Orange inaugurates digital centre in Sierra Leone
French telecommunications firm Orange and the German Development Cooperation have officially opened the company’s 14th Orange Digital Centre (ODC) in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
The centre is a digital ecosystem entirely dedicated to the development of digital skills and innovation.
ODCs have been established in Botswana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guinea, Jordan, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia.
The ODC will provide four strategic programs:
- A coding school.
- A solidarity FabLab - one of the Orange Foundation's digital manufacturing workshops.
- An Orange Fab start-up accelerator.
- The Orange Ventures Middle East and Africa (the investment fund of Orange Group that invests in the most talented start-ups of the ODC).
Orange says ODCs facilitate international exchange of experience and expertise, “and offer a simple and inclusive approach to improve young people's employability, encourage innovative entrepreneurship and promote the local digital ecosystem.”
Orange Sierra Leone will partner universities to provide free training and to roll out ODC Clubs which are extensions of the ODC located within some universities.
Orange and the German Development Cooperation are collaborating as part of a development partnership within the develoPPP program, which the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is implementing on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The main goal is to develop youth employability, support sustainable growth and Sierra Leone’s digital transformation. Other objectives are to advance gender equality and improve access to ICT jobs for women and girls.
The objective is to democratise access to digital technology for young people - with or without qualifications.
Brelotte Ba, Deputy CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa says: “I am honoured to be present for the launch of our 14th Orange Digital Centre today in Freetown, Sierra Leone, which is part of a network of 32 Orange Digital Centres that will be deployed not only in Africa and the Middle East, but also in Europe by 2023. The objective is to democratise access to digital technology for young people - with or without qualifications. We want them to be part of the digital transformation of their country by encouraging them to become digital entrepreneurs, to create local content and thus develop the digital economy of Sierra Leone.”
Jens Kraus-Massé, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Republic of Sierra Leone notes: “I am delighted to see that our cooperation with Orange contributes to realising the vision of a digital, innovative and resilient future of Sierra Leone and its people. Our aim is to empower every woman, every girl, every man, and every boy no matter from what background, to take advantage of the opportunities of digitalisation, to get better jobs and eventually a better live for them and their families."