BY MAHLET FASIL @MAHLETFASIL
Addis Abeba, February 26/2021 – The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and Orange digital center established the first digital center in the horn of Africa that trains young people in digital technology and boosts their employability.
Orange digital center built the third ICT center in Africa and the Middle East region. Ethiopia will be home to the third orange digital center in Africa next to Tunisia and Senegal. Occupying an area of 5000m2, it is the first center 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 upgrade the skills of young people, encourage innovative entrepreneurship and to promote the local digital ecosystem.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of Innovation and Technology, Abraham Belay (PhD) said that building the digital and innovation ecosystem is a multi- stakeholders agenda that requires holistic policy envisioning, vibrant enabling systems and innovative and efficient collaboration among stakeholders. He admired the involvement of Orange and all parties in the initiative. “I must acknowledge and encourage, indeed it is an initiative worth investing in,” he said.
Orange brings several strategic programs under the same roof : a coding school, a startup accelerator and it ventures Africa, the group’s investment fund. All the services 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.
Alioune Ndiaye, CEO of Orange Digital Center in the Middle East and Africa said “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’ further promising that the company is planning to launch other orange digital centers by the end of the year in Africa and middle-east.
Sandokan Debebe, CEO of industrial park development corporation on his part said “We are excited about the launching of an orange digital center at the IPDC’s ICT park.” adding, “The skills that will be developed here will be very crucial to support the IPDC’s goal of making ICT park as a central hub to Africa, place of technological knowledge transfer an opportunity for IT base job creations and base for country’s progress towards becoming the middle-income economy”
Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications carriers with a turnover of 42 billion dollars in 2019 and had 143,000 employees as of 30 September 2020 of which 83,000 are in France. The group has a total customer base of 256 million customers worldwide as of 30 September 2020, including 212 million mobile customers and 21 million fixed broadband customers. The group operates in 26 countries.
Orange is also a leading provider of global IT and telecommunication services to multinational companies under the brand orange business service.
The partnership between GIZ and Orange encompasses 14 countries : Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Cameron Egypt, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Jordan, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Senegal, Leone and Tunisia. AS