French telecommunications firm Orange, in collaboration with the German Cooperation, has opened its 13 Digital Centre in Conakry, Guinea.
This digital ecosystem is dedicated to the development of digital skills and innovation.
The centre is spread over 600 sq. m and features four strategic programs of the Orange group, namely, a coding school, a solidarity FabLab – one of the Orange Foundation’s digital manufacturing workshops, and an Orange Fab start-up accelerator, supported by Orange Ventures Middle East and Africa (an investment fund to support start-ups)
Programs range from digital training for young people, guidance for project bearers, start-up acceleration, and investment in these.
Orange says the centres work as a network and allow experiences and expertise to be shared between countries.
Orange Guinea says that it will train students for free and roll out Orange Digital Centre Clubs, extensions of the Orange Digital Centre within some universities in the regions.
Orange and the German Development Cooperation are working together 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 program is also working to advance gender equality and inclusion by promoting access for women and girls to ICT jobs.
Alioune Ndiaye, Chairman of the Board of Orange Middle East and Africa said: “The objective is to democratise access to digital technology for young people – with or without qualifications. We want to provide them with the latest technological skills to strengthen their employability and prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.”
Frank Lütje, Business Manager of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in the Republic of Guinea said: “The future of Guinea is its youth – and digital is the future of the world. This initiative aims to strengthen the access of young people to the labour market as well as to entrepreneurship so that they can fully contribute to a better future for their generations and Guinea as a whole.”
Ousmane Boly Traoré, CEO of Orange Guinea said: “It is important for us to ensure that young people are not only competitive in the job market, but that they can also find the resources they need to train in new technologies, to become entrepreneurs and in turn create jobs. The Orange Digital Centre is one of the elements of the Orange Group’s strategy to enable young people to face this challenge. It is a unique ecosystem dedicated to the development of digital skills and innovation. It’s a place to live and think for projects that are bound to grow and go as far as possible.”
Orange has established digital centres in Tunisia, Senegal, Ethiopia, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Madagascar, Morocco, Liberia, and Botswana.