”
Mamadou Bamba, CEO of Orange Côte d’Ivoire, said: “Discussions are underway between Orange Côte d’Ivoire and the Ministry of Higher Education for the digital transformation of universities in Côte d’Ivoire. An Orange Digital Centre Club will be installed in universities 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.”